2021 Collaborative Journalism Summit (Day 2)
3:30PM May 20, 2021
City bureaucrats, talk about power. Yours. Ours, collectively, and how we use it. What we mean is that power is the ability to produce
power is the ability to employ force. Power is the ability to cause or prevent controversial opinion maybe in a report journalist, but in journalism. Another word for power its impact.
Afterwards, we have a lot of power. Sometimes talk around it, we sometimes need objectivity. But what we do as journalists is influence and change science.
Power is infinite.
I'm going to repeat this a few times so I want to just unpack that a bit and take a step back.
Eric Lew writes about this in his book, you're more powerful than your thinking. Power. Power concentrates, as does powerlessness, as does impact. The second is that power justifies it so it creates narratives to explain why the people who have power should keep that power. We have this third law. There is no limit on the amount of power, citizens can generate unpack. Say impact is the word for power because impact is the ability to reduce intended effects.
When your stories from the pothole to be fixed, or a financial audit of the government or the mayor desired for corruption, or the president to be impeached, someone working on that.
that's impact right there. Engagement is a growing field in journalism that many of us here practice I've been hearing a lot about it's been really loving the conversations I've been hearing.
tenants of engagement can be described in many ways, but one of my favorites is that salesperson ships with people following an
engagement can lead to a variety of positive outcomes like social media engagement with the different questions or comments at your events between the newsroom, and the public. Commands many, many others, equipping, however, is about agency providing access to opportunities for participation and production. Equipping is about teaching and learning. It's about actually skills and resources. It is a redistribution of power between institutions individuals. And it scares the hell out of people in power, flipping is recognizing that there is no cap on the amount of power. People can create.
Recognizing that power, people already have at providing access to resources that can build power, and the
difference here is pretty reporters that equip your community causes the mayor to be fired for corruption audit platform to get a fix for the financial hit the local government. In the process, frustrated and experienced can be created between your newsroom.
So, once you propose a more unified vision for journalism here.
as journalists we are great at informing, we are getting much better at engaging and but we have a ways to go in. But I believe that the journalism that strengthens democracy will do all three. So come join us.
Dressing. Don't just
like to welcome my
partner in crime up to the stage Heather Bryant.
Thank you very much, Stephanie, so yes my name is Heather Bryant's. I work on Project facet, which is an effort to build and support the infrastructure, the ecosystem and the community around collaborative journalism.
We think about the lifecycle of different journalistic practices. Think about the phases from first appearance to complete integration. When a practice starts to occur in a more noticeable and frequent way than just an experiment, or an aberration. And then there's the assessment phase.
This is when early adopters are leading putting the practice into action, significant percentage of non adopters are monitoring and assessing the usefulness of the
Is this going to be valuable work.
And of course we're always people who are standing in the back of anyone
can make me do that eventually.
The next two phases overlap, but there's a distinction there the adoption phase when widespread adoption starts to take place in the form of the practice is largely consistent across adopters because they're pattern matching and they're following the lead of each other.
practitioners, and the new actors. With the new approaches in the practice of breaking patterns, and finding new things that can be done and new ways of solving problems using. And then there's integration over and
integrated into our process.
Eventually big sense that it's no longer distinct, and what's thrilling for us is right now we're in that adoption at more and more organizations are collaborating, and a subset of the most experienced, and the newest practitioners are starting to stretch our understanding and our ideas of what's possible, by trying these things a different way.
They're pushing us to be better. There's so much to do, and it can't be done alone.
It's complicated. It's time consuming and it's rough. There is no final battle that we're going to be able to fight where all of this suddenly gets
The world isn't getting
simpler stories aren't getting simpler, but working collaboratively it's becoming more and more common and more important than ever. And that is the difference between staying in the fight and being rendered completely incapacitated. This collaboration through collaboration, effective, ethical and equitable collaboration. It's an act of courage and an act of hope, by journalists and newborns to know that the work could be done to work that matters, and it will be done by those who are courageous and brave and bold enough to face their mistakes and try to build a better way of doing this work together. And by those who trust in the incredible work that we can do when we do it in partnership. And we're very fortunate because so many of the people speaking today are doing exactly that. And we get to hear about it.
