✅ Here's what you missed at 2021 CJS


That's all we can say after an inspiring, stimulating and hope-inducing Collaborative Journalism Summit.

Our fifth collaborative convening was filled with wow-moments: from the unforgettable session on equity in newsroom partnerships to the stories of persecuted journalists in Europe to the lightning talks that gave us a behind-the-scenes look at some of our favorite projects - each session gave us something to think about, talk about and implement.

This year's Summit featured more than 80 individual speakers sharing updates on collaborative projects, strategies for success, and lessons learned along the way. About 350 people from around the world signed up, underscoring the rising global interest in collaborative work. Project managers also met every day prior to the start of the conference to come up with an outline for a project managers playbook. In the coming weeks, we'll be fleshing that out into a fuller guide and we look forward to sharing that with you later this year.

If you missed the Summit (or just miss the Summit) you can check out session recordings and lightning talks, as well as Derrick Dent's incredible graphic illustrations, here.

Plus: Read what LMA had to say about the Summit here

📋 Looking back at a year of collaboration

As we normally do, the Center for Cooperative Media opened the Collaborative Journalism Summit with a look at the state of collaboration. The Center's director, Stefanie Murray, took us through some key learnings after an unpredictable year, including: 

  • How the coronavirus increased collaborations and highlighted its importance
  • How permanent collaboratives have continued to grow
  • The expansion of funding
  • The growth of global partnerships

Read more about her takeaways and what she sees coming in the future in her 2021 State of Collaboration

💡 Learn how WFAE implements DEI strategies

If you were at CJS last week, you got to hear from Ju-Don Marshall about how WFAE is successfully collaborating with newsrooms across North Carolina. But Ju-Don still has more to share and on June 8, she'll be joining WFAE president and CEO Joe O'Connor to discuss the station's DEI journalism and content strategy. The webinar is part of Current's "Local that Works" series. 

Register here

💰 $100K awarded in Oklahoma via new collaborative

More than a dozen Oklahoma news organizations are getting a financial boost thanks to stipends from the Oklahoma Media Center Innovation Fund. The $100,000 in funding, which is executed through the Local Media Foundation from Inasmuch Foundation, will go to newsrooms that are testing "new business models and [finding] new ways to engage and research diverse audiences." (Note: the Center for Cooperative Media's director, Stefanie Murray, helped to judge the applicants.)

Among the recipients are several collaborations, including:

  • Oklahoma City Free Press and Trifecta Communications will use AR technology to highlight public art.
  • Oklahoma Watch with StateImpact Oklahoma will work on a "traveling listening project" and polling of underrepresented groups in Oklahoma.
  • The Frontier and the Curbside Chronicle will look at the practice of releasing homeless or indigent patients to public shelters or on the streets.
  • Moore Monthly and the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College and HolaOK will partner to track and report gunshots in Oklahoma.

Read more about their projects and the other winners here

⭐ Try this at home! Now! New SJN guide breaks down how to track the impact of your collaborative

There is so much to consider when launching a collaborative: what partners to include, how to divide up work, timeframe, etc. And though you may be at the beginning of the process, you also want to keep the end in sight.

Amy Maestas and Leah Todd Lin of the Solutions Journalism Network have put together a fantastic toolkit on how to launch a simple yet effective impact-tracking system.

The guide includes discussion questions, documents and resources designed not only to help collaboratives identify key priority ideas but work out strategies on how to achieve those goals. And plus, it's extremely user friendly, able to be completed in half a day or in short bursts over several weeks. 

👍 ICYMI: Enlace Latino NC teams up with Southerly

There are few things that make our heart happier than new collaborations, which is why we're so excited about the new partnership between Southerly and Enlace Latino NC. The two orgs will be teaming up to cover the economy and environment in Latinx, immigrant and refugee communities throughout North Carolina. They'll be publishing stories in English and Spanish and have already released the first one

Victoria Bouloubasis, a trilingual journalist and documentary filmmaker, will be helping on the reporting side, and there are also plans to bring a Spanish-speaking engagement coordinator and community organizer onto the team. We can't wait to see it! 

🔥 Look who's hiring! So many open jobs ...

📚 What we're reading (and listening to):

  • Black mothers are the real experts on gun violence (The Trace, co-published with New York Times Opinion, Flint Beat, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, and The Oaklandside) 
  • How they did it: A reporter-researcher partnership deepens public understanding of untested rape kits in Cleveland (The Journalist's Resource)
  • How NPR and stations are working together to expand regional news (Current)
  • In the vast Mountain West, collaboration on radio news finds success (Nieman Lab)  
Mariela Santos-Muñiz
Collaborative journalism newsletter curator
Mariela graduated from Boston University with an M.A. in International Relations and International Communications, in addition to a B.A. from the Universidad del Turabo in Humanities in Puerto Rico. She is completely bilingual in Spanish and English. Find her on Twitter at @mellamomariela.
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