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Help us launch a chapter of the Online News Association in New Jersey

Monday Nov 13, 2017  |  0 comments

We recently put out some feelers to see if any of our partners are interested in helping to start an Online News Association Local chapter in New Jersey. There are strong chapters in NYC and Philadelphia, but nothing here in the Garden State. Based on the responses we received, that will soon change!

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EdNC, WRAL awarded $7,000 reporting grant in collaborative journalism open call

Wednesday Nov 08, 2017  |  0 comments

Earlier this year, the Center for Cooperative Media announced the six collaborative news projects that were selected to win $7,000 grants as part of an open call we hosted, thanks to funding from Rita Allen Foundation and Democracy Fund.

Unfortunately, not long after that announcement, one of the winners, The Texas Tribune, had to decline its grant. The destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey meant that the Tribune needed to focus all of its efforts on the storm’s aftermath.

But, we’re happy to share that we’ve been able to award the grant to support another important project!

With help from our grant, EdNC and WRAL are partnering to explore the proliferation of schools seeking restart status in North Carolina. Restart schools are low-performing schools granted charter-like flexibility under a state statute that dates back to Race to the Top. The statute was thought to be defunct, but in December 2015, one school system realized it was still a viable option and pursued restart.

Since then, more than 100 schools have applied for and been granted restart status. What does the increase in restart schools and local flexibility mean for the state? Will the restart schools show the value of such an approach? EdNC and WRAL will explore restart schools from inception to implementation, and examine ways they are transforming the educational system in North Carolina.

As the six projects we funded begin to be published over the next year, we’ll begin case studies on each so other news organizations can learn from these important collaborations. One of the six projects, The Wall, lead by The Arizona Republic, recently published; we hope to share that case study in December.

About Democracy FundThe Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that our political system can withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Since 2011, Democracy Fund has invested more than $60 million in support of effective governance, modern elections, and a vibrant public square.

About the Rita Allen Foundation: The Rita Allen Foundation invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems. It enables early-career biomedical scholars to do pioneering research, seeds innovative approaches to fostering informed civic engagement, and develops knowledge and networks to build the effectiveness of the philanthropic sector. Throughout its work, the Foundation embraces collaboration, creativity, learning and leadership.

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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Center for Cooperative Media launches 3-month pilot to get NJ News Commons access to legal help

Tuesday Oct 03, 2017  | 

Finding and being able to pay for legal assistance is a tough hurdle for many news entrepreneurs.

Not only is it expensive to hire an attorney, it can also be difficult to find a lawyer who specializes in media law and who is willing to work with smaller, local and often independent news organizations.

At the Center for Cooperative Media, we get a lot of requests for legal counsel from members of our NJ News Commons network. We provide a page on our website with a list of legal resources, but it’s often not enough. That’s why today we’re launching a three-month pilot program intended to provide some basic legal guidance to NJ News Commons members and help us understand the most common legal questions that are coming up so we can design future programs to be built around the true needs of our news ecosystem.

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Center for Cooperative Media identifies 6 models of collaborative journalism, a ‘revolution’ in media

Friday Sep 29, 2017  | 

For the past year, the Center for Cooperative Media has studied the rise of collaborative journalism.

Working cooperatively is nothing new, to be sure, but how frequently and impactfully news organizations have been collaborating over the last few years is certainly something new. Dramatically shifting business models, technological advances and seismic shifts in audience have lead to groundbreaking and award-winning collaborations around the world, including the Panama Papers and Electionland.

Today the Center released its first full research paper on this topic, identifying six distinct models of collaborative journalism. The report, authored by Center research director Sarah Stonbely, explains the underpinnings of each model and also explores the history of collaborative journalism.

“As we document, collaborative journalism is now being practiced on a scale that constitutes a revolution in journalism,” Stonbely writes. “The many trials and errors of the last decade have generated cooperative efforts that have stood the test of time and are showing the way for others.

“While lessons are still being learned, collaborative journalism has evolved from experiment to common practice.”

In her research, Stonbely focused on cooperative arrangements, formal and informal, between two or more news and information organizations which aim to supplement each group’s resources and maximize the impact of the content produced.

She separates various kinds of collaboration by comparing levels of integration versus time, which, when viewed on a matrix, creates six models of collaborative journalism:

Millions of dollars are being poured into such collaborative reporting projects and cooperative arrangements around the world. According to the Center’s report, for example, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has put nearly $32 million dollars into funding 29 local and regional partnerships as of earlier this year — and that number is still growing.

The full paper, titled “Comparing Models of Collaborative Journalism,” and its associated tip sheets — one for each model Stonbely identifies, plus the master matrix — are available for download on collaborativejournalism.org.

Today’s release of the white paper follows the Center’s first Collaborative Journalism Summit, held in May 2017, and its open call for collaborative reporting projects that awarded six grants of $7,000 each. The Center intends to continue collecting case studies, research and best practices related to collaborative journalism on its website collaborativejournalism.org, including the launch early next year of a database of collaborative projects. Make sure we include your collaboration — use the form below to tell us about it.

For more information about the white paper, collaborative journalism, or to inquire about how you can participate in — or support — the Center’s focus on this topic, contact Director Stefanie Murray at murrayst@montclair.edu.

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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New research ‘Comparing Models of Collaborative Journalism’ to be released Sept. 29

Monday Aug 28, 2017  | 

Throughout 2017, the Center for Cooperative Media has been researching and compiling data on various models of collaborative journalism. We released early results from our findings at the Collaborative Journalism Summit in May, and now plan to release our full white paper on Sept. 29.

