Center for Cooperative Media announces Collaborative Journalism Summit May 4-5

I’m thrilled to announce a nationwide symposium on collaborative journalism that the Center for Cooperative Media is planning to host May 4-5 here at Montclair State University.

Dubbed the Collaborative Journalism Summit, this conference is being planned to share best practices, case studies and ideas about collaborative journalism and cooperative news networks.

The summit will be headlined by Martha Hamilton, an editor with The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists who will give a keynote address about the groundbreaking Panama Papers project.

Other notable speakers and attendees so far include:

And there will be many more speakers added as the steering committee confirms the agenda and presenter line up! If you are interested in presenting or being on a panel, please let Center for Cooperative Media director Stefanie Murray know; email me at murrayst@montclair.edu.

Register today, as space is limited. Visit collaborativejournalism.org to register.

Why are we doing this now?
Collaborative journalism is nothing new. It has, however, become increasingly critical at a time when the media industry is shrinking . Yet at the same time, well-reported investigative journalism is more important than ever before – one look at what’s happened in the national debate over journalism’s effectiveness over the last six months should provide ample evidence.

As as people like Olivia Ma from Google News Labs said in a recent Nieman post, “Think about how much faster the industry would move if there was less focus on beating your competitor and more focus on learning from them.” (Speaking of Olivia, she and potentially other folks from Google News Lab will be at our Summit, as collaboration is a key part of their work.)

Or to quote Andre Natta from a recent Poynter post he wrote titled “We need collaboration in journalism now more than ever,” in which he said in a perfect world, “If the local and regional news ecosystems were healthier, national news organizations could rely on community newsrooms for boots-on-the-ground expertise. And smaller organizations could turn to their national counterparts for specialized help.”

Want to know more? Check out this list of collaborative journalism projects we’ve been compiling and tell us what we missed. You can also watch a 5-minute video below of an Ignite talk I gave at Newsgeist in December about collaborative journalism.

What are the goals of the conference? We have five goals, pretty simple. We want to:

1. Network, and especially highlight successes and bring awareness to collaborative journalism and cooperative news networks. We want to bring people together who are working on collaborative projects or working as part of a cooperative network so we can get to know one another, learn from each other and make connections.

2. Learn from case studies. We think an intensive couple days of case studies will help bring to light common threads that we’ve all struggled with or found success on.

3. Discuss best practices that can be documented, shared and replicated. Through the use of case studies, presentations, roundtable discussions, etc., we want to bring participants together to share best practices so we can begin documenting them and making them easily available and accessible on collaborativejournalism.org.

4. Release new research related to collaborative journalism.

5. Establish an ongoing conversation. We want the summit to be just the beginning – how do we facilitate discussions between this group going forward?

I really hope to see you at our Collaborative Journalism Summit! And if you’re interested in being involved or sponsoring, please don’t hesitate to reach out – email me at murrayst@mail.montclair.edu.

Stefanie Murray is the director of the Center for Cooperative Media. 

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Democracy Fund. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.

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