Local/national news partnerships project: Exploring how divergent news entities can work together

In 2016, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University launched a project to study and seed partnerships between local and national news organizations, an effort funded by Democracy Fund and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Independent consultant Tim Griggs, who has worked for the New York Times, Texas Tribune and Wilmington Star News, was chosen to lead the work.

Over the course of several months, Tim worked to build relationships with national news organizations and worked with Center partners and others to localize and publish national content. He regularly blogged about the progress of the initiative on the Center’s Medium publication.

Each of the blog posts below focus on a different aspect or issue related to the art and effort of collaboration between newsrooms across the country, big and small:

National and local news collaborations: 3 key ways to partner now February 7, 2017
If you’re a journalist at a national news organization, you’re struggling with big, meaty questions right now about trust, power and access. You’ve just been through the most unique election in American history and you’re feeling disconnected from big swaths of the country.
If you’re a journalist at a local news organization, you’re dealing with an incredibly unforgiving marketplace. For so-called “legacy” newsrooms, you’re doing more with less; for startups and newer digital enterprises, your small team is likely fighting for sustainability…
Hurdles to collaboration: Local newsrooms cite resources, lack of interest and not knowing who to ask February 27, 2017
Just because you can collaborate doesn’t mean you will. Partnerships are hard. Like, really hard. For the last several months I’ve studied national and local news partnerships on behalf of the Center for Cooperative Media, as part of a project funded by Democracy Fund and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. We started to share the findings from this project earlier in February; this article is the second in that series…
National newsrooms say size, bureaucracy and ‘do-it-ourselves’ mentality are biggest obstacles to collaboration March 9, 2017
We’re complicated, we have trust issues and we can just do it ourselves, anyway. Those may sound like complaints from a relationship-gone-wrong. They’re also reasons national news organizations cite for why they don’t pursue collaborations with local journalism outlets more frequently. But there are ways to tackle each one, which we will explore in this post, the third in a series of stories about national and local news partnerships…
Why does The Marshall Project’s ‘The Next to Die’ collaborative data initiative work so well? It’s easy. March 21, 2017
Generally speaking, the process to conceptualize a project is slower, editing takes longer and, once published, there’s less promotion. It can be even harder with newspapers trying to figure out the Internet, he said. But Tom Meagher and his team at The Marshall Project, the innovative nonprofit criminal justice site, are on to something…
Keys to successful local-national news collaborations: What can you do today to be a Partnership Sherpa? May 3, 2017
This post is about brass tacks: What can you do today from within your newsroom — of any size or type — to make collaboration work? The recommendations here are drawn from dozens of interviews with newsroom leaders and partnership gurus, as well as my own experience dealing with partnerships from both the local and national perspective…

Click here to see the entire series and the rest of our blog posts via our official Medium publication.


Featured image: Photo by Chris-Håvard Berge via Flickr (edits made in compliance with Creative Commons)

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