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Decoding Collaboration Part 3: Collective impact deconstructed

September 23, 2013 in Blog, Distribution

“The expectation that collaboration can occur without a supporting infrastructure is one of the most frequent reasons why it fails.” –Fay Hanley Brown, John Kania and Mark Kramer, Stanford Social Review

IMG_6232

Occupy New York staged in the financial district, directly across from the World Trade Center’s reconstruction effort. Credit Lisa Skube

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, who leads The Media Consortium, has been going deep on collaboration in her work. Here, she generously offers a number of insights, with this the third of her three-part series:

News Collaborations:
Part I:
What do we mean by the word “collaboration”?
Part II:
How does collaboration create impact?
Part III: How might collaboration shape the future of journalism? (see below)

There is a reason why the virtues of editorial collaboration have been championed by any number of media watchers in publications like Mediashift, NiemanLabs, J-Lab, and Journalism Accelerator. Collaboration is seen as the best way to leverage scarce resources in order to create more impact than any of the participants could do individually.

To innovate around impact, the journalism world will need philanthropists who understand that collaboration also requires resources, not only for the outlets that collaborate, but for the backbone organizations that support these collaborations.

In this post, I’ll detail the Media Consortium’s 2012 May Day collaboration to demonstrate how one type of high-impact collaboration can be organized, the investment ours required, and the return it offers. Read the rest of this entry →

Decoding Collaboration Part 2: News collaborations – defining impact

August 8, 2013 in Blog, Community

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, who leads The Media Consortium, has been going deep on collaboration in her work. Here, she generously offers a number of insights, with this the second of her three-part series:

Light at the end

Might defining impact to reflect new market realities for journalism help blaze a new trail to sector level transformation? Credit: Lisa Skube

News Collaborations:
Part I: What do we mean by the word “collaboration”?
Part II: How can collaboration create impact? (see below)
Part III: How can collaborations shape the future of journalism? (coming next)

As Jo Ellen describes it, “‘Collaboration’ has become such a sexy term in the journalism world that centers and sites are being built around it. As I noted in my previous post, content sharing, resource sharing, and even joint reporting is not new. What excites those of us looking to the future of journalism is what I have called networked collaboration… 

In a networked collaboration, a number of different outlets work together to produce original reporting around a particular topic. In vertical networks, that reporting is designed and supervised by one outlet; in horizontal networks, the work is co-operatively created, managed by a backbone organization with no editorial skin in the game…”

In this post we explore the implications of impact and look at a couple of different examples of networked collaborations. With some rich context around how news providers may gain more yield by breaking down what impact means, and potential ways to create more of it. Read the rest of this entry →

Decoding Collaboration Part 1: Can or should news collaboration be forced?

July 24, 2013 in Blog, Community

The Media Consortium LogoTo scale impact, invest in networks.

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser is the executive director of The Media Consortium. Green-Kaiser’s rich background includes a BA from Yale, a PhD from the University of California, with an impressive body of work across numerous independent magazines; she is a leading figure in Jewish media and an expert on the Jewish social justice movement.

Journalism Accelerator

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, who leads The Media Consortium, has been going deep on collaboration in her work. Here she generously offers a number of insights, with this the first of her three part series:

News Collaborations:
Part I: What do we mean by the word “collaboration”?
Part II: How does collaboration create impact?
Part III: How can collaborations shape the future of journalism?

With collaboration at the center of the JA’s work, we’ve followed Media Shift’s Collaboration Central work with interest.  As well as others who are monitoring new models of collaboration emerging across the news and information spectrum.  Civic engagement “table” development methodology is part of the DNA that inspired the JA’s cross network emphasis (“beyond the usual suspects”). Inspired by wildly successful state organizing efforts, collaboration in this instance fueled by a philanthropic community where funders worked in partnership to build infrastructure to deliver commonly held objectives, leveraging the existing capabilities of civic organizations already existing in the marketplace. Taking out all partisan attachment (progressives were the architects of this infrastructure) – the simple genius of this: How to deploy the power of civic good networks around common aims – respectful of unique missions – to deliver the combined capabilities of unique specialization already creating small scale impact in the marketplace? (i.e. content delivery, craft, community conduit, social, business, technology, product development, topical expertise, etc.) Last year about this time the JA was looking at the combination of revenue and sustainability related to collaboration. Taking this a step further, we’re revisiting this asking others where they see the greatest impact around networked collaboration. As well as asking, what are the barriers slowing progress?

In this post, Jo Ellen explores new working definitions of collaboration and opportunities to consider for deeper impact, leveraging collaboration to unleash the combined power of networks in more intentional and strategic ways. Read the rest of this entry →

Low-tech, high impact: Storytelling with Calvin Trillin

December 19, 2012 in Blog, Craft

Calvin Trillin

Writer Calvin Trillin visiting the University of Oregon

Journalism Accelerator

The evolution of news media means journalists can tell stories many ways quickly: through tweets, posts, live chats, short video takes or breaking-news blogging that’s refreshed by the minute.

But with the advent of 140-character updates, the future of 3,000-word long-form stories is uncertain.

