2020 Collaborative Journalism Summit (Day 1)
2:45PM May 14, 2020
common thread in these projects is that organizations reap the benefits of content sharing, while maintaining a high level
of autonomy and editorial
A local ongoing
separate collaboration between. The people on the ground to connect with. They helped sponsor this year's conference and stuck with us when we moved in place so thank you to the fund. Thank you also to democracy fund. So democracy fund has been one of the core supporters of the center and our collaborative journalism work over the last few years, and we're just so grateful to Teresa, Josh Christine and the entire team there. Thank you. Thank you. Of course the American press Institute to who is back with us again sponsoring this year summit, Kevin and his team, Amy Tom, everyone there has always been a big supporter and just an excellent colleague for us in this field so thank you. Thank you to Google News initiative, who's back with us this year. So Google sponsored the first collaborative journalism summit that we ever had. And that sponsorship really helped get us off the ground so I'm just really grateful that they're back again this year. And thank you to the john s night journals and fellowships program at Stanford University, which I know some of you on the summit call today have been a part of JFK has been a fantastic supporter of the summit and several fellows have gone on to do. Excellent work in the field of collaborative journalism. Thank you also to education North Carolina education NC. This is the second year that NC has sponsored our conference. And I'm also thankful to them for sticking with us when we moved in place, instead of in person. And of course, big thank you to our home base at the center of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. Thank you so much because without my third state, our work would not be possible. So I also want to thank and very briefly introduce our staff, some of whom you're going to see over the next day and a half and some of whom will be behind the curtain for most of the time. So thanks first to our associate director who's the man who will probably be behind the curtain the most of Joe Amditis, thanks Joe. Thank you also to our event planner, Denise Shannon. So Denise will be helping to moderate the chat today and tomorrow and so you'll see her popping in and out. So Hi and thanks Denise. Thank you to Ned Burke who has helped wrangle so many of our speakers and who also will be working with Denise to moderate the chat. The thanks to Ned also want to thank our program designer and our support staff for HANA custom bomb. Thank you Mr. Glazier for helping with sponsors. And thank you to Sarah Stonbely and Malia medela Santos Nunez who are helping us with the live notetaking document. So before we get to our first panel, I just want to go over a few housekeeping items and make sure that you know about also some fun side activities that we're planning to host. So first, for every panel. You're going to notice that one of our panelists is silent but very busy. That's because we've hired graphic recorder Derek and det to do live illustration during each discussion. We'll also be exporting and sharing Derek's illustrations after the event so that you can take a closer look. Second, as I mentioned, we're going to be moderating the chat and trying to keep it very active and alive so please participate as I think you already have started. Share your thoughts, your ideas, your questions for each other. And as I mentioned, Denise and Ned will be doing moderating for the chat for us. So third anytime that you have questions for any of the panelists we're going to ask that you use the q&a feature. So the chat we really want to say for conversation between folks in the audience, and for sharing links and ideas, but if you've got a question for a panelist and many of our sessions today and tomorrow we'll have q&a at the end. So we ask that you put questions for panelists in the q&a box, which you should see at the bottom of your screen,
so forth as I mentioned a couple moments ago, we are also running a live note taking document so we'll drop a link to that in the chat as well, and you'll be able to comment on that and we've got two folks who will be doing live note taking for us throughout the summit. So fifth thanks to otter we're also running live transcription and so we hope that some folks will be able to follow along that way, especially if you have troubles listening in. So to access that you can either use the link that will share in the chat, or if you look in your zoom window now you should see a box that says custom live streaming service, you can click that drop down and view the stream to see the live transcription. Also to bring some levity and a little bit of fun to the sheer summit we've made some zoom bingo cards I'm sure you've seen zoom bingo cards. So we modify them to make them a little bit more appropriate to the collaborative journalism summit and collaborative journalism in general. So we'll drop a link to those in the chat, download them use them, I already know from our pre conference sessions this morning that a few folks probably hit Bingo. But note that there are no prizes. It's just for fun only. We also hope that you're going to share what you learn on social media with the hashtag collaborative, Jay. We're going to be live tweeting about the conference from our Twitter handle as well center, media, so you can retweet us there and Please follow along that way I also want to note that we're using Padlet, which will drop a link to this one as well to run an asks, and offers board, and that's where any attendee can leave links to open jobs, and let your skills if you're looking for a job perhaps your availability, or anything else that you want to. And last, tonight at 5pm Eastern we will be hosting an hour long, very relaxed and fun networking session that I invite everyone to partake in. So it will be hosted by lewis Raven Wallace of press on, and we'll feature live animation by visual artists and puppeteer Billy Dee, that'll be a fun way to network and today.
So with that,
let's get into North Carolina, so there was a very specific reason why we intended to host this year's summit in North Carolina. That's because right now it truly is the state of collaboration in many ways. There's just so much innovation and partnership happening across the entire state that we knew that we wanted to put a spotlight on it. So early on, Melanie cell and Lizzie Hazel team were amazing partners and helping us make sure we got connected to everyone we needed to on the ground in North Carolina, and we're so honored that the North Carolina local news lab Fund, which they lead contributed to the conference this year with a sponsorship. So now I would like to hand the stage over to them for some welcoming sponsor remarks.
Thank you so much Stefanie Jo Ned Denise and the whole center team as Stephanie mentioned I'm Lizzy Hazeltine the funding coordinator for the North Carolina local news lab fund. And we are delighted to support the collaborative journalism summit, which seems like it's here in North Carolina, at least in spirit as we kick off with this amazing panel about what's, what's happening here. And I'm also excited that in a moment when there's uncertainty we can celebrate the progress that we have made together. The fund itself is a pooled fund at the North Carolina Community Foundation support from democracy fund the Educational Foundation of America and other national partners. We've been in operation since 2017. And since 2018 we've deployed just shy of a million dollars and have an under $300,000 that we're ready to deploy. Now, with the current round of grants we have available for North Carolina News and Information orgs and others serving us and information needs
out along with that
grant making we've done a significant amount of informal capacity building convening and connecting both with grantees in the broader ecosystem to ensure that North Carolina residents, all of them have the news and information they need to participate in community and civic life and determine their own futures. We do this by supporting a broad variety of organizations from youth media in the mountains and at the beaches, to running summits for independent publishers, supporting hurricane recovery coverage and community engagement and supporting this year's cohort of North Carolina report for America fellows. You'll also hear about an investigative collaboration with the Carolina public press that we were proud to support. Later in the conference. As you can imagine in this critical moment we've seen significant collaboration evolving around the existing inequalities in the state, including the overlapping impacts of hurricanes poverty race and the current pandemic. Even amid those challenges we see real momentum in North Carolina growing collaboration and community service that you'll hear about more in this panel, and we're excited now to share with you that we've further invested in that momentum by establishing the North Carolina local news workshop with a grant to Ilan University. I would like to introduce you to the women who will lead the launch of that workshop, Dr Rochelle Ford who is the Dean of the School of Communications at Ilan University, and Melanie cyl dr Ford if you would tell us more about Ellen's role in this collaboration and our plans for the future. Did.
Hi, thank you so much Lizzie. I also want to thank the contributors to the North Carolina, local news lab fund for partnering with Ilan university to establish the local news workshop. We will be using these funds to help ensure that North Carolinians have access to news and information so that they can participate in democratic processes and community engagement. Beginning in June the workshop will be housed at Ilan University in the School of Communications, which offers programs in journalism media analytics, interactive media Communication Design strategic communication sport management and Cinema and Television Arts. elands main campus is located in central North Carolina near Burlington, but we offer programs and classes in Greensboro, and in the Research Triangle. We envision the workshops program supporting the entire state in face to face and virtual activities and programming. The workshop will create more opportunities for innovation, access to local news throughout the state, including opportunities for internships and staff, faculty community collaborations. The workshop practical programming aims to really equip journalists and other communicators, with skills and tools to serve diverse communities. The workshop will focus on connecting the North Carolina News and Information ecosystem through initiatives like the North Carolina local e newsletter, collaborating with news and information providers to offer innovative programs, coaching, and resources and capacity building through analytics and the North north, North Carolina, local news intern Corps. This partnership with the local news lab fun is a direct response to our state's deepening local news crisis really by establishing this new statewide support base for those working to inform North Carolina residents and communities, and it helps to facilitate the university's ongoing commitment to our state and complement other programs at Ilan like the Ilan poll. The Ilan immigration clinic, the Center for organizational analytics and the North Carolina open government coalition Ilan is excited to welcome as interim director of the workshop, Melanie cell. Melanie was instrumental in bringing the sunshine center for the North Carolina open government coalition to Ilan more than a decade ago. She also has been working as consultant with the local news live fun in the democracy fine. And she has an established distinguished career as a former top editor and a news executive at the news and observer, the Sacramento Bee, and kpcc. Melanie Would you like to share a little bit more about the workshop.
Thank you Dr Ford and thank you Lizzie hello to friends I have met Hello to all the friends I haven't yet met, it's really, it's such a treat to have this opportunity to help launch the NC note local news workshop. And the chance to tell you how we'll get going. As you can tell from a lineup for this panel. And as many of you know there's a lot happening on North Carolina's local news same. I have to say our newsrooms are hitting it out of the park and covering the COVID crisis, and at the same time trying different things in terms of how they cover communities, how they work together, how they do community outreach. There's just amazing commitment I see from our local journalists. We also are lucky to have some great national and regional organizations supporting journalism, the solutions journalism networks, Southern manager, Center for local media at UNC the reporters lab at Duke. So this is a rich landscape of local news. And that's where we want to come in with the local news workshop as a force multiplier, and as a booster to support local news as the critical civic infrastructure, it is for North Carolina. There is a local news crisis and we can't deny that. But we want to focus on all of this Spark, that's happening around the state. We do start with a focus on what North Carolinians need from local news in terms of high quality and accessible news and information. And we want to support the people in organizations that are trying to reinvent local news as a service. So I'll just run through quickly. These three C's capacity building convening and connecting and some examples. The North Carolina local intern Corps is a, an effort to offer some capacity building this Hammond in response to needs we heard about when we did a survey recently of local journalists we heard that many students had had their internships or jobs cancelled taken away professional development opportunities. And we also heard that newsrooms are running wide open trying to cover the COVID crisis and they need extra capacity, especially the summer. So the local news workshop will fund for interns and professional editor to manage them. They'll generate their own story ideas and they'll work with newsrooms to get ideas covered, and they'll also focus on community questions and needs, and everything we produce will be available to any North Carolina news organization community will bring people together for knowledge sharing training workshopping, problem solving brainstorming. An example of this is last summer we sponsored a gathering in southern pines with eight independent publishers for the focus on reader revenue. And we followed up in a partnership with API to provide coaching. We will bring them back together later this year with some others to share the results, and identify some ways to move forward. And then for connecting then say local weekly email newsletter that Ryan, tuck now edits will move under the workshop umbrella and will continue to build on that. So if you want to keep up with this and learn more, NC news works.org and see news works.org is where you can watch the news. The local news workshop pink sheet. Thank you again for the chance to tell you all about it I'm looking forward to hopefully working with many of you in the next year or so.
Thank you. Thank you so much to the North Carolina local news lab fund. And congratulations to you too. I mean that is a fantastic initiative. Fantastic. And I know it's gonna be really successful. So if the panelists for the North Carolina panel can please identify themselves and while you're doing that. We're going to move into talking about this panel so next we're going to take a deep dive into exactly what is happening in North Carolina, some of which was the Rochelle and Melanie just referenced, so don't forget that also that this panel will have an audience q&a at the end so again if you have any questions for any of the panelists drop them in the q&a and we will get to them at that point. So our moderator for today's panel is Charles Thomas. So Charles is the Charlotte program director for the Knight Foundation. There he leads a program of work that's focused on fostering and supporting equitable development in the historic West and district. So Charles if you're there, the floor is yours.
Still waiting for Charles.
Alright. So while we're waiting for Charles. I'll note that I dropped a link in the chat a few moments ago about our extras page. So if you go to that page if you go to collaborative journalism.org slash summit, you'll see a list of several boxes across the top of the screen. One of those boxes says extras and if you click on that, that's how you can get to the things like the Padlet that we talked about the asks and offers board. You can find the bingo cards there the live note taking document and the link to the auto transcription, and we'll continue to drop that link, but that's where everything is. And a few folks also asked about the Padlet password that password is TJ s 2020 and we dropped that in the chat as well. I see that Charles has joined us now. So Charles floor is yours. Take it away, sir.
Charles You go ahead. You're up but
eating. There we go. All right, great. Thank you guys so much. So, again, can you guys you guys can hear me right.
Yep. You're good.
Go for it, you're all set. All right.
