The Business of Collaboration


The rise of non-profit journalism has led to innovation in distribution and collaboration, but the jury is still out on the impact of the bottom line. Non-profits such as the Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica produce award-winning series in collaboration with more traditional news organizations, resulting in stronger, higher-profile investigative stories. This panel discussion will showcase distribution, collaboration, and business models, discuss what works and what doesn’t and how to approach and work with potential media partners.


  • Slides
  • kegill Sep 21, 201211:20 am

    A: Shared values important for collaboration – @SteveEngelberg

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:20 am

    A: We want to be objective players – @SteveEngelberg – if you have an advocacy group … we’d love to see your data but it’s tricky to co-produce. We need to go to both sides and say “I’m an objective journalist”.

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:19 am

    Q: MIT Center for Civic Media – about 90% of our collaborators are not news organizations. I’m wondering about collaborations with non-news orgs -> e.g., NFPs or local civic groups even public officials.

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:17 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:17 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:16 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:14 am

    A: we help with investigative reporting – @SteveEngelberg – Sometimes we are approached for that skill. ThisAmericanLife – shout out for Giant Pool of Money — they came to us for help. Anecdote with Magnetar our second Pulitzer.

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:12 am

    A: We have a nimble, start-up culture. We’ll figure it out – we’ll do it. Our partners talk to us and we tell them that we’ll see. Usually there is a data angle. @rgibbs

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:11 am

    Q: What is it that makes MSM come to you for a collaboration? @meghanncir -> it may be access to data but usually it’s because they’ve seen our stories and want access to our work or localize our info for their audience

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:09 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:09 am

    You need to suspend fear and rely on journalism trust and ethics. If it happens, you don’t work with that person again. It’s not happened to us. @meghanncir

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:08 am

    No formal NDAs at Texas Tribune but you have to have a candid conversation – if it’s a partnership and you think off the bat that you need an NDA you might not have the right partner. @rgibbs

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:04 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:03 am

    We took all Texas public employee salary info and put the data into an easy-to-find and easy-to-understand databases – @rgibbs

    kegill Sep 21, 201211:03 am

    How do you take a 300-person newsroom and magically make everyone love data? (paraphrase of Q) The Tribune did not start off saying “data is cool” – it started off saying “there’s a vacuum covering statewide stuff” – @rgibbs

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:57 am

    We’re going to take this data that people don’t understand and make it understandable. And we’re going to open it up to a national audience. @rgibbs

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:54 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:54 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:53 am

    You can’t do this alone – we pulled together data on wait times facing vets – @meghanncir – featured as an embed so the interactive map travelled off of our website, letting us reach more people

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:50 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:50 am

    We think of everyone as a journalist – some of them write code – @rgibbs

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:47 am

    We’re tech-heavy — stand-up desks in a circle — reputation for not being the most approachable people. Cultural thing we need to change to enhance internal collaboration – I think they need to be integrated into the newsroom – @rgibbs

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:46 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:45 am

    Integrated CMS between partners (this is a wow!) @ CIR – @meghanncir

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:39 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:38 am

    Our first election night (a primary) our widget crashed because of data load. @SteveEngelberg

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:37 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:36 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:36 am

    We took the federal government’s hard-to-use site and created a new site that uses the nursing home data but presents it in a way that is accessible. This is a very powerful and exciting part of collaboration. @SteveEngelberg

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:35 am

    People can use our data to tell a story – I think that there is a hope that we can be bigger than our small numbers. People can create stories that would never exist. @SteveEngelberg

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:34 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:32 am

    Remember that there are different kinds of collaboration – @SteveEngelberg

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:32 am

    We sent a reporter to Spain to cover high speed rail – we were able to share the story. There was discussion around what the byline would be! Can only be done if there is buy-in that this ia joint project: @meghanncir

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:30 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:29 am

    With Chronicle, uncovered secret fight club – could not have done on our own. Similar things with San Antonio Express News. We do the data side. @rgibbs

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:27 am

    Geography matters on collaboration side – partnerships help in a big state like Texas – @rgibbs

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:22 am

    kegill Sep 21, 201210:22 am