Networked Journalism Project Expands To Include Partnerships in Four New Cities

Washington, D.C. ­­– J-Lab’s Networked Journalism project will fund a new round of collaborations in the coming year between traditional newsrooms and community news sites in four cities around the country.

The Networked Journalism project, supported with a grant to J-Lab from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will contribute $50,000 per city to help fund a project coordinator at the four news organizations, stipends for at least five local partners, and training or other investments that benefit the partnership while its members engage in a one-year pilot project. The project seeks to explore the opportunities for sharing or amplifying one another's content and for developing advertising networks.

This year’s news organizations are:

  • The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • KQED Public Radio, San Francisco

"The first year of the Networked Journalism project taught us how five different partnerships could approach the idea of collaboration in five entirely different ways,” said Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism at American University.  "There is much more to be learned from these kinds of experiments."

In all, the initial Net-J partners started with 25 sites a year ago and have since grown their partnerships to more than 65 journalism sites. All the first-year partnerships are continuing for a second year and most aspire to enlarge their network and find ways to monetize their efforts.

First-year participants were:

  • The Seattle Times
  • The Miami Herald
  • The Charlotte Observer
  • Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times
  • TucsonCitizen.com

Many of the first-year partners built special sections or widgets to highlight the work of their partners.  In the case of the Miami Herald, the newspaper built new channels on its main website to house partner content. TucsonCitizen.com's partnership focused on networking sports coverage rather than general news, and the site noticed a significant increase in web traffic as a result.

"At a time when anyone can publish local information, partnership like those offered by the Networked Journalism project add voices to the community dialogue and serve to inform and engage residents," said John Bracken, director, digital media, for Knight Foundation.

J-Lab is convening a gathering later this month of project representatives to share lessons learned and develop a report for broader distribution. To see more, visit: http://www.j-lab.org/page/networked_journalism

About Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950, the foundation has granted more than $400 million to advance quality journalism and freedom of expression. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

About J-Lab
J-Lab helps news organizations and citizens use digital technologies to develop new ways for people to participate in public life. It also administers the Knight Citizen News Network, the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism, the New Voices community media grant program and the McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs initiative.

About American University’s School of Communication
American University’s School of Communication is a laboratory for professional education, communication research and innovative production in the fields of journalism, film and media arts and public communication, working across media platforms and with a focus on public affairs and public service.

Contact:       Jan Schaffer or Andrew Pergam
                    202-885-8100

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.