So good afternoon everyone. It is my pleasure to host this wonderful panel again my name is Charles Thomas I am the program director for the night for Charlotte for Knight Foundation, and I want to start by just acknowledging that I am not a journalist I do not have a journalism background. My work in Charlotte is focused around the civic engagement side to what we do in a neighborhood called the historic Westin that's going through rapid change. But over the past few years I've been just delighted and fascinated to learn more about the industry and first came across the idea of collaboratives and learning about the Philadelphia collaborative and was just heartened in the last 18 months to hear that the launch of the Charlotte journalism collaborative, which has a focus on affordable housing so I'm just thrilled to hear about all the wonderful work that's happening in North Carolina and I'm excited to take a deep dive into the work that's happening here around collaboration in our community. So, our panelists are going to start off by introducing themselves giving us a little bit of background of their work and their work around collaboration in North Carolina. And then once all of our panelists have introduced themselves, then I'll ask two or three questions and then we'll open it up to the audience to ask your questions about what's been happening in North Carolina. So, let's start off with, Alicia Bell from Free Press
everyone my name is Alicia, and I am based here in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I'm the organizing manager for a project called news voices as an organization called free press the work that we do is to build power with communities to better ensure a future of journalism that works for all of us. So three of the collaboratives that I'm involved in, we're part of the first one is word up, which is a collaborative of community organizers and community members working to share community news and information across eastern North Carolina, that work came out of some information needs mapping and dreams the lining, asking folks what their dreams were for the future of local news. And this was something that community members decided that they wanted to create. And so we worked with them to support that to me information needs and storytelling needs in eastern North Carolina, the second one, it's a collaborative of black Charlotte residents called Building black community. And this is a collaborative of residents who came out of a partnership with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library. And so, in partnership with the public library we hosted a series of workshops. And out of that series of workshops, there were community members who wanted to continue working together to figure out how to build and transform relationships between black journalists and black community members, and so they created an event and continue to organize with each other and work in collaboration with one another, to figure out how to strengthen those relationships. And then the third place to where I have a role is in the Charlotte journalism collaborative, which I'm sure other people will talk about it's a collaborative newsrooms and community partners, and the work that I'm doing and that we're doing through news voices, is to strengthen the collaboration between non newsroom communities and the newsroom partners and community partners who are a part of the collaborative. And so I think there's a question about kind of what is the impact of this work and why collaboration. And so the first reason for doing this work and the reason why we do this is because there's a powerful history and precedent for journalists collaborating with their communities, over here to the left you'll see the story by Marvell cook, which was about the Bronx slave market Margo cook went on later on to partner with Ella Baker, who was one of the founding members of snick, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and to republish a five part series about the broad stock market. And so this is just an example of the history that exists for collaboration between journalists and non journalists and communities. The second reason we do this work is because communities are already creating ways to meet information needs without newsrooms all the time. And so, it's much better and much more fruitful and reaches more people and much more impactful. If we do this work together. So, the left you'll see an example of a community member in Charlotte who created this community led resource map. In response to the coronavirus. And so this kind of work is work that we've seen in other places, Chicago City bureau lost something similar, and that's an example of where newsrooms really can collaborate with communities to make sure that information needs are getting met. We do this because other people tell stories and provide information, and our impact is greater together. Journalists artists community organizers and there can be so many more circles in the spin diagram, our meeting information and storytelling needs. And so if we're doing that work in collaboration with one another. We know that work is going to be more impactful and it's going to reach more people and it's going to reach hearts and minds in different ways. You can't create a future of journalism that works for all people without talking to and working with all kinds of people. And so it's important that we bring in the voices of non journalists who are just as impacted by the future of journalism as journalists are. And then finally, powerful communities sustained powerful infrastructure. And so, we know that we need to be collaborating with non journalists with all kinds of community partners to build up the strength and power of our communities. Because the thing we see with schools, roads, hospital systems, etc. Is that powerful communities sustained powerful institutions and infrastructure. And if we want that for the future of journalism that requires collaboration with our communities.
Go ahead. Thanks. Yeah,
that's it to the next person.
Yeah, um let's hear from David borax from wha.
Thanks Charles. I've been an editor reporter and producer for about 40 years and local news in Asia for National Business publications and publisher on my own local news network here near Charlotte, and most recently in public media and collaboration has always been part of what I have done but more so in recent years. Absolutely. In the time that I was publishing local news network near Charlotte it was an online only daily newspaper for the communities in the suburbs north of Charlotte and I did have collaborations at that time with both the Charlotte Observer and then later wF II where I work now. And those were somewhat collaborations of necessity for me I didn't have a big staff to work with the opportunity to share content with other publications was attractive to me, and I think they saw a benefit in getting some content that they couldn't get anywhere else so that kind of collaboration was kind of a daily basis as news arose was somewhat loosely organized and informal according to the news flow at wfh
collaboration is a part of everything we do it seems and I want to talk about a few of those things, right now. Some of you may be familiar we had a panel this morning talking about the Charlotte journalism collaborative and that's an ongoing collaboration between half dozen news outlets in Charlotte, that's focusing on the affordable housing crisis in our city. And this involves story meetings with reporters, there's travel funding to look at what's happening elsewhere and bring ideas back to the market here in Charlotte. For example, I went to Atlanta to look at. Envy movements there yes in my backyard, those are situations where folks are actively encouraging the development of housing in their areas, as opposed to other movements elsewhere NIMBY movements where people don't want any of this stuff, some of my colleagues in the collaborative Nate Morabito from WC and CTV went to Nashville to look at some interesting things that are happening there. Chris Roussel from keynotes went to Colorado, Lauren Lindstrom from the Charlotte Observer went to Seattle to look at what they're doing. and we've shared our stories with one another, they have aired in some form or been published in some form at all the news outlets, one of our partners is on OTC it's a Spanish language newspaper and they many of our stories are translated back and forth between English and Spanish to allow them to run across the network. And we can talk more about that later and I think my colleague Glen birkins from cue City metro is also with us and can talk about that. I also was involved in January in a project called caught off guard, in which I worked with inside climate news that's an online Pulitzer Prize winning news service that looks at climate, and environmental coverage, and they convened back in September last year, a group of reporters from around the southeast. And we talked about both the broader topic of climate change and we had some seminars on that. And then we also decided to come up with a project to look at how state and local governments have responded to climate change, and that project ran all at once, both on inside climate news and, and all of the news outlets that were participating. And we're looking at other collaborations in the future and I think somewhere in this collaboration journalism summit. Vernon Loeb from inside climate news will be talking as well. And then, as I mentioned, wF he is involved in collaborations all the time and. This can include special programming or weekly news stories that sort of thing. We have weekly segments on the air like our Friday news roundup in which we invite journalists from other news outlets around Charlotte to join in a discussion of the week's news and it's great. I'm involved in those a couple times a month and it's great to get to be working side by side with folks from other news outlets who bring both different perspectives and different subject matter that they cover so that's one way that we do it. We also invite journalists from other news outlets to come in for two ways Q and A's on the air. And those are could be something like a project that ran in the Charlotte Observer where we invite the journalists who work on that project to come in and share what they learned with us. We have weekly segments that are regular, we have one called biz worthy with Tony Mercia who works for a startup that he founded called Charlotte biz ledger. He comes in once a week to talk about business news in the market. We also work with Langston works a sports writer from the Charlotte Observer who comes in for just a good four minute discussion of whatever is happening in the sports world and it does things like this give us access to subjects that we have not focused on in the past and frankly we don't have the staff to focus to work on right now. It gives us kind of a broader reach than a broader subject matter than we would have had otherwise. And then we have a longtime collaboration with other public media around North Carolina, and that takes the form of everything from when we produce stories every day, we share them over a network that so that they can be picked up by the other news outlets. And that means on the air, and then also on the web, they're using the, the interface that we have with the NPR News system we can share stories easily among newsrooms both from NPR and among the news outlets in North Carolina. We've produced our long broadcast specials, for example, during Hurricane Florence in 2018. We did a nightly broadcast with news that was collected from all the stations that were covering it. We did election specials over the last couple of years. And then most recently we did a an hour long special called coronavirus in North Carolina the statewide impact of COVID-19, and we produce that with four or five other stations around the state and it aired statewide. We also have worked with North Carolina public television on different things, including
interview. A couple of years ago that I did with Senator Tom Tillis that aired on one of their business programs. And just, I would say that I think collaborations have become easier and more palatable for journalists as our industry's changed you know there's a shared sense of our broad mission, and that feeds a desire to collaborate where it's appropriate, and we also have some new financial imperatives we can't get to everything, but we don't want our audiences to have it. And so I think that is making collaborations more common these days.
Thanks David. We're gonna move on to Glenn birkins with QC Metro.
Hi everyone, thanks for having me I'm Glenn birkins I published the website cute City metro Comm. We launched in November 2008 to provide news and information for the African American community here in Charlotte, North Carolina. When, When we talk about collaboration. I'm reminded of of a country song that Barbara mandrill wants some. And if you and, and I hope we're on the Vegas rules that I'm a country fan, but she sung a song called I was country when country wasn't cool. And in Charlotte, we were collaborators long before collaboration with cool, frankly, as I said this morning at the at the workshop, because of some visionary and forward thinking leadership of people like Rick Tim's and Jill O'Connor, years ago, Charlotte media began to look for ways to collaborate and to City metro has been a part of that. One of the first collaboration is we had was with my former employer the Charlotte Observer. Later on, there was a collaboration, a larger collaboration funded funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, where local media in Charlotte came together to fill the vacuum caused by staff cuts and those staff cuts were cutting where we're affecting the arts coverage in a, in a particularly damaging wave, we've, we've partnered with organizations to City metro has that we would have once considered competitors. They, they Charlotte post which is a legacy black newspaper, we've, we've partnered with them on on events, and we're currently looking for ways to partner with them on some things that are happening now. One of the things we're doing under a grant from the Knight Foundation, Charles mentioned the historic West in, which is, which is a historically African American black part of town. Under a grant from the Knight Foundation we're trying to create what what I hope will be a grassroots focused and collaborative news organization there to provide the news and information that those residents need, and, and we're in conversation with, with the Charlotte post in terms of how they might become a part of that even though they are not technically part of that part of that grant project. And finally, like David, I am part of the Charlotte journalism collaborative originally created to to bring a solutions. Journalism focus to the housing shortage, that is in Charlotte. Now that COVID-19 is here, and it's having such a such an impact on Mecklenburg and Charlotte. We are going to shift that focus for now at least to focus on COVID-19. We recently got one of the night, one of the, one of the Facebook grants to to enhance our COVID-19 coverage, and we're going to look around for other partners in in Charlotte, who can join us and enhance whatever we are going to do with that. With that money. So thank you again for being here and thank you for joining us.
Thank you, Glen and sienna. With scallywag you can go ahead and introduce yourself.
Hi all, and my name is Sierra Hinton, I am the Executive Director publisher at scallywag. I'm also the director of network building and operations at press one, but today I'm going to focus on my work with scallywag. scallywag is a journalism and storytelling organization that illuminates dissent unsettles dominant narratives pursues justice and liberation and stands in solidarity with marginalized people and communities in the south. We are original publication, based in Durham, North Carolina and we're in our sixth year of publication. And when I think about collaboration, I think about it in sort of sort of its purest form and that's action. The action of working with others to produce or create. And when I think about who scallywag is collaborating with. I think about our collaborations with other publications, especially those with shared values, individual community members and movement and community organizations. At scallywag we partnered with a number of organizations to produce and co publish content. Our managing editor Libby Cooper talks about the varying success of that of these collaborations and Anjali Shaw's building equity and journalism collaborations report that came out recently. And, you know, sometimes those just like co publishing opportunities, sometimes it is a deeper commitment to collaboration together, a newsroom for collaboration that we have really loved and appreciated is our work with southerly magazine. A great example of this is with southerly we went after funding support together to produce a collaborative reporting series called powerlines which covered, climate change, and random environmental justice and infrastructure in the south for that report for that reporting we received support from the Buell Center for the Study of American architecture at Columbia University. And beyond that southerly shares our commitment to the south, and many of our values. So it's not just the work that we're able to produce together. It is the way that we're able to move forward things that we care about, and and so in that way it feels like whenever they win. We win and that's something that was really important to us in the collaborations that we do with other newsrooms. When we talk about collaboration with individual community members, allow may come to mind Lau has been writing with us since 2016 Lau is many things and the following is a no way that some of his identity, but he is currently incarcerated on death row here in North Carolina. I won't go into too much detail because my team, Nate, Dr. Daniel Purefoy will be talking tomorrow about our work with Lau during the 11am lightning talks. But I did want to say, when we talk about collaborations with individuals we are really thinking about collaboration as a way to hand over our platform to members of our community that have been historically and perpetually not boys. Finally, talking about collaboration with movement and community organizations at Skylab collaboration with movement has been making the work of our movement partners more visible. Examples of organizations we partnered with in this way our VIP 100 southerners on new ground and downtown North Carolina. It is important to us to use our platform to build awareness of their work, because there is an overlap with who they are building with and who we want to create news with. In that way, our strategies, align and our goals are the same, to shift power and get our communities what they need to change the conditions of our lives for the better. Thank you all decided to be a part of this conversation with you.
Thank you, Sierra. Now we're going to move to Susan, lay at UNC Chapel hills, Center for Innovation and sustainability and local media.
Hello, y'all. How's everybody doing. Um. Again, my name is Susan lead with the Center for Innovation sustainability and local media is presentation showing.
Yeah, but you got to hit present. So
thank you guys for having me I'm so excited to be here and be a part of the conversation. Again, I'm Susan leads with the Center for Innovation sustainability and local media. I'm going to talk to you about the center's work, but also wanted to talk with you a little bit later about the work of the FBI well society so I want to share that as well. With the center does three areas you see a familiar face there, Glenn three areas of the center is the UNC Knight Foundation table stakes newsroom initiative, the entire center is funded by Knight Foundation, the table stakes initiative is a year long program that helps media organizations identify challenges and opportunities, frankly, to build sustainability, to survive and thrive in the digital age. We have our program outcomes include, we have coaches that guide participants in organizations through program to reach out for some reason this is not you guys sorry to reach the following outcomes, as well as something is happening here.
Just click on the window again. That'll activate the active window click on your slide and you should be good. There you go.
Okay, all right. Sorry about that. All right, we provide based on the principles model after these seven table stakes initiatives I'll talk to you about that later on. We define specific performance activities that will significantly advance digital
and successfully achieve identified address the underlying skills roles and workflow technologies and cultural changes required to achieve to achieve these objectives of their chosen performance challenges. We develop the individual skills and organization capabilities needed to continue to work beyond the project using tools and methodologies, as well as we develop peer networks of news organizations to draw on shared experiences approaches technology in other resources. That's the work of the newsroom initiative. The other project we have and I'm sure many of you know about this is our US News deserts. The US News desert supports established and emerging local news organizations, through applied research and analysis, the similar documents the loss of local news across the United States. While researching sustainable business strategies and innovative technologies for me to organizations through three avenues of research, our night chair in journalism and digital media, economics, Penny Abernathy she leads the news desert project, which has produced three reports, assessing the US local news landscape, as well as two books are strategic digital media entrepreneurial and saving community journalism aimed at helping media organizations survive and thrive in the digital world. You know the new stage of project documents areas of the county at risk of becoming news deserts, while also working with dozens of news organizations to create business strategies. The center defines the news desert as communities either rural or urban where residents have limited access to sort of credible and comprehensive news and information that these democracy. And again, here are the books, we have the expanding news deserts, we have the birthing emergence of news deserts, other reports that have been done. And we have the rise of new media barons and emerging threats of news deserts, and we're slated to have our new report. In June of this year, so we're excited about that. Another very exciting project that we recently just got involved in. So as we know that that is our project of this. So our newest as a research has well defined the dynamic trends and causes of industry challenges project Oasis brings us to the next step. Where are the opportunities we are partnering with Google News initiative Lyons publishing and Doug Smith, who was the architect of the table stakes initiative for something community for something communities hard hit by the challenges with the hopes of making that knowledge shareable and replicable for new generations, or news publishers. Last month we began surveying digital native local news organizations in the United States and Canada to shine a light on business strategies that have some apart, that have set themselves apart from others. And so that's really one of the products we have surveys that we're doing and it's a, we can talk a bit more about that project asis. And then finally I wanted to share, it's not, is what I said was out of the wall society, the ideal world society was founded by the CO Hannah Jones, Ron Nixon and Toby Sanders. These founders, work together to present a new take on a familiar mission. We are news trade organization with the mission of increasing the ranks, and retentions of profiles reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative report investigative reporting. And again, I'll, I'll stop there and then we can continue the conversation from there.
