Collaborative journalism

SXSW Interactive and Film Festival attendees crowd the Austin Convention Center, Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Austin, Texas.(AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

Poynter at SXSW: Welcome back to the WED dance

Editor’s Note: Poynter will be at South by Southwest, the annual music, movie and interactive festival, March 7-16, in Austin, Texas. Look for our Poynter faculty members, Roy Peter Clark, Ellyn Angelotti and Kelly McBride, and digital media reporter Sam Kirkland. Here is the first in a series of posts on what we’ll be doing at SXSW.

One of the great libels against newspapers is that they’re averse to change. It’s true that newspapers could have changed more to forestall their decline. But they have changed — the newspaper of 2014 little resembles the newspaper of 1984.

I recall Orwell’s famous year – 1984 – as a tumultuous one in the history of the news business. Old gray papers were suddenly filled with color. Vertical columns gave way to modular boxes. Read more

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 9.38.28 PM

PoynterVision: how journalists can work with coders on projects

Understanding enough code for journalists to communicate with developers still isn’t enough, says Robert Hernandez, digital journalism professor at USC Annenberg and Poynter adjunct faculty. Watch the video to see what Hernandez recommends to help journalists work successfully with developers on data projects.

// Read more

Travel Cybertrips iPad

How tablets are changing the way writers work

Journalists have long defined themselves by the medium that carries their work. They say they write for magazines, newspapers or the Web. No one says, “I write for tablets.”

Yet as more tablet-focused startups and spinoffs are developed, more journalists are seeing their bylines as tappable things connected to experiences, instead of articles. And this often changes how — and with whom — they work.

These days, many publishers are thinking “mobile-first” — even though they disagree on what that means. As always, where publishers go, writers follow — and the tablet is where journalists really want to go now, because that’s where the long-form print story has been reborn, and is being transformed through digital experiments.

More words, different experience

Each month dozens of pitches, mostly from magazine writers, pour into The Atavist, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based digital publishing company that produces one original, long-form nonfiction story between 5,000 and 30,000 words monthly. Read more

Air America Documents

Declassification Engine provides solution to processing declassified documents

At a time when “big data” is in vogue and computational journalism is taking off, reporters need efficient ways to process millions of documents. The Declassification Engine is one way to solve this problem. The project uses the latest methods in computer science to demystify declassified texts and increase transparency in government documents.

The project’s mission is to “create a critical mass of declassified documents by aggregating all the archives that are now just scattered online,” said Matthew Connelly, professor of international and global history at Columbia University and one of the professors directing the project, in a phone interview with Poynter.

Matthew Connelly
Matthew Connelly

The team working on the project, which began in September 2012, is made up of historians, statisticians, legal scholars, journalists and computer scientists. Read more

Jose Vadi 3

News organizations step on stage to experiment with new storytelling forms

Inside a cream-colored brick building in downtown Berkeley, Calif., journalists with the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) tap out updates for the Web and gather to discuss their next projects. It looks like a typical small newsroom, except when you walk past the digital team and find spoken-word poet José Vadi sitting at his desk.

Vadi is directing the Off/Page Project, a collaboration between CIR and Youth Speaks, the San Francisco-based organization that gives a voice to young people across the country through spoken-word poetry. He called the organizations’ partnership “sourced storytelling,” in which investigative reporting is paired with stories of young people who have personal experience with the issues being reported, such as gun violence or the loss of a home through foreclosure. Read more

1 Comment
Computer mouse on the laptop

10 digital tools journalists can use to improve their reporting, storytelling

Digital tools help produce quality content online, but it can be tough figuring out where to start. Here are 10 online tools that can help improve journalists’ reporting and storytelling, and engage readers in multimedia.

Reporting resources: These tools can help with research and sourcing.

FOIA Machine | (@FOIAMachine)

Requesting government documents can be a lengthy process. FOIA Machine, a free service now in testing and run with help from a Knight Foundation grant and the Center on Investigative Reporting, is a website journalists can use to file FOIA requests and other global transparency requests. The organization makes sure requests are filed properly and tracks requests filed through the website.

Public Insight Network | (@publicinsight)

Searching for sources can be easy — or it can bring reporting to a full stop. Read more


‘Medical school model’ brings newspaper, radio station and university together

A newspaper, public radio station and university in Macon, Ga., are moving in together and sharing content, in a unique partnership aimed at strengthening local news reporting, thanks to a grant from the Knight Foundation being announced today.

The news staffs of The (Macon) Telegraph and Georgia Public Broadcasting will move in with the journalism faculty and students at a new Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University.

Each group retains its own editorial products and independence, but they will be working in one newsroom, teaching each other and sharing content.

They’re calling it “the medical school model,” with benefits for all — students train in an environment structured for both learning and doing; professionals improve and benefit from students’ work; and the community gets a better service. Read more

1 Comment

NBC follows through on promise to have local TV stations collaborate with nonprofits

The New York Times | Los Angeles Times
As part of the merger application for NBC Universal and Comcast, NBC had pledged to establish partnerships in five of its markets, modeled on the existing relationship between KNSD-TV and “Effectively immediately,” Brian Stelter reports, “NBC’s station in Chicago will work with The Chicago Reporter blog and magazine; its station in Philadelphia, with WHYY, a public radio station, and its community site NewsWorks; and its station in Los Angeles, with KPCC, a public radio station. All 10 of NBC’s stations will at times collaborate with ProPublica, the acclaimed investigative journalism nonprofit organization.” KPCC’s Bill Davis tells the LA Times’ James Rainey that the partnership means “we can get to the kind of investigative and enterprise stories we wouldn’t be able to singularly.” || Related: Study shows that nonprofits pull back on fundraising efforts after getting government grants (Nieman Journalism Lab) || Earlier: Nonprofit news orgs see validation, new funding in Comcast-NBC merger ( Read more


Guardian readers shape stories during first week of open budgets
One week after The Guardian began disclosing its upcoming story budgets prior to publication, National Editor Dan Roberts writes that the experiment is going well. “Whatever competitive advantage may have been lost by giving rivals a clue what we were up to was more than made up for by a growing range of ideas and tips from readers,” he writes. Readers’ feedback now shapes the Guardian’s coverage in advance. For example, many said they wanted more coverage of the UK government’s health reforms. “We initially responded by ramping up our live coverage of the two-day NHS debate in the House of Lords – attracting over 1,000 comments. But we also asked our health reporter to do a bit of digging and list today an upcoming story on how cuts have already begun to hit services,” Roberts said. Read more

ire image

IRE takes over DocumentCloud as Knight funding expires

DocumentCloud, the startup that works with news organizations to post troves of primary source documents online in a searchable, shareable format, becomes a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors today.

DocumentCloud launched in 2009, funded by a two-year Knight News Challenge grant of $719,500. The service has grown to host more than 100,000 source documents totaling over 1.5 million pages. News outlets have used it to annotate the full text of the Arizona immigration law, explain the records behind a foster home scandal in Chicago, and more.

DocumentCloud can be used to highlight and annotate the source documents.

In short, the service takes analog paper documents and turns them into digital data, enabling reporters and users to read, analyze, highlight and share them online. Read more

Page 1 of 1612345678910...Last »