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Collaborative journalism: A primer

Collaborative journalism takes many forms: reporting, deepening relationships with audiences, co-collecting and sharing data, or even teaming up to build technology. Learn the basics here.

In newsrooms around the world, the last decade has been one of resource scarcity, uncertainty and rapid technological development. Within this context, many  journalism outlets have turned to collaboration as a way to share reporting workloads and stretch limited resources, while also providing what are often more comprehensive stories to bigger audiences.

Collaborative journalism encompasses news organizations working together on reporting projects, partnering on audience engagement efforts, co-collecting and sharing data, or even teaming up to build technology that supports multiple organizations working toward a shared journalistic goal. It may or may not involve a formal agreement, but always seeks to produce content that is greater than what any individual journalist, newsroom, or organization could produce on its own.

Practicing successful collaborative journalism very often requires a break with past practices and mindsets — especially competitive instincts.

Investigative, or accountability, journalism, is often the most common area of focus for many collaborative projects. The Panama Papers is an excellent example.

And although many different kinds of news organizations large and small engage in collaborative journalism projects, participation is more common among public media, nonprofit news outlets and independent organizations.

This section of Better News focuses on journalism collaboration — but cooperation and partnership is essential across your entire enterprise. For more, read about Table Stake #6: Partner to expand your capacity and capabilities at lower and more flexible cost.