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How the BBC is using collaboration to boost local news

The BBC is leading a collaborative effort in the U.K. to leverages existing resources, training and content among local and hyperlocal news organizations.

What happens when fierce competitors in a local news market join forces with a national media giant to amplify their message? That is what the BBC is doing in the U.K. by developing their Local News Partners program where they will establish partnerships with local and hyperlocal organizations of many sizes to boost local journalism.

Some of the lessons learned through the program so far have been:

  1. Build relationships and trust.
  2. Identify areas in which you compete and those where you can collaborate.
  3. Find areas where the journalism can benefit from more resources.
  4. Identify skills in your team which you can share with other organizations.

The program leverages existing resources, helps build skills through training and provides a centralized content hub, among other solutions.

The scale of the project is immense, functioning like a wire service for more than 90 news organizations representing 800 news outlets around the country, allowing them to share and use each other’s content. The BBC provides the infrastructure and has promised to spend 8 million pounds a year (that’s around $10 million) in the partnership for the next 11 years.

Read more about the BBC’s Local News Partners program.