New database showcases collaborative journalism from around the world


Over the past year, the Center for Cooperative Media, based at Montclair State University in New Jersey, been collecting information about dozens of collaborative reporting projects involving hundreds of newsrooms around the world. That information was used to identify six distinct models of collaborative journalism, which are based on how long newsroom and information organizations work together, and how they integrate their work and workflows.

Early into the process, Stefanie Murray, who directs the Center for Cooperative Media, realized that the information they were collecting about journalism collaborations could benefit other newsrooms. She approached me about turning this information into a database, to easily show how journalism collaborations were funded and how newsrooms work together.

The database launched in early January. It contains information about more than 150 journalism collaborations around the world, and features information including when the collaboration started, who was involved, funding sources, the tools that newsrooms used, and whether the collaboration had a formal arrangement in place or someone in charge of the efforts.

When you look at the database, you’ll see that it’s a work in progress — not every entry is fully filled out. That’s because the data is mainly entered by hand. I’m now currently in the process of reaching out to every collaboration in the database to ensure that the information is both accurate and reflects how participants conceived of the project.

And that’s where you come in. We’re asking journalists around the world to:

  • Make sure your project is listed: We’re in the process of loading every collaborative journalism project we learn about into the database. We started with lists from Sarah Stonbely, Josh Stearns, and Melody Kramer — and have been scooping up projects listed on Nieman Lab, Poynter, CJR, and Medium. If your project isn’t listed yet, you can submit it using this form — we’re editing entries as they come in and adding them to the database.
  • Make sure your project is accurate: If you search the database and find your project, please let us know if there is missing information and if you can fill in any of the missing information. You can email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with any information that should be included, or to fill in any of the missing data points.
  • Share the database with others: The collaborative news database is only comprehensive if we know about your project. We want ensure that projects from every part of the world and every size newsroom are represented. Here’s a Medium post about the database and what we’re hoping to achieve. Please share this link, and let your colleagues know about submitting their information.
  • Help us enter more data about news organizations: To make the database more useful, we’re including information about each organization that takes part in a collaboration. So far, we’ve been doing this by hand…but there are likely ways to automate some of this data gathering. We have the name, Wikipedia page and website of each news organization — we’re hoping to also include their social handles, location, and approximate size — so that we can map out collaborations around the world and classify them by newsroom size.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be entering more projects, making sure the information about each project is comprehensive and accurate, and getting the word out about the database.

We want this to be useful for newsrooms and funders who are thinking about collaborations, and want to learn more about what other organizations have done.

If you know of any additional information that you think might be useful, please let us know.

You can reach out to me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Explore the database here.

Parts of this post were originally published on the Center for Cooperative Media’s Medium page. Used here with permission.