Thanks, Susan. We're now going to move to Nathan Morabito with WC MC
everyone my name is Nate Morabito and with WC UNC Charlotte. I am an investigative reporter there, and I am working mainly with the Charlotte journalism collaborative I have been for. Gosh, a little bit more than last year now and Charlotte's my hometown so this has been both personally and professionally gratifying for me I remember a day when I went out to interview Charles Thomas in the historic was then for somewhat of a solutions based story about housing in that neighborhood, a historically black neighborhood. And I said, This place looks familiar to me. And it turned out, I went to elementary school and that very same neighborhood. When Charlotte had bus kids across town to go to school and it just felt really fulfilling for me to be doing a story that's meaningful in the same neighborhood essentially where I went to school. And so I think that has made a big impact as we went through the the collaborative personally not professionally WCC Charlotte is not the number one TV rated TV station in Charlotte, unfortunately we're going to be there at some point we do have the number one website. But what I found in my two years back in Charlotte my hometown. After being away for about 20 years is that it's incredibly hard to get traction and make an impact in this kind of a news town. Don't get me wrong. Everyone's supportive of each other, you know, other journalists lift each other up. But it's so competitive and there are so much noise. There are so many different news agencies that it's really hard. Some days to make a difference and that's kind of what I've found the most rewarding part about this collaborative is that we've been able to see some of our work, kind of cut through the noise a little bit and I want to see if we can share my screen for a second so I know, I know David, put a link to the SRA journalism collaboratives website this is it right here, you'll find so many good stories on this site here from a lot of the different partners and you can see all the different partners there there quite a few from many different news backgrounds, and I want to talk just for a minute about some of the most recent work that we did. Regarding Nashville shipping container apartments. So our focus is solutions journalism and has been regarding affordable housing in Charlotte and so during a trip to Nashville, we looked at what was going to become the largest shipping container apartment complex in the United States Nashville is a similarly sized city to Charlotte, they have a Major League Soccer stadium that's going in right near this complex and we wanted to see if this is even a possibility but because up until this point, it's kind of been brushed off as, you know, maybe at some point down the road, we'll look at it but but quite honestly before this pandemic hip, people needed places to live and they still do more than ever. So we went there we interviewed the apartment complex that the person that was developing it the architect, and this was funded through the Charlotte journalism collaborative. And what happened is the pandemic started kind of occurring, the mayor finally acknowledged that this may be a solution, and we haven't reported this yet but there are some things moving behind the scenes now with the City Council as well it's kind of made this a topic of conversation. And I don't think that this would be possible if we had just tried doing this herself, you know, yes we have tons of followers and we still have a relatively good television audience, but we have several other partners throughout this that continues to help us reach some new audiences.
And I also
want to talk a little bit about a project we did on housing vouchers, which started out with just, you know, Charlotte doesn't have enough housing vouchers. And, quite a few of the housing vouchers would expire before people could even use them and so using this solutions kind of mindset we looked at other places to see how much time they give their voucher holders and if that is in fact effective and turns out it was, of course, and so eventually. Our Congresswoman brought what we found to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and ultimately the Charlotte Housing Authority, gave families more time to use those vouchers and it's something that some of my colleagues have covered as well I know David borax and VFE has covered this as well. But I think that the key about a collaborative, is to make something impactful you really have to get people talking about it. And at a time and society when people are so easily distracted. The more weight you have behind a project, the better the chances are that someone's going to pay attention. And once they pay attention. You want to want them to keep talking about it so for me that's really been a great opportunity. And I just have to say this collaboration, having been in the business for almost 20 years. You know I have experience not nearly as much as some of my colleagues, but I also work along people who are kind of brand new to the business even in a top 25 TV market. And what this allows us to do, despite the challenges of our newsroom, even with staffing we're able to tap into some of the experts with institutional knowledge in our city journalists that have covered beats in Charlotte for decades. And basically kind of live off them a little bit and kind of pick their brains and you know it's a symbiotic relationship we share what we have, but we also get the benefit of taking and running whatever they discover and I know that ultimately through these conversations we were able to to really take a look nationwide at housing vouchers and it wouldn't have happened without this collaborative, to find out that city of Charlotte gets far fewer vouchers than it should have from the beginning, we looked at every city in the United States and through that we were able to make a real determination of kind of how we got here and it really started with an idea, among a group of seasoned reporters in the library, and it kind of grew into something that I think no one had covered for. So, ultimately, I think it's made a big difference I don't think we're there yet I think we're still evolving but I've been inspired working with this group of journalists here in Charlotte.
Thanks Nate, we're gonna move on to, Angie with Carolina public press.
Everyone, this is
Angie coming from Asheville, North Carolina, I am the Executive Director of Carolina public press. We're a statewide nonprofit news organization and our mission is to provide in depth investigative reporting in the public interest for all of North Carolina. And that's our mission. Our goal is to be the go to investigative news arm for the state. And I love that phrase investigative news arm because it can be flexed for many different people and in many different situations. But we know that that means if we're going to do this that that means collaborations. And so the idea of collaboration is just interwoven in our everyday work that we do at Carolina public press and so there are two things that I wanted to highlight among the, all the work that we do that's collaborative, but one is that we are often asked to collaborate and we often seek out and have ideas for collaborations, but we really try to focus on high level criteria and priorities for organization. So, one of the first things we ask is, is this investigative and almost all the collaborations that we do within the state and nationally are investigative in nature. And as a result, about 50% of all the work that our news team does is devoted to working in collaboration and in in partnerships, so we spent a lot of time thinking about collaborations because we know to be that investigative news arm that collaborations ism is a must is the difference between us being able to lift five pounds by ourselves and 500 pounds together.
So some examples
of the collaborations that we've done and since we launched in 2011. At that time we were really focused in western North Carolina the westernmost counties of the state Appalachia. Within one year of forming and launching we lead a lawsuit to push for public records about evidence handling in a police department, And then fast forward we participated in several other lawsuits. And then in 2018, we decided that Carolina public press should go statewide and that we should take these collaborations statewide we wanted to test whether under what conditions we could lead a statewide investigative reporting collaboration, and we wanted to pilot that effort to see if it would have any kind of impact on the news ecosystem across the state and when, when I say that I mean for all 100 counties in North Carolina. So we took that idea to the North Carolina local news lab fund and they helped us get started and funded what became the seeking conviction collaboration and two great members of our team Stephanie Carson and Frank Taylor will talk in great depth about that tomorrow. But just briefly I want to say that that collaboration, published about a year ago, after taking a look at four and a half years of court data on the prosecution of sexual assault cases in North Carolina we looked at every single da in the state, and that took 10 partners. When we had this idea we wanted. You know, we thought well maybe there would be two or three groups out there that would want to work with us on this but at the end of the day, almost everyone that we talked to said yes and that was amazing and speaks to the incredible people that you're hearing from today, and others who weren't on this call. So we had 10 News partners and TV digital radio, print combinations of that to to work with us and we had incredible impact across the state that Stephanie and Frank can share more about tomorrow. But the second thing that I want to iterate that I think is important about our work is that, because we focus on collaborations we believe in them so strongly we've really focused on and invested in a members of our leadership team to help manage that. Sierra said and amazing things I want to put a point on too and I totally agree with her is that you know they win. We win. And that we have to have some shared values, and I I truly believe that, Carolina public press that in order for us to succeed, we have to set ourselves up to succeed and our partners up to succeed so we have a personal on our team that has devoted collaborations and that's Stephanie Carson and she's our news and community partnerships manager, and she helped lead with our managing editor Frank. The seeking conviction effort that included not only the report reporting but also six community engagement efforts across the state from listening sessions with survivors and advocates to news forums where legislators came and talked about legislation in North Carolina so I'm really pleased to be a part of Carolina public press in this really this ethic of collaboration that we bring. Thank you for having me.
Thank you so much, Angie, we're gonna move on to Rick teams at Queen's University.
Here we go. Thanks Charles. Yes, I am Rick Tim's, and I teach journalism at the James L Knight School of Communication at Queen's University, and prior to that I was the executive editor of the Charlotte Observer and same as Glenn I can remember when collaborations weren't so cool. And a lot of us in Charlotte had been part of collaborations since at least the 1990s, but the reason that queens is interested in this is that it's primarily its primary mission is journalism focused on digital literacy and media literacy. But, it wants to do more for journalists in this region and so it would like to be a resource and I'm now part of the Charlotte journalism collaborative and happy to be working with the other partners. And I would say, when you think about your own collaborative, if you haven't involved the university, they're probably at least three reasons to think about doing that. One of them is the expertise that you might benefit from. If that university has a focus on journalism, or even just on civic life. And there often are people there who are teaching, who are former journalists themselves and they know what you're up against they know what you're trying to do, and they can be supportive in the way that you know I try to be supportive with this journalism collaborative. I tend their meetings as much as possible and when they can use my help, I will brainstorm with them on story ideas, think through things that we could be doing and certainly participate in some of the live events that they are part of the second reason, I think you can really benefit from a university partnership is that, that's a place where there are a lot of students who are interested in becoming journalists and they're looking for ways to practice journalism, either an individual project, or maybe it's through an internship, and that's something that, that they're always opportunities to do that sort of thing. And then, and then the third thing is, is to think about, you know, your university as a resource, or facilities. Because, universities, they have classroom space of course, a lot of them have auditoriums, they have places where you could convene groups where you could have your own meetings, and that's the thing that queens has attempted to do for this journalism journalism collaborative, and I think a lot of universities could also be helpful in that way. Thank you.
Thanks Rick, and to wrap up our introductions we're gonna have Robin, who is with the Raleigh news and observer.
Hey, thanks Charles. My name is Robin Tomlin I am the editor of the news and observer in the Herald Sun in raw Carolina. I'm also, am I muted.
Nope isn't working. Okay,
I was getting a message. I'm also the regional editor for McClatchy se newsroom so I work with 11 newsrooms across four states in the southeast. And I bet I'm here actually representing the, the North Carolina News collaborative, a collaborative effort that we pulled together a little more than a year ago, that represents 22 daily newspapers, it really every corner of state we we have newsrooms in all of the major Metro markets and then a lot of small communities across the state.
come in, I came back I grew up in North Carolina and came back to North Carolina, a little more than two and a half years ago, to help you know work with my hometown paper and try to try to help us find our path to sustainability. And, you know, I have collaboration really in my, in my genes in my bones actually going back to a collaboration that Rick and his team at the Charlotte Observer helped me back in the 90s, and I remember being involved in that. Early in my career and seeing the value of being able to work together really to to elevate journalism and, and to fill in gaps that we all have in our, in our, in our organizations in the news and observer is actually I was counting this up today involved in nine active different collaboratives right now. Some of them national some of them regional some of them. You know, some of them just within our state and and it's an exciting time really for all of us to be able to not just kind of be able to work within the confines of the people within our rooms, but to be able to look for opportunities to connect the dots in ways that makes all of us better, but the North Carolina News collaborative really came together, almost by accident, a number of editors from these different papers were together at a NC Press Association dinner, and we realized that that all of these editors actually the most of the largest newsrooms in the state were all women and we said you know we need to get together and talk about how we can help each other. And once we had agreed to do that mostly is just sort of a wonderful support network, we said you know let's talk about you know who else should be here. And so we hosted a full day meeting in Raleigh about a year ago, and spent the entire day you know with with sticky notes and and brainstorming talking about what are the ways that we really as daily newspapers in this state can can can assist each other can help each other, we came up with three core principles that we thought were important for all of us. The first was really just content sharing, making an open network where we allow any of the other newspapers within the state to pick up and publish digitally and imprint stories that are in any one of our individual papers we have collectively, the, you know, largest number of journalists operating in the state between these 22 papers and they're doing amazing work, and oftentimes the audiences for that work. Are you know somewhat limited. So just by creating an easy and open content sharing network we were able to really amplify both the work that's being done in different parts of around the state but also, you know, to, you know, to, you know, bring more attention to you to all of the efforts that are happening. It also helps to fill in gaps, a lot of our communities. The newsrooms are the only daily newspaper that is currently covering the legislature we have five journalists there, you know, others will come in and out, you know, during session and, but a lot of folks really are interested in what's happening in between the core session times. And so by us allowing all of these newspapers to pick up that work it helps them to fill in gaps in their own coverage. And so we quickly worked on a plan to do that kind of open content sharing and we've been doing that for more than a year. The second real effort was around collaborative projects finding ways that we can use that really the scope and the range of all the places where we're located to do journalism that really matters we've published a few projects one was a seven part series that we did on the urban, rural divide in North Carolina and we were able to do that from a lot of different angles, because we have people located and embedded in those communities who really understood the differences and challenges that that many of our urban and rural communities are facing right now. And then the third goal of the collaborative was really to bring shared resources together whether that's reporting resources that we could that we could come together and get the benefit of or, you know, right now, the one thing that we've been able to do is to get a grant to help support a project manager, who is working with the collaborative on a project funded by the Pulitzer Center, so that that's really been the kind of core effort. You know, involved with the news collaborative but we're looking for new ways to try to grow the impact of the work we do.
Thank you so much Robin and thank you to all of you in your introductions. The question that I have and I'll just ask one or two questions and then we'll go to the audience questions because we have quite a few and definitely want to get those asked. But, Rick. Maybe you Rick, Robin and maybe Glen can just talk about, you know, what is it about, is there something special or about North Carolina that is has fostered these interactions these collaboratives I mean, what about egos What about funding, I mean, how what what are you what what has led us to this point, and then maybe even then begin and we can open up to everybody talk about what have been some of the challenges you've overcome.
