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.
A: Shared values important for collaboration – @SteveEngelberg
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”.
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.
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. http://www.propublica.org/article/the-magnetar-trade-how-one-hedge-fund-helped-keep-the-housing-bubble-going
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
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
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
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
We took all Texas public employee salary info and put the data into an easy-to-find and easy-to-understand databases – @rgibbs
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
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
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
We think of everyone as a journalist – some of them write code – @rgibbs
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
Integrated CMS between partners (this is a wow!) @ CIR – @meghanncir
Our first election night (a primary) our widget crashed because of data load. @SteveEngelberg
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
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
Remember that there are different kinds of collaboration – @SteveEngelberg
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
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
Geography matters on collaboration side – partnerships help in a big state like Texas – @rgibbs