How can news organizations collaborate across borders?

By Journalist's Resource

In this guest post from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center and Journalist’s Resource, we discuss how to structure global news collaborations, as well as a bonus tip for reporters on how to interpret polls.

How can news organizations efficiently and effectively collaborate across borders with other media organizations?

A new paper by William E. Buzenberg, Joan Shorenstein Fellow (Spring 2015) and former Executive Director of the Center for Public Integrity, explores this and more. Buzenberg argues that although our world – and its resulting news stories – have become increasingly more globalized in nature, from finance to the environment to crime, most news outlets still find their scope restricted by nation-state borders and thinly-spread foreign correspondents.

“American news organizations of all sizes could collaborate much more with other media organizations, including their competition, on local, state, regional or national enterprise or investigative stories,” Buzenberg writes.

Journalist's Resource

Buzenberg details the founding, successes, and tactics of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, an organization that leverages big data and the skills of journalists in 65 countries to produce investigative reports. The paper also provides practical takeaways for news outlets hoping to replicate such a model.

“Many more collaborations are taking place today, but they are mostly small and too often regarded as troublesome,” he notes. “Meanwhile, a much deeper investigative push is possible when multiple newsrooms reach out and join forces. The attitude that ‘we know best’ and ‘we do it all ourselves’ is an increasingly antiquated notion in the digital age when knowledgeable members of the public and colleagues at other news organizations could be brought into an effective journalistic process in new ways to become part of a more robust collaborative investigative effort.”

Listen to Buzenberg discuss his paper:

As the election season starts, a tip for reporters and editors

Although the 2016 presidential election is still many months away, media coverage of the candidates is already awash in poll numbers. Journalist’s Resource provides a helpful guide to polling fundamentals and concepts for journalists. It’s worth reviewing the pitfalls and perils to be mindful of.


Journalist's Resource

Based at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, the Journalist's Resource project examines news topics through a research lens. It surfaces scholarly materials that may be relevant to media practitioners, bloggers, educators, students and general readers. The project's philosophy is that peer-reviewed research studies can, at the very least, help anchor journalists as they navigate difficult terrain and competing claims.

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