Well, I'll start by saying and Melanie cyl was also part of that 1996 collaborative that we undertook. It was six newspapers, I believe, for commercial TV stations, public television and public radio and that was 1996 when we covered the presidential election, and the US Senate race that year, and that had grown out of a collaborative that. As far as I know is the original collaborative in Charlotte, which was between the Charlotte Observer and WC TV which goes back to 1992 and that was also about the coverage of politics. I'd like to say it was just brilliant, but it wasn't, we were, we were nudged into it, frankly, and I want to give credit where credit is due. That first collaborative was the idea of the Poynter Institute, which was interested in doing some experimental work with how to cover politics differently. A very visionary man there by the name of Ed Miller, who approached the Charlotte Observer and suggested that not only do we try some different styles of politics coverage but we also collaborate with a TV station and his point was, was the larger audience that would benefit from that. And I think the reasons that, you know, from that collaborative, we introduced the 1996 collaborative and, and then I think you saw very credible news organizations doing this, and I think that encouraged, other news organizations to give it a try. So, the history of collaboratives in the state, I think is really why you see so much cooperation now. People have grown up, experiencing this seeing the value of it, and encouraging other people to take part in it, but I would encourage Melanie and Robin and others to talk about that.
Yeah, a good friend of mine at Jim Brady likes to say we're in the huddling for warmth phase of journalism, and I love that quote because I think it really does speak to you know really where we are right now we're in a place where we really can't afford to have big egos that that keep us from finding ways to work together and and i think that you know both the the sort of groundbreaking work that was done back in the 90s, and just the relationships that have been built over time I mean I came back to North Carolina having worked in Asheville having worked in Wilmington, having grown up in Chapel Hill having gone to UNC having built relationships that I was able to come in and renew and, you know, everybody as soon as I walked in was so welcoming and said you know let's work together and that's a wonderful, you know, a wonderful attitude to start from and to try to build from
what I've appreciated is, is the welcoming nature. I'm not a Charlotte Observer I'm not a Raleigh news and observer I'm not a wF a. We are a small independent newsroom. But every collaborative that I've taken part in, I felt I felt welcomed. I felt wanted my audience has been appreciated and I like that phrase as well huddling for warmth, I think, I think we realize now that we are in this together, and that and that no matter how large you are no single organization has has, has it all. No one has has has all the resources, no one has all the has all the audience. And if we want to reach the entire audience, then we have to involve larger large newsrooms small, small newsrooms LGBTQ newsrooms so on. Spanish speaking newsrooms, and that is what I think we've done so well in Charlotte, we have been able to put aside the ego to put aside that competitive nature that we all have because let's face it, we are journalists we like to compete. and you know we we love to ruin the other person's mourning by having a story that they didn't have, and they're still, and there's still time for that there's still a place for that. But there is also a place for coming together and doing what it's best for the audiences, especially during a time of limited resources.
Thank you. And so, if we're there, anything like if if you're kind of talking to folks that were trying to start, you know, a collaborative in their area where there's, or there's some key points you would ask them to kind of think about as they are building a collaborative and, you know, so I mean Glenn you've talked about kind of the difference between large and big and then maybe, Alicia, and Sierra does talk about you know involving what I've seen with with free press and Charlotte is, you know, kind of breaking some of the ways that that reporting is working in the community, and actually Sierra when I heard you speaking you're talking about actually involving community in your collaborations but I mean maybe talk about what are some of the things you've, you've got overcome in order to create the success of Glenn I'll start with you and then.
Well, as I said, I think the first thing you have to overcome it's just that competitive instinct that we all have as journalists. And then, and then beyond that, I think we, you have to have some type of Memorandum of Understanding every collaboration that I've been a part of. There has been some type of governing document that spelled out how it would work, how resources would be divided. What, what, what resources would be shared. Those are the things that I that that immediately come to mind in terms of in terms of starting point someone pointed out this morning that we actually didn't start with them with a memorandum of understanding, I think it was Michael Davis from solutions journalism network, who said we actually came in wanting to talk about the content first what do we, you know what, what is it that that that we want it to accomplish as journalists and as newsrooms. And so, there has to be some vision of why you're doing it. After you have that vision of white, why you're doing it, then you have to put something down. That's going to serve as a governing document.
And I would, I would say to that. It really helps when you're coalescing around an issue that everyone can agree on that that's an issue that more coverage that would be a great public service, and that you take that public service journalism approach that everyone can come around and say, this would be good for everybody. It doesn't need to be competitive we actually going to be better off if we're all working together, than any one of us would be working separately, and that tends to help people get over their jitters about you know working with their former competitor.
Yeah, I think one of the biggest things that I think to consider when when starting collaboratives or thinking about collaboratives or something to get over, is this idea that every conversation needs to have a purpose before you're a part of it. And, and I think this happens a lot, especially when we talk about kind of sources or interviews or conversations that you go into those conversations and the conversations and the interviews have a purpose you kind of know what you want to get out of it, you kind of know why you're there already. But when it comes to collaboration and especially collaborating with community members and with non journalist, you have to build those relationships. Before the relationships can be mobilized or organized. And I think that's a thing that we see and know across the south and the South. We especially in communities of color, we don't we don't trust, all the time, especially in all different kinds of communities at various margins. We, we build relationships with each other. We, we sit at dinner tables we sit at porches all of those things that are can sometimes be stereotypes of the South, but I like to hold with pride and power, because those are the ways that we begin to mobilize and work together. And I really, you know, Charles to ask about, if there's something about North Carolina that is different and I really wanted to, to lift up that quote by web to boys the way he said, as the South goes so goes the nation. And I really think think if you consider some of these relational values and values around how we build with each other. That makes collaboration so much stronger.
Yeah, I would just echo what Alicia has said and also add that collaboration is not a quick fix, I think that a lot of times, especially in these very trying times when you know we're all worried about our revenue streams and how we're going to be able to continue to produce content. It is innate to look for things that we can do quickly to bring in revenue or to bring in more of an audience to be looking at our work. Um, but I would say that collaboration, especially when you're talking about being in collaboration with community is not that, um, you know, as a black queer woman from North Carolina. It's not even a quick fix for me I cannot assume that just because folks share mind and an ease that we're in community together, community really is rooted in showing up over and over and over again. And I think a really good example of this for us, has been the work that we've done with the fight for 15. We have published about the organizing that they're doing on the ground. We have handed over our Instagram handle to them, so that they could amplify their work. And anytime that they are getting ready for an action or they're holding space they reach out to us to cover that because we've built that trust and they know that they can come to us and that we are. Yeah, just going to do justice to the work that they're doing. And so, that's just another thing that I would say not so much to overcome. But to definitely be aware of is this, it's just that collaboration is not a quick solution to your work.
Great. Um, I wanna.
So I want to
actually, can I
do a couple of quick ads and because I really want to get to the questions before we get we run out of time and I'm going to turn that over to Stephanie.
Thanks Charles. Thank you, everybody. Yeah, I definitely I want to get to a few other folks in the panel, who, who want to speak in just a moment, we do have a bunch of audience questions. Additionally, I just want to do a quick time check so right now it is 220. Eastern Standard Time. So our panel today was going to wrap up at 230 but this is such a great conversation that will keep going a little longer, so we'll try to wrap up by 242 45, give you a break before the 3pm session, just for time planning purposes. I want everyone to know that. So there are a bunch of questions in the q&a and I've been reading through them and I'm going to try to get through as many as we can. So the first one we'll start with there are several questions for the group around funding, and I'm going to start with Joan kaisers question she always asked fan asks fantastic questions, because I think it's a good overview, that will pull in some of the other funding questions that we have. So Jo Ellen asks, so far most funding for news collaboratives seem to come directly or indirectly from philanthropy, but areas underserved by news, often lack strong community philanthropy in the areas are underserved in all sorts of ways. So her question, she targeted first at Susan Lee's, especially for Susan but I think also others on this panel can answer it. Have you looked into funding models for collaboratives that are not based on philanthropy. So I don't know who would like to start with that one Susan Do you want to take that to start and then we'll go from there.
Well, one of the things I was going to expand upon is just this conversation we were having before which was so rich and meaningful. You know, opportunity as far as funding as far as collaboration is together in terms of where can organizations around the table, where can you find areas where you can partner together to seek the greater good. You know, one of the things I wanted to kind of bring to the table on that one was, you know, just, I want an Angie to actually chime in on this one because Angie, did some phenomenal work in terms of finding other funding opportunities for Carolina public press, one of which was around her work with the sexual assault initiative that she did that was just extraordinary. And there and from there she looked for opportunities if you will to establish endowments. And so I wanted Angie Can you expand in terms of just some of the work that you've done with Carolina public public press which has been really pretty extraordinary and so she's, she's done has been in my opinion,
leading the charge in that effort so Angie Can you share a little bit about the work you've done with Carol on public press around that effort.
Thanks, Susan. I'm speaking to the revenue question I think it's a good one and it's probably a longer term strategy for our organization anyway I mean certainly when we were piloting the seeking conviction project. It's at the beginning we didn't even know it's going to be seeking admission. But this is the pilot of investigative reporting statewide and again you know for all 100 counties to your point about the underserved communities that may be in these deserts you know our purpose is to serve all 100 counties and not forget some of the rural communities where I'm from, in North Carolina. But in terms of kind of revenue and revenue sharing. I think that's a longer term strategy for us as an organization and it's certainly something that we think about and we are looking at models and in the United States of collaborative investigative journalism efforts that result in revenue shares for all partners versus kind of an overseeing organization, or even. Yeah, so there's not like a pass through which which tends to be in my opinion what what you see most often, but certainly Stephanie and other people are more more know more about that than than me. But I can say that in terms of our organization whenever we talk about with funders, with individuals who support Carolina public press we talk about collaboration and the work that we do. You know, whether it's you know emergency news team which is what we're working on right now and partnering with Spanish language media or reaching out to rural newsrooms and saying, you know, hey, how can we help you You let us be your freelancer. And can we work in collaboration. And I think that that's that's what we try to do.
Right, thank you. So there's also a couple questions here for Rick specifically about students, how do you think that student journalists can best be brought into collaboration so I'm combining two people's questions there but they were somewhat related.
Well, I I think students are always interested if they're if they're interested in the work of journalism they're thinking about how can I get into a real newsroom How can I be part of a real news process beyond say my campus newspaper. So, what you can look for is you can look for either an individual project or a, an internship opportunity at Queen's University all of our students are required to take to have an internship, and so they are always on the hunt for a good internship and some of the times they get internships with money and other times it's just for academic credit, but they are interested, and, you know, you may have an area university that has that situation and you could benefit from that.
Also in our chat, Christy back pointed out, don't forget about including independent college media in collaborations as a full time partner, which is something that we do see and, you know, a lot of collaborations around the country, in addition to just individual student journalists, like you, like we talked about, um, another question from Charlotte West is a question. I'm always very interested into so I love this question. How can we better involve freelancers in all the different collaborative efforts that you've got going on, or independent journalists, especially as. Unfortunately we have more journalists who are entering the realm of being freelancers or being independent because they're being let go. So how can we better involve them in collaborations. And whoever would like to take that and yourself and I can speak to the
Hedrick Charlotte journalism collaborative, the Charlotte journalism collaborative is built in a way in which the funding that it gets from the Knight Foundation and it does get some funding from the Knight Foundation. It uses that money to hire freelancers. And so I got this question earlier from a freelancer. And the answer would be to get to know the partner organizations in the collaborative, and it could well be that they are in a position to hire you on a freelance basis on a particular story or particular project that they're working on. We, the people in the collaborative in Charlotte, have employed quite a few freelancers and in fact, a freelancer wrote one of the most substantial pieces of journalism, I think, for this collaborative so far from Brooklyn to Ballantine and Amanda backwards favor some Valentine to Brooklyn, but the point is it was the sort of the long history of affordable housing the problems with affordable housing in Charlotte, and Glen could speak to that but that was a very successful adventure there
actually Ricky said at all.
Does anyone else want to address discussing freelancers or independent journalists with your collaboration.
Let me just jump in and say that with the Charlotte collaborative one of the critical points was when we began having story meetings story planning meetings with the journalists at the ground level, not the managers and generated a lot of ideas, most of which have been done and we had several freelancers involved in that and they have continued to report stories. The trick there is figuring out how to get that paid for or which news outlet to attach it to for financial purposes, there was some money in the collaborative to pay for some of that. But, you know, it may make sense to start with one news outlet and say, you know, wha we'll take this one on and we'll share it with everybody.
And I'll say to because because I was involved with with some of those meetings that project manager is really critical and helping keep all this organized and almost like a cheerleader or gatekeeper, even before COVID-19 I was drowning daily with my work as it was and I needed someone to say, Hey, don't forget about this project, or what about this idea, or if maybe if you're covered up too much, why don't we have this person do it. I just think that's so important to keep us kind of engaged in the project and remind us that the end goal is to be turning content. So I would just say that's a real actionable thing to take away.
Yeah, I would add to this although I'm not part of the North Carolina panel. But I would add something that I really want to see happen I think like in different communities across the country, there are strong freelance networks, and svj runs a national freelance group shoe leather is a new network of freelancers and I really hope that we see more of those networks being built. We've been trying to build one in New Jersey, so that collaboration, like the ones that you are involved in can like really easily hook into a group of freelancers in your area. So a question comes from Holly Jen V and after this question I want to get back to a couple revenue questions too. So she asked, even though collaborations may not be a quick solution as I think Sara really eloquently pointed out, do you think collaborative collaborative collaborative initiatives, increase with the nature of a crisis like the pandemic that we're in right now.
Stephanie I can jump in on that one apps, I absolutely think so. Both because there are Thunder so I think who recognized have recognized the value of collaboration in the work we're doing I know several different organizations have put out calls immediately to try to support collaborative work and to make sure that there is some, some effort behind that the, the Pulitzer Center, put out an immediate call for collaborative efforts and grants to do around that. But I want to call out beyond sort of the established networks in North Carolina there's been kind of an interesting mixed media collaborative that I think now has a name. It's seven or eight different organizations Carolina public press is one of them that there are I think for TV stations to newspapers and a couple of nonprofits who are all part of this, this collaborative, that has been producing stories every single week collaboratively and sometimes multiple times a week investigative work really focused on getting together and trying to answer the core questions that we've all been struggling to get our Department of Health and Human Services to answer. They've done a great and one of the challenges with the coronavirus thing is that we can't get face time with the public officials who need to be accountable to the actions you know that they're that they're taking, we get, you know, phone call press conferences where you can't ask follow ups and where people are not responding to public records requests, and the power of coming together as a mixed media organization, and all asking for this and holding them accountable when they're not giving answers to the people has actually been incredibly empowering I think for all of the different entities involved I'm sure Angie can speak to that as well. But it's also given us a platform together to to really, you know, in some ways, advocate for our readers, you know in a new way.
