A Growing Inventory of Journalism Collaborations

{NOTE: This list is now a bit dated, but I continue to work on issues surrounding journalism collaborations. Reach out on Twitter at @jcstearns to chat more about these issues}

News sharing, editorial collaborations, business partnerships – journalists and newsrooms are increasingly exploring new ways to collaborate. Some of these efforts are resulting in exciting new kinds of news, pushing stories beyond what could have been done by any one person, and producing more local news for communities. Others, however, are leading to further consolidation, newsroom layoffs and a notable decrease in the amount of local reporting in communities.

In seeking a way to organize, evaluate and better understand these collaborations and their impact on local news and local communities, I have begun breaking them up into categories (so far these categories include: New Sharing, Public/Private Partnerships, Public and Noncommercial Media Collaborations, and University News Partnerships). Obviously, there are other ways of organizing this, and many of these collaborations straddle multiple definitions. In the future I’ll be developing these ideas further and looking at these partnerships from different angles. (It’s also worth noting here that I am most interested in long term collaborations, not one-time partnerships, though I have included those when they are unique or notable.)

In the sections that follow I begin outline a few of the most well known partnerships and collaborations. I have collected some, but many came from this initial post, collected from my Twitter followers and others. There is many more, I am sure, and I hope you’ll add others in the comments. (Thanks to everyone who gave feedback on my original post here: http://bit.ly/9qhqC2) Continue reading

Hawaii Media and Some Initial Thoughts on CivilBeat

Some very quick thoughts on CivilBeat and the state of media in Hawaii….

This morning Twitter is abuzz with new details about Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar’s new news site in Hawaii, CivilBeat. The AP has a good write up of project (http://bit.ly/aPhU1K), which outlines some of the unique ways Omidyar and John Temple (formerly of the Rocky Mountain News) plan to structure the site, engage community, and rethink journalism. There is some interesting ideas there, but the one that has gotten the most attention amongst journalism pundits (like me) is the news that the site will cost readers $19.99 a month.

As people assess what this means and how this may or may not work, it’s important to understand the unique news ecosystem that Omidar’s CivilBeat is moving into. Here are a few key issues at play in Hawaii. Continue reading

Congress Takes Another Look at Comcast/NBC

Although the Congressional hearings on Comcast’s proposed take over of NBC are over, the issues is still clearly under debate in the halls of Congress. In the last week two members of Congress have taken significant steps to ramp up pressure on Comcast and ensure a fair merger review process that fully engages the public, who will be most impacted by this deal. Continue reading

Will The FCC Hold Public Hearings on Comcast/NBC?

In the last few years, the Federal Communications Commission has held local public hearings on media ownership, localism, broadband expansion, Net Neutrality, and more. Now, we are facing one of the largest media mergers our country has ever seen; will the FCC hit the road to hear local people’s concerns about it?

This week, we sent a letter to the FCC asking them to do just that.

As part of Comcast’s takeover of NBC, the cable giant hopes to get its hands on a number of valuable NBC and Telemundo broadcast stations in local communities. But those airwaves belong to the public, so Comcast has to ask the FCC for permission to transfer the broadcasting license from one company to the other. Continue reading

The Localism Movement in Journalism

In my day to day work I get to talk with a lot of journalists about why they do what they do. As you might expect, the answers tend to share some similar themes: commitment to truth and facts, desire to hold leaders accountable, passion for amplifying the voice of people whose voice is often silenced, love of language and storytelling, the thrill of the hunt, an eagerness to help people understand the world around them.

These are motivations I understand and can relate to in my own work. But I’m not a journalist. I am fighting for the future of journalism at a structural level. I have long worked as a community organizer, concerned with how we can build better, stronger communities. While I have worked in conservation and environmental advocacy, education and national service, media and telecommunications reform, at the root of each of these issues has been a concern for the unique local civic infrastructure that I believe undergirds so much of our lives. Continue reading