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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.

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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 →

2012: What we know now on the value of volunteers, intentional conversation and collaboration for non-profit media

January 30, 2013 in Blog, Community

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As the final of our four-part series exploringWas 2012 the year of prosperity for publishers?” – in this post we explore the value of volunteers, intentional curated conversation and connected collaboration for non-profit media. We hear from Mark Glaser, executive editor of PBS MediaShift and Idea LabDan Moulthrop, curator of conversation at The Civic Commons; and Josh Stearns, public media campaign director at Free Press. The third post in JA’s “what we know now” 2012 series offers specific ideas on building public trust, raising money and a free press powered by the people. The second post in the series reveals practical perspective on local advertising, meeting the needs of communities and customer connection. With 2013 now under way, may the lessons of 2012 help pave the way for greater prosperity in the year ahead! Read the rest of this entry →

2012: What we know now on building public trust, raising money and a free press powered by the people

January 23, 2013 in Blog, Revenue

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Was 2012 prosperous for publishers? The four-part series continues, with this third installment offering key lessons from three well-respected practitioners known for thinking outside the box. Mike Fancher, veteran news business strategist; Lila LaHood, director of operations and development at San Francisco Public Press; and Keith Hammonds, director of Ashoka’s Knowledge Initiative, offer their unique perspectives. Fancher sums it up as such: “News businesses – emerging or legacy, large or small – won’t be relevant and economically viable if journalists don’t feel a personal responsibility to make public engagement a core tenet of their work.” LaHood offers insights from the nonprofit trenches: “We learned that we weren’t giving our supporters enough different opportunities to support our brand of local public-interest journalism.” And Hammond sees the opportunity to act as a changemaker is to “produce content that’s relevant; connect it to mechanisms that help citizens and communities make change; articulate a value proposition and (not least) ask to be paid.” See their contributions below for useful context you can compare your experience against. Check back next week as we offer the fourth and final post in this series, with contributions from Josh Stearns of Free Press, Mark Glaser of PBS Media Shift and Dan Moulthrop of The Civic Commons. Read the rest of this entry →

2012: What we know now on local advertising, meeting the needs of communities and customer connection

January 9, 2013 in Blog, Community

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As part of the larger story, the top lessons from a range of perspectives learned over 2012 is a four-part series the JA is running over the month of January. This is the second part of the series and features three thought leaders – Dick O’Hare, CEO & founder of Local Yokel Media; John Garrett, CEO and publisher of Community Impact Newspaper; and Laura Rich, co-founder of Street Fight – offering their insights. Together our initial think group shared a collective sense in early 2012 that publishers could benefit from a roadmap of the many small steps needed to increase and stabilize revenue across the industry. These additional contributors offer the lessons they’ve learned leading and growing successful new companies; all of them launched five years ago or less. Read the rest of this entry →

Was 2012 the year of the prosperous publisher? What we know now

January 2, 2013 in Blog, Revenue

Change Ahead

If 2012 was any indication, 2013 holds great promise for new revenue tracks, new partnerships and adapting to best practices to not just serve, but delight, audiences.

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In early 2012, just about a year ago, we invited a half-dozen people with a range of unique roles in the news production mix, to identify the most crucial challenges facing publishers at that moment in time. No enormous surprise: Money was the top concern. More specifically, a collective sense emerged that publishers could benefit from a roadmap of the many small steps needed to increase and stabilize revenue across the industry.

As 2012 drew to a close, we once more turned to these insightful people (listed to the right), asking each to share what he or she learned over the course of this chapter in the evolving story of journalism. We also asked a number of other leaders across the industry to share what they learned in 2012. You’ll see excerpts in this post, with their full stories offered as a series that will post over the month of January.
Read the rest of this entry →

2012: The year of the prosperous publisher

February 8, 2012 in Blog, Craft, Experiments, Revenue, Technology

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Year of the sustainable publisher dragon

...the Year of the Dragon is one of high risks and high returns — a year during which the financial crisis will finally see some light... (self-proclaimed Chinese astrologer Joseph) Chung explains that this is a “Water Dragon Year,” which means a higher flow of communication between people.
(Image by Jim Nix of Nomadic Pursuits on Flickr.)

2012 is the Year of the Dragon, if you go by the Chinese calendar. What will define this year for news publishers? In January we pointed you to some thoughtful – and entertaining – predictions for 2012. But prognostications can only take us so far. Hearing directly from publishing pioneers which trails need blazing, and which may be better off less traveled, is where our work begins this year. To fine tune the JA focus for 2012 we spent January identifying how to support the most critical needs publishers face now, in a way unique to the JA service model.

To do this, we turned to a group of talented people with a wide range of experience in news and information. All of them are familiar with the JA’s conversation and information exchange products, having joined our early pilot project, participated in a more recent forum or generously granted us an informational interview (or two) over the past year.

This time, we asked them to identify what they see as the most urgent challenges in publishing right now, and the greatest opportunities to support publishers’ work. Suggestions and ideas the group raised will guide our priorities for 2012, with fresh insight to help shape our upcoming forum on business models for publishers. That kicks off later this month on February 28 and 29. Many thanks to The Seattle Times’ David Boardman, Anne Galloway, editor of VTDigger.org, CEO of the Investigative News Network Kevin Davis, BXB founder Michele McLellan, policy expert Steve Waldman, business coach Joe Michaud, and RJI Fellow/ The Patterson Foundation’s New Media Initiative Manager Janet Coats. Read the rest of this entry →

Contently

December 16, 2011 in Craft, Distribution, Experiments, Resources

There are the writers and journalists who find it nearly impossible to search for, let alone land exceptional freelance opportunities. Then there are the publishers who are faced with countless requests from writers, making it difficult to select the most experienced or distinguished journalists in the bunch.That’s why three startup entrepreneurs founded Contently, a website geared toward empowering and connecting quality writers and brands.“We realized that there is an inefficiency in freelance writing because writers have to spend a lot of time hassling after editors and work,” said Shane Snow, one of the three co-founders of Contently. “As the world moves increasingly towards freelance, we wanted to build a marketplace for freelancers and to allow publishers to become more efficient.”After starting off as an open marketplace for writers and publishers in 2010, Contently gradually evolved into a platform for journalists to manage their freelance careers and for publishers to obtain access to millions of the world’s top writers in their industry.” Source: Mashable