News co-op idea gets great feedback – plus are news networks way forward?

Apologies for not updating this blog for a couple of weeks – I’ve had a deadline with my printed community magazine, been (unsuccessfully) juggling loads of different projects, popped down to Cardiff for a couple of days for a community journalism conference and there’s been the usual rigours of family life to contend with.

Cast your mind back to my last post a couple of weeks ago, about news Co-ops. I’ve had an excellent response. A heck of a lot more than I thought I would, to be honest.

And some seem very serious about it.

I’m probably going to organise a meet-up in Leeds to discuss this soon – probably a pub in town. Will keep you posted.

networked journalismWhile we’re on the subjects or co-ops and collaborations etc, as I mentioned above, I attended the excellent Community Journalism Conference at  Cardiff University this week. I’ll blog more about it in future posts, but what struck me was how the US was getting its act together and experimenting with news partnerships and networks.

The guys at the influential  J-Lab were present to talk about networked journalism, where maonstream media organisations partner with community bloggers and hyperlocal news providers.

Turns out there have been some notable successes – both editorially and commercially – and some failures. In a report to delegates, we were told:

“The projects resulted in seven geographic networks and two topic networks with astonishingly different models of collaboration. At its height, the nine hub newsrooms had grown their networks from 44 partners to 169; 146 partners were still participating as of October 2012.

“Three years into the experiment five of the partners were still going strong. Two had very strong starts and made it to second base, but by the third year are greatly diminished. Two are inactive.”

So a fairly successful strike rate there. What was more interesting to me was the reaction from some of the delegates. Many were very wary about working with MSM (I know from my hyperlocal experience mainstream media tends to snatch your copy without permission, attribution or payment).

And I do wonder whether culturally the US and UK are so different that this kind of set up just wouldn’t be sustainable here. Collaboration doesn’t come easy to local media (and there are plenty of bloggers who are guilty of that too).

In the UK we aren’t a particularly philanthropic bunch – I’ve never heard of a successful journalism Kickstarter campaign here either, although there are successful examples in the States.

Find out what worked here.

Get your copy of J-Lab’s report here.

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One comment

  1. […] community, social media, and how to build successful networks and collaboration, which I’ve already touched upon. And, of course, the official launch of the centre itself. But what’s its aim? According to […]

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