This new nearly 70-page report will document and examine collaborative efforts between journalistic organizations. Our intent was to place current collaborative efforts in context and draw out best practices and learnings from various projects over the years to help inform what we think is shaping up to be a key component of the future of journalism: collaboration and partnership.

As the Center grows its program in collaborative journalism and seeks to build a community of practice on the topic, we hope to dive further into research on other forms of collaboration relating to journalism, including deeper looks into collaboration with civic groups, communities, local institutions, individual audience members and more.

We invite you to join us on Sept. 29 as principal investigator Sarah Stonbely presents the paper and her analysis. We’ll also hear from panel of journalists who were interviewed during the course of our research, all of whom have extensive experience in collaborative projects. In addition to the paper, we plan to publish a handful of best practice guides to help those who wish to launch or improve collaborative projects.

After those presentations in our new performance hall, stick around for a cocktail reception and NJ News Commons open house, showcasing the Center’s new suite and Montclair State University’s new $60 million, state-of-the-art School of Communication and Media building. We’ll have appetizers and drinks.

And if you can’t make it to the panel and reception but want to be notified when the white paper is released, click here to be added to our mailing list.

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, visitCenterforCooperativeMedia.org.

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Center for Cooperative Media announces six winners in collaborative reporting project open call

Wednesday Aug 16, 2017  | 

InvestigateWest, Kansas City PBS, NJ Pen, Quartz, Texas Tribune and USA Today Network selected for collaborative reporting project grants

When the Center for Cooperative Media first put out the call to fund collaborative reporting projects in May, we anticipated a couple dozen submissions. So we were thrilled to receive more than 70 proposals from news organizations of all shapes and sizes across the country, all pitching meaningful and important stories.

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Center for Cooperative Media to add 15 more news orgs to Voting Block, thanks to Dodge Foundation funding

Tuesday Jul 25, 2017  | 

This year’s gubernatorial race in New Jersey is a critical contest. No question. That’s why we are supporting Voting Block, a collaborative reporting initiative to cover the race through the lens of neighborhoods across the state and inspire citizens to get engaged and vote.

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Tech assistance, WordPress coaching available for local New Jersey news outlets as part of pilot project

Monday Jul 24, 2017  | 

One of the most common requests we get from partners of the Center for Cooperative Media and members of the NJ News Commons is this: I need tech help!

Connecting New Jersey news outlets with the resources they need to be successful is important to the Center’s mission of growing and strengthening local journalism in the Garden State. In the past, we’ve hosted workshops and webinars to address questions like this, and we’ve connected journalists directly with technologists for one-off requests.

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Common New Jersey media law questions answered in ‘News Law FAQ’ booklet; here’s how to order one

Monday Jul 10, 2017  | 

Two years ago, the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law launched the News Law Project, which was intended to help answer common media-related questions under New Jersey law.

The News Law Project solicited questions from journalists in the Garden State and worked with Rutgers Law School students to answer them. The project was lead by Professor Ellen P. Goodman and funded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

A list of frequently asked questions was created from the students’ research and published online. The FAQ includes answers to questions such as “Am I responsible as the “author” when I edit website comments?,” and “Do I have to worry about privacy when I post videos of people online?.”

To make these important and helpful FAQs available to as many New Jersey journalists as possible, the Center for Cooperative Media, in partnership with Goodman, designed and printed booklets of the FAQs. The booklets, about 40 pages in length, are available to be distributed to journalists across the state.

Fill out the form below to request booklets to be mailed to you.

You can also:

And if you’re a New Jersey journalist with other legal questions, be sure to check out the Center’s legal resources web page.

Questions? Email Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media, at murrayst@montclair.edu.

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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More than 70 proposals submitted for collaborative reporting project funding in first open call

Friday Jun 30, 2017  | 

Winners to be announced in early August

When we closed the application window today in our first open call for funding to support collaborative reporting projects, we were thrilled with the result — an amazing 72 proposals.

Proposals came in from all over the U.S., from radio and television stations, newspapers, hyperlocal digital outlets, nonprofits, universities and independent journalists. We had quite a few international inquiries as well.

The Center for Cooperative Media intends to provide six grants of up to $7,000 each to fund meaningful, impactful journalism as a result of this open call. This support is made possible thanks to generous funding from Rita Allen Foundation and Democracy Fund.

Our goal is to notify grant winners by the end of the month and announce them publicly during the first week of August.

The judges for the open call include Heather Bryant, a John S. Knight Fellow studying collaborative journalism at Stanford University; Jon Funabiki, professor of journalism at San Francisco State University and executive director of Renaissance Journalism; Scott Klein, deputy managing editor at ProPublica; Ju-Don Marshall Roberts, chief content officer at WFAE; and Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab.

Thanks to everyone who helped us spread the word far and wide for this effort. We appreciate your support.

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Open call for collaborative reporting projects expanded as Democracy Fund matches Rita Allen Foundation support

Tuesday Jun 20, 2017  | 

Apply today; deadline is June 30

One of the things I was most proud to announce at the Collaborative Journalism Summit in early May was the launch of a fund to support collaborative reporting projects. We announced the launch of that funding with an open call for projects — we planned to award three grants of $7,000 each — thanks to support from the Rita Allen Foundation.

Now, I’m thrilled to say we’ve doubled the fund!

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