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Can collaboration in publishing up revenue? Collab/Space forum surfaces insight

May 10, 2012 in Blog, Community, Revenue

Collaboration Sliced Fruit

Can the diverse flavors of collaboration slice up and reconstitute a fuller revenue apple?

Journalism Accelerator

The Journalism Accelerator, MediaShift’s Collaboration Central, and the Investigative Reporting Project at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism experimented with an extended conversation last month. A discussion about collaborating in journalism started among people face-to-face at a conference, then continued online with a sharpened focus on collaboration and revenue. There’s plenty to learn from the entire thread. This post identifies several major themes that emerged, setting the stage for a greater consideration of financial costs and benefits as journalists do more collaborations.

Journalist Carrie Lozano nailed a real need in her #1 takeaway from April’s “collaboration marathon” of back-to-back conferences in Berkeley. “We need to come up with useful cost-benefit analyses of collaboration,” she wrote on Collaboration Central last week.

That work is underway. Journalists and others experienced in collaboration began to assess the costs and benefits in a conversation that started at the Collab/Space 2012 conference, then continued online here at the Journalism Accelerator. The kickoff question focused on financial pros and cons, but people brought all sorts of costs and benefits into the discussion. Here are some highlights. Read the rest of this entry →

JA forum on revenue and collaboration: Seasoned perspective illuminates possibility

April 25, 2012 in Blog, Craft, Revenue

About Trevor Aaronson

Trevor AaronsonTrevor Aaronson co-founded the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting to “expose corruption, waste and miscarriages of justice” around the Sunshine State. Up and running since 2010, FCIR has collaborated on stories with public radio stations and many Florida newspapers, including Spanish language media. FCIR also provides data analysis both on collaborative projects and as a fee-based service.

About Michael Stoll

Michael StollMichael Stoll is executive director of San Francisco Public Press, a startup nonprofit print and web news service for the Bay area aiming to “fill the void of hard-hitting accountability reporting that’s been lost with the downsizing of the commercial press.” Built on deliberate collaboration for content and distribution among multiple journalism organizations, the Public Press doesn’t accept advertising, but is seeking to create a replicable, sustainable nonprofit business model.

Journalism Accelerator

Impact, depth, and revenue. All are clearly potential benefits of collaboration in journalism. Tuesday on the JA / CollabSpace conversation on collaboration and revenue we dug into how, when and why to collaborate. Michael Stoll of San Francisco Public Press and Trevor Aaronson of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting shared their stories about various joint journalism efforts they’ve been part of. Some increased revenue, some didn’t aim to, some were “cost-positive” in the words of Michael Stoll. It’s an in-depth conversation within the still-continuing larger discussion, on how collaboration could increase revenue in journalism. Later Keith Hammonds, director of Ashoka’s News & Knowledge Initiative, offered how-tos and examples of collaborations structured with revenue in mind. Michael Skoler, VP of digital for Public Radio International, wrapped up the chat series, imagining a wealth of ways to integrate collaboration and revenue. 

Trevor summed it up right off the bat. “We all want to do better journalism, and collaboration is a great way to increase the quality and distribution of our reporting,” he said. “But FCIR is a business, and we view collaboration as a business relationship.”

So what does that mean on a practical level? For starters, he says, ask yourself how your organization would benefit from a potential collaboration. Both Michael and Trevor have leveraged working with other news organizations to win grants and to gain audience. Michael in particular points to the cost-saving opportunities of bringing the skills of reporters from multiple organizations together to cover one major story. Even though, as many reporters and publishers know, collaborations can mean a lot more work.

As Tuesday’s live conversation and the entire thread reveals, the question of collaboration leading to revenue is complicated by the fact that journalism is often mission driven. But Trevor points to projects taking collaboration large scale, and Michael Stoll calls on public broadcasting to expand its own coverage by collaborating with local news startups. He also suggests that trading skills and content benefits all partners in many situations, but well funded collaboration partners can – perhaps should – help others “keep the lights on”.

You are welcome to add your own stories of collaboration or comments anywhere in this thread. Also check out our other live chats during this forum: Keith Hammonds, director of Ashoka’s News & Knowledge Initiative and former executive editor of Fast Company shared insights; based on both his past experience at the helm of a for-profit magazine and his current work supporting collaborative news and information projects that contribute to social good. And Michael Skoler, Public Radio International’s Vice President for Digital shared details of a major collaboration he’s in the middle of right now, as well as his past work coordinating the work of multiple public radio stations, developing games, and more.

Other posts in this JA series on collaboration include: Use case, the nuanced story behind the story of one successful collaboration. Resources, examples and practices to increase your yield from collaborative journalism. Costs v. benefits: What to consider as you team up. Plus the forum itself, and as captured with Storify.

The Nonprofit Journalism Hub

November 11, 2011 in Community, Craft, Education, Resources

The Nonprofit Journalism Hub is intended to bring together a myriad of resources to help communities create their own successful nonprofit news organizations. We are most interested in helping local investigative and public service journalism thrive in the new media landscape.

The Hub’s concept and design were created by in 2010. The Hub’s original creation was made possible by a generous grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and a collaboration of multiple partners.

In June 2011, The Hub website was acquired by the Investigative News Network. Under this new acquisition, INN will be expanding the content of the Hub website with more resources, tools and information for both established and start-up nonprofit newsrooms alike.

Website manager and contributor Professor Amy Schmitz Weiss will continue her work with The Hub as the lead contributor and coordinator under INN’s new management.

The Hub was not meant to be stagnant. It is intended to be a lively forum for discussion and information. We depend on the entire virtual community to add to its content. Please share your stories, your challenges, and what’s working for you. We all learn from each other.” Source: The Hub