Does anyone else want to answer them.
I just want to echo just quickly what Robin was saying I mean that that collaboration happened overnight. And it was amazing. And it's getting from the organic stage to being much more organized and probably a structure is going to be built around that, hopefully somewhat somewhat soon, but yeah to Robin's point I mean, that collaboration we were on the brink of, you know, launching a lawsuit department Health and Human Services over nursing home data. These six organizations in North Carolina that had been working together for, you know, right from the beginning of COVID, really. And then we're joined by I guess, Robin like 15 other groups that we're going to sign on to that and that type of collaboration. That is that is has the heft of kind of legal legal action when when and if we need to take it really has an impact.
One of the wonderful things about that collaboration I'll mention is that one of the media attorneys in the state has basically joined as a pro bono member of the collaborative and it's in the Slack channel is, you know, accurate, and his, his help and advice in trying to really pressure to get the records that we really believe that the citizens deserve and and I think it's because these people are together, not, not, you know, rather than working with it any individual group on their own.
Absolutely those Coalition's can make a huge difference. So I lied because I said we're going to go to a revenue question x, there's actually another couple other questions I want to get to before we go back to money and wrap up. So Andrew, David Gall asked a question that I liked for a few reasons. And I think it's also a good point to bring Alicia back end, because I think she could be an excellent person to start answering this question. So Andrew says it seems like collaboration with communities have different lessons needs and approaches and collaboration between newsrooms. Is it worth creating that distinction, and I'll throw it to whoever would like to answer if Felicia is there and one other thing I'll note is that this my center center for cooperative media we are going to publish a guide specifically on that topic. Next month it's being written by Heather Bryant so I know she's watching and listening. So Alicia Do you want to take that one, the start.
I think that there are, I think it can seem like there are different needs between community collaboration and newsroom collaboration. And I think if we take the values, and the lessons and the needs that we have for community collaboration into the way that we do newsroom collaboration that it will make all of those collaborations more sustainable. And I think about when we think about conflict or groups kind of disintegrating or falling apart, usually that has to do with the quality of the relationships that existed in the first place. And that's true when we talk about community collaboration, but it's also true when we talk about newsroom collaboration, and I think it comes down to some of the core tenants of how we build relationships with each other. Like some people we build with because we do work together. But it really deepens that work, when we're also able to get coffee together, or have dinner together, or catch up with each other and take a walk around the park. It's not necessary all the time to have a working relationship, but it certainly always does deepen those relationships. And so I think if we can figure out how to how to learn from community collaborations that that'll only enhance the sustainability of the newsroom collaboration.
Can I add something to that,
go ahead. The one thing that I want to make sure that we also thinking about things, the lands up in collaboration is making sure that. Who do you have at the table when you're making those decisions around collaboration, to make sure that you're pulling in underrepresented communities as well. I mean I think that's one of the things that I have seen some of the collaboration collaborative efforts. Is that folks are making sure that they're considering you know who was at the table to make sure that they're tapping into, you know all areas to make sure that under represented communities also including those collaborations. And I know folks are asking about funders and funders are looking for that kind of intentional effort to make sure that you are looking through that lens, if you will, when you're building out collaborative efforts, I just wanted to make sure I share that as well as I've been listening to the conversation. Okay.
Thanks. Thanks, that's a great point.
So I'm going to combine a couple of questions here that relate to revenue, because there's somewhat related. So, the overall question is, how is money split up. Typically when it comes into collaborations that you are part of when there is external funding, who does it go to. And so this combines a couple of questions one. One of our attendees asked how do you handle differences in salaries when you design a collaboration who gets paid what because it can be frustrating if you're unemployed or freelancing to maybe get paid the same amount that someone who is at a different organization is getting paid someone else in the chat also pointed out that collaborate, collaborating sometimes is difficult, especially for small news organizations that don't have the resources that a larger news organization might. And how do you help them, so I don't know who wants to tackle that question about when there is money. How would you allocate it Where does it go.
I think that goes to the goes back to what I talked about earlier in terms of having a memorandum of understanding or some type of governing document in the Charlotte journalism collaborative, we don't we don't disperse funds as such, to the, to the organizations. We budget money that each organization can then use to do reporting. And so whether you are the Charlotte Observer or cue City metro, you get the same amount of money to do reporting in terms of freelance. How much freelancers are paid each organization determines that the Charlotte Observer with its resources from this collaboration may pay its freelancers one amount. Q City metro may pay its freelancers a different amount, we don't we don't try to micromanage to that degree. I remember one one of the earlier collaborations that I was a part of I mentioned it earlier covering the arts, and it quickly became apparent that that splitting the money, 50 down the middle or giving in giving an equal amount to each partner was not the way to go in that particular incident instance in that particular instance, the Charlotte Observer had many more people they were able to generate much more content than I could get we had the same amount of money. So the Charlotte Observer ran out of resources, ran out of money before I did. And so rather than just sit on my money I said hey look, why don't you guys take some of this money, generate content. I get to I get to publish it anyway. So it's not like I'm giving something away that you know that that I'm not going to get back because the in, in turning that money back over to the larger organizations that were able to do more with it. I still was able to accomplish my ultimate goal, which was to publish more content.
Rick you want Rick Do you have any thoughts on that.
I just will say that we were happy to take the money that you couldn't use and and we were able to use it and you're right i mean we were able to cover the arts, and then distribute that content to all the partners, and so it worked well i i think that it's really important that all the partners come to the collaboration with a sense of respect for one another sense that, you know, in terms of making decisions to how you create that memorandum of understanding that everybody has an equal, you know say in it and one of the great things about this collaborative is I, I see that everybody listens to everyone else and takes their, their situations into account. So, that's really important I think for it to work well. Right.
Anyone else there. So I think that we're going to wrap up we have a few other questions in the chat. And if any of our panelists are able to get in there and answer some of these questions live I think that would be fantastic. Otherwise we are going to move forward. I am first of all I want to say thank you thank you thank you thank you to everyone on the panel today from North Carolina. This was a fantastic conversation. I think you absolutely showed us why you are the state of collaboration as I like to say. So next up at 3pm. Eastern time which is in about 15 minutes little over 15 minutes, our last conversation of today will focus on collaborations around the new coronavirus and COVID-19 the disease that it causes. If the panelists who are here now for that panel can read, please raise your hand and identify yourselves. So what we're going to do in the meantime is we're going to go to a break slide with some music so you're welcome to hang out in the webinar room if you'd like, you can leave and come back. Whatever is most comfortable to you, go get some coffee get something to eat. And we'll be playing some music. One thing I want to note about the music that you'll hear too. So we created a playlist, and we might be adding to it tomorrow. Using some presentation from previous collaborative journalism summits, with some royalty free music to create music for the summit so that's what you're here during the break. So with that, let's take a break and we'll see you all back here at 3pm. Eastern time.
And want to continue after the final
is ongoing and integrated
Organizations are sharing resources model is
not yet very common, but we do see it as a really innovative way
of addressing some of the challenges of our
local media landscape
and promotions decisions are made completely independently. But they share an ad network, a proprietary platform,
or accounting services are sometimes open. Might be a few folks welcome you are at the 2020 collaborative journalism summit. Yay. So this is our second plenary session of the summit and I'm Stefanie Murray, the director of the Center for cooperative media at Montclair State University, and I'm really glad that you're here. So we have already had some wonderful and really inspiring conversations already today. Next we're going to turn our attention to the pandemic that we're in, in collaborative efforts to cover the new coronavirus and COVID-19 the disease that it causes. So a few housekeeping notes. If you are just joining us, or if you were doing some else and weren't paying attention last session. So we are moderating kidding keeping the chat active We hope that you will do the same. Please use it to talk to each other and drop notes, ideas, thoughts, we really want to keep the chat active and make it useful for you during this session. But note that if you have any questions for the panelists, please use the q&a box for those. We'll get to as many as we can. At the end of the conversation with the panelists. And if there's any that any of our panelists can answer live as we're going we'll, we'll do that too so that's what you'll use to drop your questions to the panelists. Note also that you'll see from time to time our graphic illustrator Derek dead, who is doing live graphic illustrations of every session at the collaborative journalism summit, and afterward, we will be sharing all of his slides with with everyone. And he did fantastic work during our first session. If you didn't see his illustration, it looked awesome. Another thing to note too. And we'll drop this in the chat as well as there's been a lot of activity on our Padlet today. That's where we're hosting an asks and offers board. So we'll drop that link in the chat and make sure that you go there and check it out. If you've got a job you're hiring for or if you've got some skills you want to share or anything else. We asked you to give it there instead of the chat. So with that, let's get to it. So our coronavirus discussion today will include some brief presentations representing four really unique ways that news organizations are working together around the globe to improve service to their communities and covering the coronavirus and the pandemic that we're in. After those presentations our host will take some questions. And then we'll go to audience q&a. So, I think all of our speakers are here except one. So, Christina may be joining us in just a moment. But we're going to go ahead and get started now and hope that she gets into the panel so I'd like to introduce our host, Taylor Mulcahy so Taylor is, I just met i j net editor for the International Center for journalists and she's going to introduce our panelists. Taylor manages a content social media and audience engagement of the international journalists network which is a project of ice fJ and ice fJ if you don't, if you don't know there have been fantastic partners to the center and they do amazing work around the world. They've been involved in quite a few different collaborations. So Taylor with that. Take it away, the floor is yours.
There we go. All right, well thank you, Stephanie and yeah so like Stephanie mentioned, I am the editor for ID net. You know we publish in eight or seven to eight languages. And we really do provide opportunities and resources for journalists around the world. And what we've noticed in doing this work over the last few years that journalists everywhere are looking for new ways to tell stories. And we know that collaborative projects are one way to make that happen especially to make things happen that you probably otherwise wouldn't have been able to do. And I think especially now in the midst of the pandemic that these collaborations have become even more critical so I'm excited to be here talking to everyone about those. We've been publishing a number of resources on our website for journalists, working, you know, during this pandemic during these unprecedented circumstances, and together with our parent organization ICF j we also launched the global health crisis reporting forum to connect journalists with sources, and also just encourage them to do this exact work to be collaborate across newsrooms and you know across borders as well. So we're supporting and encouraging the types of projects that all of these panelists exemplify so I'm excited to you know jump in and hear about whatever I'm working on so on today's panel we have Tina Griego managing editor of the Denver based nonprofit newsroom the Colorado independent. Sarah Alvarez, founder and editor of outlier media in Detroit, Christina targ Wailea Associate Director of pointers international fact checking network and Kathy Best Director of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland. So, like we said they'll each take a turn introducing their work and then we'll jump into questions, both for me. And then we'll make time for our questions from the audience as well. So, Tina I think we can start with you.
Okay, I believe I am now unmuted.
Hello everyone. I'm glad to be here. I was actually thinking before this started I hope I'm not first, but I am so I'm here to I am the managing editor of the Colorado independent, and I'm here to talk to you about Cova diaries Colorado is an enormous collaborative project that brought together. More than 20 newsrooms to tell the story of one day in the life of Colorado and Colorado and stories during the pandemic. To set the stage for this. Our story in Colorado is not dissimilar to stories elsewhere across the country in which the newsrooms have been decimated right we've lost almost one in five newsrooms since 2004, the ranks of reporting staff have have shrunk. I mean it's it, I say shrunk it's been a bloodbath. But let back. And so as resources diminish staffing diminishes, there has been increasing conversation around. How do we work together, how, how do we start to kind of martial art combined energy where it's possible, and collaboration had begun. Already in kind of nascent form in this state, you know, on and off, but particularly in the last year there were some more organic smaller efforts to share work. There was a larger a larger effort. A couple of them actually led by larger newsrooms in which multiple newsrooms were involved but not at the scale we're talking about and, and there was, there was newsrooms about 10 newsrooms involved in an emerging nonprofit called the Colorado news collaborative which we're calling co lab co lab is both a physical place, a kind of center of gravity, where multiple newsrooms will come together this fall. It's also a mission in which we're looking for cross pollenization we're looking for opportunities to work together. So, this is all happening in the background and then of course the pandemic hits, and it is a precipitating event. It is an event that is the largest story in our lifetimes and I've been doing this for a really long time so we're trying to figure out what's the best way to do this. What was really remarkable about this is this conversation that started among 10 newsrooms is bubbling bubbling bubbling, we have a Slack channel through colab we meet on zoom. And, you know, it's the Brady Bunch times 10 images and we're starting to talk about what is a story that we can all work on together, where we each take our individual strengths, the needs of our individual audiences. And we tell a compelling story that allows Coloradans to do something that's really impossible to do in the kind of flood of information that came around coronavirus and that is get a panoramic view, how can we offer a panoramic view, how can we allow people to take a glimpse into the lives of others, and see how it all connects, see what the ripple effects have been. And out of that came the idea for focusing on a single day, April 16, and sending out reporters under the constraints of reporting now, and finding people whose lives. We could document, over the course of a day and then weave into a master narrative.
The amazing thing is that we pulled it off. I mean, they're 20 newsrooms was there was 60 stories.
And not just stories, there was a, a, we asked everyone who participated to create a video diary, through the day, and people really responded to that the people we are interviewing so you know we had, we had an ICU doc his patients were all on ventilators, and he's recording for the day what's happening with him what's happening what he's seeing around him. We have parents who were battling COVID and they just had baby twins. And, and they're talking about not being able to see their babies right away we had a pastor who's who was really struggling with how can he minister when he can't physically be in the presence of his flock and in fact was still holding services, I'll be at 10 at a time. And this range of
lives from across the state, and
we pull this together in less than a month, where all of the newsrooms are doing their thing they're all focusing on their people there's a master sheet, in which we've kind of brainstorm what are the key people we want to hit the key kind of the, you know, whether it's a hospital, whether it's a school you know a pastor, someone in the undocumented community. All of these and then that way we could all look together as newsrooms, and we could all say okay well we've got duplication here we've got a hole here who could take this hole let's, we'll take that hole and,
and then got to work, and filed. 60 different pieces
with. Well, there's a couple things. We filed 60 different pieces. A key part of this was the AP has a platform called story share which is it still kind of piloting it wonderful tool. It allowed us all to put all of our work, including the video diaries and photographs and graphics into that single platform, so that we could begin to pull from it to build our own packages. We also had a Google spreadsheet. Okay, I'm going to try and show you a slide of kind of the map one of the master lists that came out of that there were multiple master lists as we work through this, and I may be able to do this I make no promises
will get you there. Don't worry.