Last week, the JA listened in as Calvin Trillin, a modern master of long-form narrative nonfiction, spoke with journalism professionals, students and scholars from nearby universities at the University of Oregon’s Turnbull Center in Portland.

Moderated by author and professor Lauren Kessler, the conversation held gems for journalists and publishers looking to keep a place for deeply told stories in our fast-take, short-form world. Read the rest of this entry →

Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present

December 7, 2012 in Education, Resources

This essay is part survey and part manifesto, one that concerns itself with the practice of journalism and the practices of journalists in the United States. It is not, however, about ‘the future of the news industry,’ both because much of that future is already here and because there is no such thing as the news industry anymore. …

Many of the changes talked about in the last decade as part of the future landscape of journalism have already taken place; much of journalism’s imagined future is now its lived-in present. (As William Gibson noted long ago, ‘The future is already here. It’s just unevenly distributed.’) Our goal is to write about what has already happened and what is happening today, and what we can learn from it, rather than engaging in much speculation.

The effect of the current changes in the news ecosystem has already been a reduction in the quality of news in the United States. On present evidence, we are convinced that journalism in this country will get worse before it gets better, and, in some places (principally midsize and small cities with no daily paper) it will get markedly worse. Our hope is to limit the scope, depth and duration of that decay by pointing to ways to create useful journalism using tools, techniques and assumptions that weren’t even possible 10 years ago.” Source: Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Brilliantly researched and written by C.W. Anderson, Emily Bell and Clay Shirky, it was a refreshingly realistic read on where journalism is and where it’s going. There is a lot in the essay of concern to those who seek to practice journalism as a profession, like me, but there’s also much to get you excited about the opportunities that the future will hold.” Source: The Huffington Post

Shaping 21st Century Journalism: Leveraging a “Teaching Hospital Model” in Journalism Education

July 27, 2012 in Education, Policy, Resources

As the media industry reshapes itself, a tremendous opportunity emerges for America’s journalism programs. Neither news organizations nor journalism programs will disappear, but both must rethink their missions, particularly now that many more people can be journalists (at least, on an occasional basis) and many more people produce media than ever before.

Journalism education programs have an opportunity to become “anchor institutions” in the emerging informational ecosystem. Many schools have long embraced elements of this vision, but satisfying the information needs of communities will require schools to take on all the challenges of engaging as serious and valuable producers of meaningful journalism. To date, some programs have avoided or shirked these responsibilities, failing to leverage broadcast licenses as part of their educational mission or inadequately supporting the pursuit of meaningful journalism by students….

As Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, has written, “Like teaching hospitals, journalism schools can provide essential services to their communities while they are educating their students.” “Source: Shaping 21st Century Journalism (pdf)

Predictions for Journalism 2012 (Nieman Lab)

January 27, 2012 in Craft, Distribution, Resources, Revenue, Technology

To close out 2011, we asked some of the smartest people we know to predict what 2012 will bring for the future of journalism.

The Future of Journalism Education

October 5, 2011 in Community, Education, Resources

If February’s weather kept you away from New York and the Future of Journalism Education conference at the Paley Center for Media, you weren’t alone. But you can still visit the center’s website to see some seven hours of streaming video about the needs of 21st century journalists, including  entrepreneurial ideas, new relationships with their audiences, new online tools — and, in the words of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative, “an in-depth understanding of the context and complexity of issues facing the modern world”…

Deans, faculty and students from 14 graduate schools of journalism participated in the Carnegie-funded event which, whether it solved anything or not, certainly featured well-informed and thought-provoking discussions…

From a newspaper perspective, panelists included executives and journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The St. Petersburg Times, the Associated Press  and The Guardian, whose New York bureau chief described a contemporary reporting position — his own — in which he can write a 2,000-word analysis in the morning and “tweet” his way through an afternoon typing 140-character online Twitter updates from another news event.

The Future of Journalism Education event (well-Tweeted itself by @paleycenter and others as #paleynews), included an hour-long discussion by Alberto Ibargüen and Vartan Gregorian of the Knight and Carnegie foundations, respectively, and a roundtable on the Carnegie-Knight Initiative‘s News 21 journalism education project.” SourceNewspaper and Online News

Committee of Concerned Journalists

September 1, 2011 in Community, Craft, Education, Policy, Resources

The Committee of Concerned Journalists is a consortium of journalists, publishers, owners and academics worried about the future of the profession.

To secure journalism’s future, the group believes that journalists from all media, geography, rank and generation must be clear about what sets our profession apart from other endeavors. To accomplish this, the group is creating a national conversation among journalists about principles.

Three Goals

  1. To clarify and renew journalists’ faith in the core principles and function of journalism.
  2. To create a better understanding of those principles by the public.
  3. To engage and inform ownership and management of these principles and their financial as well as social value.

How Do We Accomplish Them?

To initiate a conversation about standards, the group first issued a statement of concern, created a network of professionals nationwide, held twenty-one forums, and conducted surveys and content studies to identify the core principles journalists share. These were then distilled in 2001 into a book, “The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect” (Updated and Revised in April 2007). In turn, these ideas are available to news people through our Traveling Curriculum of workshops. The work continues through further research, reporting, writing and discussion.” Source: Committee of Concerned Journalists