A common goal: Media, universities and mission-driven foundations

By Michael Fabiano

Media organizations, universities and mission-driven foundations are dedicated to informing the public and spreading fact-based information. How do these groups come together to further their common cause?

Every day, researchers in the scientific and academic communities write about issues pertinent to the general public. Because they are typically shared through scholarly publications, though, the average news consumer may not even be aware of these in-depth perspectives into current events.

Enter The Conversation US, a non-profit media platform that publishes articles written by university and research institute experts.

Its mission to promote better understanding of current affairs and complex issues closely aligns with that of The Associated Press, which is why we have partnered to distribute this content to the entire AP network of media customers and readers.

Each story is authored by scholars in their area of expertise, and they work with editors from The Conversation US to ensure their language is clear and accessible to the widest possible audience.

This month, representatives from universities, foundations and media organizations met at AP’s headquarters in New York with the same mission to discuss improving the ways we communicate fact-based research.

“The key is making it interesting for the reader,” said Fernando Ferre, vice president of business development for AP. “If people can’t understand what they’re reading, they’ll go elsewhere.”

Editors with The Conversation US work with authors to ensure their articles are written clearly and accessibly, and then provide those stories to AP’s customers.

The top editor of The Conversation US, Maria Balinska, said her goal is to “illuminate the big debates of the day in a way that’s effective.”

Initial returns are fruitful:

“We’ve been running The Conversation pieces for about a month now, and our readers have responded positively to it,” said Jim Gouvellis, executive editor of Sun Coast Media Group. “And the fact that it’s backed up by research and academia puts a different spin on things.”

Next steps

From our perspective, we learned just how much information is produced by universities and foundations and how we can help distribute it. Going forward, we are exploring broader collaborations with universities and foundations on enterprise coverage that highlights differing viewpoints and spreads deeper insights around the world.

Michael Fabiano

Michael is the vice president of local media markets for The Associated Press.

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