All right. Ah.
Can you see it.
Not yet, but we'll let you know
when you can. Okay, okay, share. Oh,
there you go. You're good. Okay, awesome. Okay, so this is actually one piece of because we couldn't do all the newsrooms, I couldn't fit them all into the slider. But if you look at this you can see, there's this range of players so we had some of the powerhouses of the state journalism right we had the Denver Post we had Colorado Public Radio. We had Channel Nine news, those are the big players on the landscape. And then we also had tiny outlets Colorado independent is very small, we had the Denver, urban urban spectrum. We had the Arkansas arc Valley voice, which has five people, and produced, I don't know, I want to say like 10 different stories they follow 10 different people. All of this was kind of uploaded over time with the links to the story. And if you could go further you would see the assets, whether it be video diaries, or the photographs. And what was cool about this is that all of the stuff gets uploaded. And then each newsroom could use it as a toolbox, they could use what they wanted to use. Everyone, I believe everyone ran the master story which that was done by Eric Gorski at choc speed it was edited by Laura Frank who was air traffic control. And, and the editor of this project, and there was a master story that was kind of different sizes that everyone could use, obviously when you're writing about 60 different people even at our word limit which was a painful 350 words. You know, you can't get everyone in there, but, but people could take their own stories and write them longer for their sites, they could go through and they could pluck out audio diaries choc beat for example went through this whole list, and they just they just put together a package that was all around education. We could create our own landing pages colab also created a landing page, and a beautiful landing page that opened up this. This image was for one of the stories, and the, and it would kind of rotate below this image on the landing page was a map, an interactive map and get this open media foundation did this map this merch worker named schrute he did it in a week where that spreadsheet, you saw fit the map and you could scroll around to the different counties in Colorado click on it and then a drop down similar to what you see, would appear, and then you could read the story and you could also listen to the videos as well. I do want to break here actually just to give you, we created for our marketing purposes. I feel like I'm talking really fast I'm sorry, but we created for marketing purposes, just a collage of a co lab did a Cohen Colorado media project, a collage of videos in which all of us were asked to ask our participants in three questions are four questions, and this question was about the hardest day What's the hardest What's the hardest thing about this and so if I could get some help with the video that would be awesome so it's not very long it's a minute and a half, but you can get a sense of what those, audio, video diaries added to this project,
happy to help you with it if you want to drop the link in the chat or if you want to just share it and make sure you click the Share computer sound you'll be good.
Oh Holy Moly I'm not prepared for that actually I
have no problem.
I'd sent it. I sent the link earlier. Okay. So just imagine awesome video diaries, they're there, people were very
surprised us actually I think people were very into just recording through the day. It's 820. I had a hard time sleeping. I keep thinking about, and there's a kind of intimacy that is created, and a transparency that's created a bond with readers who can see this. Oh look, here's the link. I don't think I can share it I'll try but
wasn't coming up. There we go.
April 16 to Thursday. And on days like this. These are the harder days, because even though it's bright out. It is cold, snowy rainy and are we going outside today.
And so we spend the day
in the house in our pajamas.
My biggest challenge was probably how, how do I help my staff.
And, you know, we're essential,
so we're coming to work.
When many of the people around them or not,
I think the hardest part for me is hugging, I'm a hugger. I love my customers,
no question about it for me I think it's just maintaining the appropriate physical distance that needs to be done during this time. That's so difficult because we're a people business I've been pastoring for 30 years and it's about people,
the hardest parts for me is
just to have been able to go to Costa Rica where I'm from, and see my family.
I mean the hardest thing is really just the, the pain and suffering of the people of Colorado the people of America the people of the world.
It's the day after my dad's funeral. The fact that, um, I could not hug my brother I cannot hug my mom I cannot hug my siblings or my friends that I haven't seen for a long time.
Right now, these are some of the hardest days I've had.
And I feel that I can't go home, and I can't hold my daughter, without possibly putting her at risk.
Great, so that gives you a sense of the power of the video diary, and the ways in different outlets again use them in different ways people could from across the state could just click in and it's a chance to in a story that can be overwhelming it presented the whole project the way the collaboration came together the way that it married strengths and weaknesses, but we better see starts as weaknesses, we worked with each other's strengths, we respected each other's audiences. The way and it just, it helps to bring a kind of immediacy and intimacy and connection to a story that's overwhelming. So, I can talk more about it but I think my Time's up.
Yeah, thank you so much that really gave like such a great overview I'm glad we got the video to work because it was definitely thank you definitely worth it to see. So yeah, so now I think we'll go to Christina, I think, you won't be able to say the whole time but hopefully you can at least give us a little bit of a sense of what your project looks like so Christina, we can pass it over to you.
Hello everyone, I hope you can hear me, I hope you can see me. I'm sorry I'm having a hard day I just had a small surgery so I'll do my best. Well, I'm the associate associate director at the International fact checking network. And I am in St. Petersburg, Florida, and I'm now coordinating the biggest alliance that fact checkers have ever done. We are now working together as a group of 88 organizations around the world, meaning in 74 countries. And since January, 24. When we first heard that this weird virus was probably causing deaths, and we had at least. By that time, 17 people had already died by that time. We knew already that the hoax is about it was already spreading in Asia, and we decided that from the IFC and it was time to coordinate, a group of fact checkers to see if we could do something together from different countries. And so, I made a call, I talked to fact checkers through our Google group list of serve. I talked to people on our slack. And that same day. Again, back in January 24, we realized that we had, we had at least 30 countries already hearing seeing in reading bad content about a virus that we didn't know a lot about. So it's been almost what five months since we've been working together. And this group of people now has a name. It's the coronavirus FX Alliance. It is as I said, the largest effort ever done by defect tracking community worldwide. And we managed to create this amazing database of 5000 in more than 500 hoaxes that has been debunked around this thing that we're calling a monster of this information. Just to give you a comparison, the second largest collaborative projects among fact checkers how happened in happened in in Argentina in 2019. And with 150 media outlets, and it lasts for 10 months. And they managed to debunk about 200 pieces of misinformation. So, 200 pieces in 10 months, against less than five months, and more than 5000 pieces of misinformation. In again 74 countries, and in 43, different languages. And we have learned so much. Working together. First is that when you work together, you really notice that you are. You are all fighting against this one big thing there is no competition. Competition does not make sense at all in the world that we live in. We know journalism is facing a hard time we know everything about ads. We know layoffs and stuff. And when we work together, we are stronger. We have faster. We are more accurate. And it doesn't make sense to have newspaper, a going against this paper be. It's much better to work together and collaborate. So from this big big database, that is growing every day. And we are adding about 100 150 new debunked hoaxes to this database. We have created some very beautiful products. The first one is a landing page where you can see graphs. And you can see beautiful graphs and I probably can share my screen. If I have time for that in just a second. I think I can do that. Yes, I did. I share well I hope so. Great. Okay, cool. So here is the landing page. It's on point oh I'm sorry, I had it but somehow I deleted it.
There you go. You're going to see the landing page and I'm going to make it smaller.
And this goes up.
I want to, I would love to show you this because it's this is pretty. This is pretty. This is a world map of the fact checking. And let's say you want to see this is everything that has been done, we have to have done. And you have filters. So let's see. You want to know the 5g conspiracy, where did, where in the planet, it happened, or let's see you want to see Clorox where it appeared. Right. And that's quite interesting you have all the topics you can choose by categories, or by factcheck or let's say you are very interested as I said you're in the United States, you can always choose for PolitiFact or media wise, and if we scroll down, I would love to show you this. These are the categories. Also you can search, and let's say garlic, because a lot of people think garlic can cure right and then you see how many fact checks were done in that, that certain topic. And, and you can see the different categories and you can see which ones are getting bigger, and which ones are getting smaller. During the time. And you can also see this great graphic that shows how misinformation has grown during the time. And I hope it keeps going down, because we're all so tired. And, and the latest thing I wanted to show you is that by collaborating, we were able to do. Let's move this here, we were able to do, to just lounge, a, a WhatsApp bot, I know the United States is not a heavy user of WhatsApp, but it was, it was a it's a number that people can oh god it's very slow I'm sorry for that.
Oh, maybe I'm not gonna be able to show that
we got time, go ahead. You're good. Okay,
okay. It's here. I just wanted to show you this because I'm very, very proud of the work we're doing together fact checkers now have this beautiful thing, those of you who have our heavy whatsup users. If you type a number in making sure to share the number later with you all on WhatsApp you're going to have this bot, and you can talk to it. And let's say you are, you have somebody telling you that a mask cause causes hypoxia. That's something that is big right now. And the bot, I can type I proxy. And then I hope I spell it right. And then it's going to bring me the last results. And since I am based in United States, it will first show me a fact checker from the United States. So it says the false claim. This was the plane that was fact checked by this organization, the day, and the explanation why it is false. And you can always go to the URL, and you're going to read content in English, but the second, I still get more content and this is coming from OCLC Yeah, it is. In Colombia, and the same thing, and we read in Spanish. So, and there's more information you can get out of this great collaboration and this in this bot is ins, you can read the latest sec checks here. You can see you type two, you go to the menu you type two you're just going to see what is the latest. The latest fact checks and again since I am in the United States and my phone is a plus one, we will get first content that has been fact checked in our region. So I'm going to get factcheck.org. And then I wasn't going to get the latest that has been updated to our international database, and I can of course do. I don't know if you may have you know that I am Brazilian This is why my English sounds funny and I and I. I forgive myself for that. I apologize for that so I can change the country and I can see stuff from my country, and I can type Brazil and change, and see any other information from any other country. And there I get stuff from other regions. And, well, we can do a lot more. I'm interrupting this, so we can talk a little bit more. So, the idea of collaborating brings us so many opportunities of not only getting fact checkers together, but also creating products that are strong enough visually speaking technologically speaking to be used in different platforms. The link to the box somebody's asking is quite easy is p o y.up b o y dot n u, slash, I fcn bot is in chat bot. It is quite easy. I can write that in a bit. And the link to the Alliance I can also write for you. And the beautiful thing is that the database that has been updating. We have been updating every day. It is growing. Unfortunately, hoaxes are not stopping. And we have been able to tell
the different waves of misinformation that has been going around the unit, the planet. And, and we have detected at least seven waves. The first one, and I hope I really hope it didn't get all of them, but I'm, I'm almost sure you did. So I'm just going to go over them very quickly. The first one is about the orange, orange, of the virus. So you probably heard that the bat, the bat soup caused the virus or Bill Gates, or a lab in China or lab in United States, that's one reason. Then the second reason, the second wave was about was about like edited videos people think fainting in subways supermarkets, but actually they were just having heart attacks, or you know they were drunk, and then a third way, which is very very dangerous right now is fake years and fake preventative measures we really need to find a way to fight that together. And then the fourth wave was how everything related to China in anti China movement really basing on truth content. The fifth wave, then the fifth, the sixth and the seventh wave, are not related to health at all. And the fifth wave is based on premises. And we can see like how Muslims think that they are protected because the Muslims, black people thinking they are better equipped to fight COVID because there are some that the blood is better in the sixth wave. You see, all the questions on all the doubts related to lock down, what is working, what is not working and what can you do what you can't do, and the seventh, and last wave, which is very heavy right now everywhere, is the politicization around the virus. So, either coming out of poet's political mouth, but also about politicians. So, thank you very much for your time and I'm here for any questions. Thank you very much and I'll drop the links in the chat if that's possible. Thank you.
Yeah, thanks so much Christina. That was incredible. I was playing with the bot a little bit last night and I'm definitely going to be using it some more so yeah so if we can just pass it. Sarah can pass it to you if you can just give us a little presentation about the work that you're doing.
Sure. Hi everybody. It's nice to be here. I wish I could see you. Um, but I can't. I can only see myself as is always happening these days, which I hate. Um, okay. That was incredible. I've been really, I feel really lucky to be learning about this other work.
What I. So,
I'm Sarah Alvarez I'm the editor of our media in Detroit, um, I'm going to just tell you guys a little bit about what our approach to work and collaboration was before COVID-19, and then how we've changed that to respond to this moment. And we have changed a lot, but a lot of what we do is remaining the same and is really based on these collaborative principles. Alrighty. Here we go.
let me just make sure I'm in present mode.
so this is how I see what Detroit's essential journalism ecosystem would be it's not necessarily what exists right there are a lot of other functions to that happen that are important but it's, this is what I see is kind of like what has to be in a community and what has to be done by journalists, in particular, and I think that that's filling information gaps, doing enterprise and investigative work creating an accurate record correcting an inaccurate or incomplete record which is especially important in a place like Detroit, where stories are often written about what goes on here, but not from the perspective of the people who live here, and not necessarily including their voices connection of community is I think a very important role and explanatory work.
Um, so that's like what we wanted to see.
Okay, sorry. Um,
and so before we start before coronavirus. Our model was kind of like journalism can be used as an intervention, because information gaps do cause real harm, they cause disproportionate harm to people who are marginalized. And they reveal really serious accountability gaps and also the news industry is in part responsible for creating these information gaps by targeting a particular customer, and that particular customer and that desired news consumer is generally white and generally affluent if you live in a place like Detroit, where it's not very white and it's not very affluent, we're going to have a lot of really important and severe information gaps. So our goal
was to fill those
reduce that harm and increase accountability to Detroiters. And we did that by filling information gaps around housing and utilities which were Detroiters to biggest information gaps. And we have a responsive SMS News Service, we've always done the investigative work in the watchdog work in partnership with local and national news organizations, we didn't have our own publishing platform we still don't. So it's always something that we've done collaboratively also like we've been around since 2016, and it's something that like, as somebody new were on the scene we didn't have all of those kind of competitive baggage. So, we've also been able to be kind of a hub, through which people collaborate and collaborate with people that they might not always have collaborated with,
In March, coronavirus really started hitting Detroit and COVID has been devastating to our community, the health effects. And of course the economic effects but mostly the health effects, we've lost more than 1000 people in Detroit. So we wanted to respond to that first by finding out what people felt like they needed to know So way back in mid March we did an information needs study that's just very quick and dirty over text message we didn't look at the data work we are very familiar with what Detroit data says about people's needs. So we just launched this quick and easy SMS survey, you can take it by texting Corona 273224 and find out what that's like. If you also want to see the responsive news product that we developed, in part, based on those results, you just texted right to that number, and you will see our newest product, and you can navigate through it. Um, so yeah we completely retooled. We were really starting to move away from the SMS work, but especially in a time when people are not going out, and we really don't know how people are reaching getting their news we've felt like we really needed to be where they were. And that was on their phones.
what's been amazing is that through this collaboration, the journalism ecosystem is filling all of these essential functions, we are working with a variety of news organizations we're formally working with rich Detroit chalk the free detour plan to Detroit the Michigan Chronicle. We're working less formally with WD team. And there's, and more. Right, and BC like there's a lot of people who we're working with right now and we're doing all of these things because we're all very committed to getting the traders the information that they need. And I also wanted to just say like we are really trying to use our, our old approach of trying to address information gaps rather than chase breaking news, we're looking for breaking information gaps, not breaking news, and I think that that's what we've been able to do by running this this thing. I just want to show you guys kind of what this looks like on our end we use a. We use a service called reach out of North Carolina to run our SMS platform. This is what we see when people text in this is like the back end. And this is how we keep track chart we can keep track of all of those text messages. This is an example of like what is so simple really this collaboration is built on trust. We actually have zero mo use, um, because this is all happening too fast. We are taking everybody's working together. I think we're subsidizing a lot of this work and that we're spending our money on this increased volume, and we are stuffing it. But so are other people. So for example, Aaron is a wonderful. Reporter he's working with us. I just told somebody like he's gonna follow up with you because this person's had their rent increased, and it points to a bigger issue in that there are very few federally backed mortgages in Detroit, there's very few mortgages, which means very few people are protected by the cares act. And that means that they can have their rent raised, so this is like something that's important to write about and put on that record
5g back in the news. In the last presentation right this is something we saw at the beginning, and we were getting a lot of a lot of questions about it. So we asked, Nina at planet Detroit if she could look into it and bump that for us so that we could send it out but also create a record of it. This is just like one of our again very low tech, this is what we keep between the reporters who are working on this there's three of us working on it it's how we keep track of people that we haven't followed up with yet.
I don't know why that's not going.
I don't know. Um,
this is just some of the investigative stuff that we have been able to start to work on the disparate impact of COVID and senior living facilities, not nursing homes but HUD apartments. So this is like how again we're throwing this to Louis from bridges right, a wonderful reporter, and that is a relationship now that this person is going to have with that news organization and that story is going to get told. This is another one about workplace safety I mean they're just coming at us. The free has been publishing a lot of these stories. I think maybe the thing I couldn't show you was me, they're like, kind of slack ish system, talking about how to throw stories to them, and which ones they wanted. This is a super important issue it was a front page story for them there's an eviction ban but it doesn't cover people who live in hotels, which is a lot of people in Metro Detroit and it doesn't cover Airbnb it's either. Same thing about the food pantry supply channels, whether or not they're going to be able to catch up with this demand. I don't know why some of these don't go. So just again, the numbers, we've texted 150,000 people since April 1, there's three of us, it's about 70 hours a week combined right now at the beginning it was much more. So we've texted a one on one with over 3000 people as of this morning. The outcomes I think are super important, because we're helping people to feed their families and get tested and file for unemployment and stop illegal evictions, but we're also doing some of that work to help people tell these bigger stories about how truth in sentencing is keeping people who have been paroled in prison, despite the toll of the disease there and the uncontrolled spread. We're doing this work also with some other folks who are also working collaboratively so that's exciting. We helped Wisconsin watch and an ns Neighborhood News Service. Okay, y'all. Okay, there we go. I want to stop sharing my screen. We
helped them launch,
collaborate, or like a responsive news project, and in Milwaukee and we're doing similar information needs studies with a data component in Memphis and stocked in and central Georgia. And so it's very it's really, we're doing it to be helpful and it's a very good way to start these collaborations because there's so much work to do. Right. And it does doesn't, there's really our relationships in Detroit are built on trust and mutual respect. And I think, like, has been said already today, a lot of that does exist in the, in the journalism space but there's also I know a lot of competition when there's so much work on the table and when it's really like are you going to leave this person hanging Are you going to leave that story out there. It really incentivizes people to just get to work and get over it. Because I think most of us when we see somebody who has a real information need, and a real story that needs to see the light we're just going to get over it and we're just going to start working. So that's what we've, that's what we've been doing. We plan to keep it up, we're gonna add more languages, because it's a follow up thing, we have the ability to translate our messages very easily, but we need reporters who can follow up and have those in depth conversations with people so we were able to get a Facebook grant and we're going to be working in Arabic, and Spanish. Starting very soon so that's very exciting. And I think we have these strong relationships with people and organizations before this pandemic. I truly believe that the relationships that we built during this time are going to transform the way that we work. After this, because of necessity, but also because of the trust building that has been happening like on, you know, times a times 1000 right now because of because of necessity. So that's it I'm very happy to to answer questions, and share any resources that we have and if you guys find things that are helpful in our new service and you, and you want to pull some of those, especially the health and safety stuff that's not necessarily local, so if you want to take some of those resources, let me know and we'll find a way to get them to you.
Awesome. Thank you so much, Sarah. Yeah, all this work has been like, so inspiring from everyone so yeah there's so much to get through. I know people have started dropping questions, definitely continue to do that we'll get to those after everyone has presented their work. So yeah, continue to drop those in the q&a, and now Kathy so if you can tell us about your, your project what you're working on
event. You stole my line. It has been so inspiring listening to the work of my colleagues and I plan to steal a lot of it. So, I'm Kathy best I'm the director of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland, which is a really long title, and I need to work on that. I've been in that job. Almost a year. And one of the reasons that I left, newspapers, to take it was the opportunity to collaborate and it doesn't mean we collaborated when I was working in newsrooms but, but it was just it was added value it didn't feel like it was core to the mission here in this job, it's very much core to the mission. Not only do we collaborate within the College of Journalism, making sure that we're working with people who have expertise in in all of the platforms from social media to video to data, especially data web design. We collaborate across colleges, I get to tap into the expertise of people who are working in the School of Public Health or the College of Engineering and and bring their expertise into the journalism that we're doing. We, we also collaborate with with nonprofit organizations, and we collaborate with professional journalism partners because you know face it, the website of the University of Maryland is not exactly a destination. So, if we want to get the journalism that we're doing out into the broader world, we have to create partnerships. Right out of the gate. And so I'm going to back up a little bit and tell you how we began doing what we do, leading to the COVID project that we'll be launching June 1
last summer when I
right out of the gate, we worked with NPR, a Baltimore television station, and an organization called White angle youth media in Baltimore which which teaches inner city kids how to tell their own stories. And we did that, We share data we share technology. We shared on the ground reporting and visual reporting, so that we could show the impact that climate change was having on the lives of people who lived in in inner cities, and that they would bear the brunt of some of the global warming changes. This, and one of the ways that we did that to underscore that collaboration point is, excuse me, we built sensors our students built sensors that measured heat and humidity. And they placed those sensors in the row houses of people who lived in the hottest neighborhood in Baltimore. They built the centers using advice and counsel and the 3d printers from the College of Engineering at Maryland, And they provided readings that became an incredible storytelling device, and
just a minor
point but an important one. We got a grant from Oh Na so that we can share the, the technology. and if if groups really need help, we can even build sensors for them, so that they can tell their own stories, so that they can do measurements in their own communities so if anybody's interested, let me know. Anyway, Um, so that was published last fall. We then launched into a collaboration. This spring was six universities across the country to do deep dives into the criminalization of homelessness and the different ways that cities around the country were were handling encampment that works going to be published in June. But what we learned in doing that, was that the root cause of all of the homeless problems around the country, came came back to affordable housing. We had planned to do an affordable housing project this summer, around homelessness, but when the pandemic showed up, we pivoted. And so we are now working with five other universities, examining.
What the economic crash that has been caused by the pandemic is going to do to people who were already living on the edge. I mean, there was an affordable housing crisis in the United States for working class families, many of whom were already paying more than a third of their income on rent. That is only going to get worse. And we know that we also know because of the work we did this spring that cities with the highest homeless rates already don't have adequate shelter space for people who are, who don't have a home right now. We know that's going to get worse. So, we're working with Stanford, the University of Oregon, Arizona State University, the University of Arkansas and Boston University. And we know that by joining forces with them. We can gather more data file Morpheus, and especially to time when travel is restricted report from locations from coast to coast, which we could not do on our own. This, this sort of virtual nationwide reporting team is going to examine housing policies and eviction laws, collect court records, talk with renters and landlords on the ground. We're going to concentrate on on cities where people were spending, as I said, half the half their income on rent and utilities before they lost their jobs. ap has agreed to distributor work from the spring and from the summer project. We also just finalized an agreement with reveal to work with us on the housing project. Our sister Center, the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at Arizona State is planning a separate COVID related project. This summer, we're working together we'll be coordinating we're, we're supplying them with some of our data from the spring to help support their project. They're going to focus on. It'll be an accountability story that's focused on the public health response by local government to the spread of the virus among sheltered and unsheltered homeless people across the country. Asus work is part of class. The University of Maryland's project is being done by paid student interns. Both of our, our the work of both Howard centers is supported by grants that we got from the Scripps Howard Foundation, and then we got an additional grant from the Pulitzer Center to help pay for the work of some of our college partners. One more note, and then I'll stop talking and gladly answer questions, because of the pandemic internships for journalism students from coast to coast have dried up, and and been canceled so there are a lot of talented students out there looking for work. And if any of you have projects, and, and, and need help. We would be happy to help connect you.
Yeah, thanks, thanks so much Kathy. Um. All right, so I think what we're going to do now is I'm going to take a few questions I'm trying to also incorporate the QA, and what everyone is asking into my questions as well. And then we'll definitely just focus on those for a little stretch at the end so I wanted to first just talk about resources. You know I know this is something that, obviously, a lot of newsrooms are thinking about so many newsrooms are strapped for cash, and so many people want to be able to try new things but you know don't necessarily feel like they have the resources whether that's, you know, the staff or you know the finances to do that so I know some of you guys have talked a little bit about it but how are you able to pull off your collaborations, and especially as you had to pivot so quickly to focusing on COVID-19 So do you think you know. Do you think there were extra resources, you really had to you know put into this and. And do you think that that's something that's really doable for other newsrooms around the world I don't know who wants to start with that. So anyone who thinks they have a good answer there.
Okay, perfect. Like no one knows how to do it no good
sound a little crazy Taylor, but until March, so the collaboration between with among fact checkers is started as I said January 24. And until March 16. We didn't get any money at all. We did it. We did it. We did it because we knew it was the right thing to do. And we used our the computers we had the staff we had the designers we had. And we, we started doing it right. And, but we felt like we're doing something so right. That would, it would call attention, it did. It is interesting to see that's the second time in my life I take that crazy step back in Brazil. My I'm effect check I've been effect tracker for seven years, and I did the same thing. I don't know how much of Brazilian politics you follow but back in 2015, we had an impeachment process, and there was no fact checking in Brazil by them. So I said, We need a fact checker. So I opened a company, no money for friends and now the company has 50 people. And you know, I mean, sometimes I know, I know this sounds crazy, but when. Sometimes you just need to start and the money will come. I know it sounds crazy but it's my tip.
Yeah. Does anyone else have anything to add to that and I kind of want to. Yeah.
Yeah, go ahead. No please.
So this may change in the future but one of the great things about this collaboration is that we were all able to use existing resources. I mentioned co lab the emerging nonprofit as project manager in. In, Laura Frank so there didn't need to be an air traffic control that was supported by an organization that believes local news is a public good. And so that helped build the infrastructure around the organization of it. What we were what we were all encouraged to do and I think everyone did whether we were nonprofit or for profit is
use this unprecedented
collaboration to to fundraise to say to readers. This is um this is the fruit of our labor, and it is done with you and it is done for your benefit. And we want to do more. So help us do more, and the audience response. You know, someplace like Channel Nine again the powerhouse. They, they had an incredible response to the package of stories that they put together, we had, we, we had funds coming in and people donated to us. And I think in the future, we'll be able to kind of Marshal again what we have, and build something bigger and stronger out of what we have fundraise off of it. And look toward perhaps a foundation world. Again, you know, no one wants to exist at the, at the at the mercy of a foundation but foundations play an incredible role right now in that networking and bringing together of matching funds in particular. So that's what I did that.
It can be done.
Yeah, that's great. And that also is kind of, you know, goes along with one of my other questions that I had is, you know, all of you guys talked about receiving funding from either grants from donors, you know, or either fundraising within your audience. So have you noticed and I know you're starting to mention that even but have you noticed that, that these are things that funders are looking for they, you know, people are interested in seeing these types of things.
Yeah, and Kathy did you have something for that.
I was just gonna say there. One of the things that we noticed the reason that we applied for a Pulitzer Center grant is there were a lot of people out there who are looking for. COVID related projects to fund and, and.
The other good thing that's happening I think in that in the world. Generally, is that there's just a lot more money available for any kind of collaborative project that funders have figured out, you know, that they get more for their money when they when they fund a collaboration.
Yeah. Yeah, that's great. And so, kind of shifting away from money, although we could probably have a lot more questions to talk about with that but you know also just looking at processes so you know Christina you're working on a fact checking from with fact checker from 74 different countries I mean Kathy you're working with, you know, newsrooms and students just spread across, you know the states and and you know I, yeah. Everyone's doing something with it. These projects are so big I mean to me it sounds overwhelming you know but can you guys talk a little bit about what types of systems of communication and organization, you've you know put into place to get so many people to work together. Oh. And yeah, whoever if Sarah if you want to start with that one and then we'll kind of go down the line I'm sure everyone has like their own
all the systems we use all the system's. Right. I mean, honestly like if you want to collaborate with people and you kind of have to say like, what's gonna work for you. So I'm on like Microsoft Teams or whatever with the free because that's what they use. we use Google Docs. We use slack like, you know, I make phone calls. Basically, the way that I'm kind of looking at this for right now is like, I'm almost functioning like an assignment editor for the city, right, like we're I'm just trying to get these stories placed and trying to get people interested in them and I'm, I'm happy to do any kind of system that works for people. We also are very blessed to have a data recorder Catlin Alo, who is incredibly organized and has really set up some really good Google Sheets, and I think that just like all collaboration, communication is key. Of course it's important to be organized, but it's also something where we're keeping each other accountable, where we're reaching out to each other often and saying like, Hey, did you did you get that what's going on with the story are you following up with that person and I, this was really great like a reporter and conventional news organization the other day it was, he's fine this great story, but it started with one of the text messages and he called me He's like, so did you give her those resources like did you end up being able to connect her with legal resources and that's great that would not necessarily I wouldn't expect that would be his concern. And it's wonderful that he's like making sure that we're also doing our job to fill those information and resource gaps, while he's doing his job to follow that story. So and, you know, and none of these systems are fancy, our text messaging system is kind of fancy but it's also SMS so it can't be that fancy. So other than that, like, it's very very simple and just kind of constant I'm sure Christina and Tina and Kathy cantar it's just frickin constant, that's like how we're doing it, we're just not doing anything else.
Yeah, I would, I would, I would agree with that I jumped on that.
Just to say that collaboration doesn't happen without communication, collaboration doesn't happen. Well, and it doesn't persist. If there is not relationship building and there's not trust building, and that it all happens through communication so well you know that we might say, Oh Lord, please not another Slack channel, you know, things happen in slack things happen in email things are happening in Google Sheets a lot of this work and, and how we are going to fill the holes that needed to be filled and what somebody else was doing was happening on on Google Sheets, and through the Slack channel. And, and it was it was just kind of constant conversation about what do we have, what do we need, and pulling that all together. And it's not it's not a one off I mean what we what Colorado cover diaries Cova diaries Colorado. That was a massive project but there will be smaller now spin off projects so we're working again on an another larger project but all of these will kind of come off of a hub of a successful collaboration where those communication networks have started to be established.
My, my only comment is that it's an interesting thing that I learned is, I told you I'm working in 16 different time zones. So, there's no time for sleep. One thing. Second, you cannot push your preferred channel of communication to others. So, Asians, they like to use WhatsApp, they don't like to use WhatsApp, they rather use Facebook Messenger, or a Weibo while Americans don't use WhatsApp they like texting while stuff Americans really love What's up, so you have to be in the whole channels to communicate with all of them you cannot force, force everyone to be in one same place. Of course there is one channel let's say a Google group, and you say hey guys theses the main channel, all the important news will be sent here, but in a daily, daily basis, when you need to talk fast, you have to know where is this person going to be at because, you, You, doesn't matter if they write in Slack, nobody let them in Latin American will read it because they're not there.
Yeah, thank you so much. And
now there's a question I'm going to start taking audience questions I know we don't have a ton of time left I know a lot of people have questions out there and they're, they're great so we're just gonna start moving towards those so this is one for you, Kathy that someone had put in the chat so this is from Tara and she said I'm interested to hear what kind of COVID related investigative collaborative journalism projects your students are involved in. Because we're looking for ideas for students. For stories that students can do safely and reasonably straightforward for young journalists and training so maybe if you can just kind of elaborate on what these investigations look like especially working with in such unprecedented circumstances.
You're good. Okay,
thank you. Sorry. A lot of the restrictions that we have to deal with are. We're not allowed to send our students out to do stories right now. So a lot of our effort is really going into data work and and doing reporting around COVID that is, you know, really data and records focused
Excuse me. Um, right now. The. Well, so our semesters has ended. So, the biggest COVID related project that we're going to be doing is the one that starts June 1, which is the what COVID is going to do to affordable housing. But I know that if the pandemic is still going strong in September, we're going to have students who want to do that kind of work. The, the tricky part for us is finding the right balance and keeping them safe, as they're doing the reporting about the, the issues that that families, and others are facing.
That wasn't a very good answer.
No, I think you handled it, and I. Does anyone else want to jump in on this question of, sort of, how are you working within the constraints of safety and keeping your newsroom and everyone safe while also pulling off such like big projects at this time.
So I'm so that's a terrific thing about the audio diaries right,
or the video diaries, calling audio diaries, but,
you know, we, we have to, we can't go out. Obviously, the way that we used to go out and.
And those video diaries, allow allow us to have the access in, in a way, I mean they were really candid.
Some of them are almost confessional.
And so that allows us again to have that, that, that humanity. Within these pieces so they're not so much from a distance, someplace like CPR. Now they can all those all those video diaries are available. They can use them they're there they're now they can be used, they can be folded into the reporting. They all went to history Colorado as well we encouraged, other people to do diaries and so we found that that was a good, a good way everybody else. Almost everybody has a phone in which they can record these and so we found that to be a good way to get around some of the, the imperatives of physical distancing
Taylor. Can I add one
that definitely love I would love to have people reporters diving into the database of fact tracks, because while producing them, we, we know there are so many stories, hidden. For example, I would love to see how did this bill gates hoax start. How did it spread around the world. And what about the batsuit, where did it come from. And, and more. What is the platform that is big. In, why is Facebook bigger is Facebook bigger than blogs or why, you know, there are so many hidden stories in the database, and that's a lot of reporting and as a journalist, I feel crazy because I feel like, you know, I'm just gonna drop fact checking and just start writing because there's so many today, for example, I published a small one that just popped in my, in my eyes and said I need to write it, the story about how Max was doing hypoxia I read 11 facts about the same thing, you know, just, I need to write this, so if any student out there is interested in doing that the database is open, please do.
Yeah. Thanks so much, and I know Sarah, do you have anything to add about keeping keeping you and your staff safe as you're doing this work.
that's our priority. Also, we are in a environment where people here in the city want us to keep them safe too. So even though we're seeing a lot of pictures of people who want plenty of attention at the Michigan Capitol and are there for that reason, we're not seeing that here in Detroit, we're not seeing people wanting to interact with folks who they don't have to interact with. I think the way that we prioritize our coverage is always the way. Um, we either are looking at something where there's so much potential harm caused that we have to jump on it, or we're looking for something that's bubbling up again and again and again, much like Christina was just talking about, and like, then you know that you want to dedicate the journalistic resources to that, but all of the all of the reporters here in Detroit, I think, are, are doing a good job with really trying to stay safe and keep and keep our news consumer safe to.
Yeah. Excellent. Yeah and I mean you guys talked about all the systems you have in place and it seems like you know the systems we're using for collaborating are so much the same systems we're using in this social distance era, you know, we're all you know texting or on phone video chat and everything anyway now so it seems like you know, we have all those in place. So there was another question from the audience and I think, Sarah you had mentioned are marked on there for you know pointed towards you. So, someone had asked if you have a community member who feels, you know convinced they have a useful tip for you but you know that it's misinformation so how do you tell them without risking to fracture the bond with the community and I think we can also you know expand this a little bit and just talking about the value of those community relationships when you're, you know, launching these collaborations and pulling them off. You know how do we maintain those relationships and especially in a case like this when you know you're trying to work on, committee members tips and things.
So, that was totally a mistake. I meant to answer it in the chat and just put that I wanted to answer it live so I will do that quickly and then get out of the way for other people.
It's hard. I also think that this is one thing that we've always found true in Detroit is that people have very high like cognitive loads, because like they're just dealing with so much information and so much stress and everybody's now in that boat and trying to assimilate tons of information that is really important and not knowing how to do it. So we are finding that that kind of like, there's not a lot of short form explanatory journalism. Right. And that's actually something that's really needed right now so Oh, the reporters that I work with, Joey Horan and Caitlin Alo are really spending a lot of time kind of walking people through things. And I think that taking that tact of like I'm doing explanatory journalism with you while I'm trying to get you this answer has helped sometimes, but we're definitely not afraid I mean I we moderate shit like he would moderate it in a comment which we've never had to do, but we take that very strong position of like that is not something we're hearing, we have not seen this, this is not something that we could verify. You know we're not. We're not trying to
to baby anybody who, who is
believing this information because they can also spread it and that's really dangerous right now so we're really trying to help people understand what is the truth, and we've only had to block one person, and, you know, just kind of try to find a way to like make them go away but other than that most people have been really thankful that somebody is trying to walk them through this and and help them that information.
Yeah, it's such a great, a great answer and it seems just like you know the community building, working one on one with people, it's got to be just incredible. And so this is a question I kind of want to hear from everyone. And it's also from someone in the audience from Rachel so she asked do you feel there are any useful long term journalism lessons that are coming out of the COVID situation. So, you know, Are there things that we should keep when we, when things start to normalize somewhat, and you know some of these might just be like online events and things like that but you know what types of lessons are you seeing and how do you expect. You know the lessons that we're learning now to affect collaborations and collaborative journal journalism in the future, and Christina, we can start with you and then just everyone will will take your turn.
Yeah, I think there are at least three big lessons. First, transparency in how we do journalism. This needs to be, like, this is here and this needs to stay, not only for a fact checkers. This is, this needs to be clear, how do we do our work, how do we investigate. I mean, fact checkers are 100% against off the records you know like powerful people said, No, let's be transparent about how we found our sources. We'll give the links so people can redo your reporting. That's number one. Number two, be very very careful with our headlines when you're dealing with moving data, I think we're right now everything that we know about COVID, is what five months old. So it's actually a baby. So, we cannot say for sure in the headline let that man are getting more affected than women. Because this is based on four months so database, and then being one month with data, data from China. So, let's be careful with the headlines that are like, Wow, very catchy related to science, and let's let's we understood that science has its own timing. Please, and and I'd say, of course, and this is not because this is the summit, but I've been saying this there is no other way out for journalists than collaborating, there's nothing. I mean, we're all going to die if we try to find this information fight this information by ourselves. We just could not cannot do that, we need to collaborate.
Yeah, thank you. And Kathy if you want to take a turn on this question, you know what, what are you looking forward.
Sure. Um, I just want to reinforce what Christina said I mean we had there had been conversations about, you know, fax manner, before the arrival of the pandemic. Fax right now, can save people's lives so I'm hoping and hoping that going forward, people will realize that, and I hope I'm not being naive. Um, one thing that the technology that we're now using for reporting and especially for collaborating. I hope we'll do going forward is every newsroom now, no matter its size is having to use WebEx or zoom or something to to communicate, people are learning. The power of that technology and. And what I'm hoping is that it will, as people are more familiar with it, and have embraced it, it means that I'm creating collaborations that didn't exist going forward, or pulling in some of those smaller newsrooms that that Tina talked about you know that have been devastated, you know, now they I hope will be more comfortable, reaching out and, and, and, and working together as a force multiplier for their journalism, those would be the two big things for me.
Yeah, thanks. Thanks for that and so yeah Sarah, do you want to take that.
I hope that I think that everybody reporters and non reporters alike have understood what it feels like to be inside of an information gap during this crisis, how scary it is to not have information that you need to be able to live your life, and I hope that we remember that there are people who are dealing with that feeling all the time and that they're in our communities and that we should serve them, because it is a terrifying and disempowering place to be inside of an information gap and so I hope that we can hold on to that understanding and that feeling and carry that forward with us.
Great, great Valentina if you want to, you know, take the same question,
what can we were moving forward.
Um, yeah that was terrific. I think that's very true it's very disorienting to be in an information gap, and likewise to be overwhelmed by so much information it's difficult to discern what reality is anymore so my thanks to everyone on this panel for the work that you're doing it's remarkable vital work. I would say that. Yeah, there is no going back. We're newsrooms are not going to be flush again, and it's just that's how we are, how are we responding to the situation on the ground will have lasting effects so I can tell you right now that you know the. There are currently 14 newsrooms in Colorado, that are doing something that would have been unheard of two years ago in which they're uploading their work that they're willing to share onto story share so that other newsrooms can take that work, and can put it on their sites and help better inform audiences because, you know, we can't we just, we can't do it, you know collaboration allows us to work on things together that we could not do alone. And as cliche as it is there's just strength in that and it is a benefit if we are using that strength wisely strategically. If we're aware of those who have been left out. The fault lines that exist that have been exposed by the pandemic and how do we target that how do we use the strength of numbers to better inform communities, I just I don't. There's so much potential here. And it's high stakes, and it's also very exciting. And so I would say yes we're not going back. I think that
working particularly on the Cova diaries piece.
And I, I know I talked about the video diaries, quite a bit but the
video diaries are a lesson that I've had to learn, again and again and again in all the years that I've done journalism which is that practice of getting out of the way so that people can tell their stories, let people speak, and it's a very powerful thing to get out of the way so that people can tell their stories, so that people are empowered by their stories, so that connections are built across audiences across communities. And, you know, we are for that moment for that story for that project able to occupy someone else's space. And that, I think, oddly ironically in a time we cannot be together, that I think if we keep that in mind, allows allows us to practice something that we may not have practiced very well in the past.
Yeah, so thank you so much. Yeah, I think that was a great answer from everyone. And I know we're having a few difficulties with video right now so it's it's just me. I'm thankful.
The one on video here.
Um, but I also think that that's such a great question, and such great answers that we can kind of, you know, wrap this up on We're almost to the very end of our time. And I think you know all of our speakers have done, you know, such a great job just outlining the incredible work that they're doing. And also just giving us something to, you know, to look forward to as we move into the future, you know, having come from. Yeah, such a difficult challenge to report on so. So with that, I just want to say thank you so much to everyone for like the incredible this discussion, it's really truly inspiring to see, you know how quickly everyone has adapted and, you know, been able to tell the biggest story of our lifetime. So, yeah, thank you so much and so I'm just going to turn it back over to to Stephanie. Thank you guys.
Thanks Taylor. Thank you so much. And thank you to everyone on our panel. It was such an important discussion and such an inspiring discussion. Thank you, Taylor, Kathy Tina Chris and Sarah Chris especially, I hope that you go home and get some rest and heal, because I'm so grateful that you were able to join us today. So thank you. So, coming up next, beginning at 5pm. Eastern Standard Time. If you've still even got the teeniest bit of energy left I hope that you'll join us for a very relaxed, networking, hour sponsored by the john s night journalism john s night journals and fellowships at Stanford, usually say JFK Lewis Raven Wallace of press on will host a conversation where participants will introduce themselves answer a couple of fun questions and then visual artist and puppeteer Billy Dee will be providing live animation, so we'll drop a link to the chat, and hope you join us then.