Well, that's like the most perfect way to intro, day two of the collaborative journalism Summit, hearing the wise words of Heather, Brian, I hope you liked music. That's our collaborative journalism soundtrack, we've done it for the last two years, it's created by Joe Amditis of the Center for Cooperative Media, and we'll share the link to that in the chat. So I'm Stefanie Murray, I'm the director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. So glad you're all back with us today for day two of the collaborative journalism Summit. We have a really fantastic few hours planned for you. You're going to hear from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists about some of their global work which has been among the most impactful collaboration that we see happening in the world right now. We'll also talk about equity, we'll have another round of lightning talks. And we will take another deep dive into North Carolina which we dubbed last year to be the state of collaboration. So before we get started I just want to thank our sponsors again because without them we would not be able to give away sponsor tickets we would not be able to do this summit at all. So I'd like to thank the Knight Foundation, North Carolina local news lab fund Facebook journalism project the American Press Institute, the Lenfest Institute for journalism GSK at Stanford education and see the direct College of Communication and the O'Brian fellowship and public sort of service journalism there at Marquette, the Center for Public Integrity, blue Lena in as much foundation Reynolds journalism Institute generally is Mo collaborative oh and Montclair State University where we're based. So one quick housekeeping note and then we're going to talk about some fun things we have offered is we do have interpretation in Spanish, so if you click on the interpretation button at the bottom, it looks like a world you can change your audio to Spanish from English. So, for every panel, you'll will also you should notice if you didn't notice yesterday, that there's one panelist who is silent but busy and that is Derek dent. He is our graphic illustrator, and we will be sharing everything he's drawing from each session after the conference this year. We also want to have a very active chat I just posted a roll call want to see who's here, introduce yourself, share any comments, ideas that you want. Talk to other attendees, and we will drop lots and lots of links in that chat, so that you can get additional information about what we're sharing here today. But if you have questions, questions go into q&a box. Any questions for our panelists, because we will have q&a after every session today. Drop them in that box rather than the chat that way our moderators and our hosts can see them easy. I mentioned that we have interpretation in Spanish, you can click on that little world icon at the bottom. Thanks to otter, we are offering transcription as well as we have live transcription if you'd rather read the summit that way you can click on that link that says streaming at the top of your zoom window. We also have fun, zoom, bingo cards. We've got the music, and daily meditation sessions which I'm really excited about Delia Jones is going to be back in just a little bit to help us to center ourselves and relax a little bit for this year's summit, and asks and offers. So asks and offers we did last year we brought it back this year it's sponsored by bilena, anything you have that you want to offer ask someone else maybe that's a job might have a project maybe you're looking for work, put it there, and the at the end of the day, Joe Amditis will host and asks and offers live 4:30pm Today, eastern time at the end of the conference. You can come up stage and talk to everyone. Tell me about what you're doing, about something that you need help with, we are providing an open space, and hopefully what is a welcoming environment here for you to talk to other conference attendees since we're not in person together. And if all these links are making you dizzy. No worries. We put them all in one place. This is our dashboard. Clever journalism.org slash dashboard that should get you everywhere you need to go throughout the duration of the summit. One thing I want to know on the dashboard is that there is a box there you see where says network and chill. So if you want to take a conversation off of the webinar. I want to go talk to someone one on one, you can use that room, that room is for CGS attendees to have private conversations if you'd wish, and we can, can help you with that if you need. And then of course, on social media, all the socials wherever you prefer to post collaborative J, and also hashtag CJ s 2021 We've seen folks sharing, so thank you for doing that. So with that I'd like to move to our sponsor welcome of the day, so I would like to welcome David M heifer to the stage, and he is the director of the O'Brian fellowship, and public service journalism at Marquette University. This is an incredible fellowship program if you don't know about it. Dave's going to tell you about it and I hope that you consider applying So Dave, thanks for being here.
Thank you very much Stefanie for the opportunity Mark has proud to be a sponsor. You know I'm spreading the word O'Brian selects three to four journalists, a year to be fully supported on an in depth reporting project for nine months. I did the fellowship as a reporter, and as director I recruit journalists to get the same chance. So here's how it works. We select staff employed or independent journalists, you pick the story. We give you the time. A $70,000 stipend, travel funds, plus a couple of student journalists to boost your research power. The stories can have local roots, but we also want to national lens on things. Each fellow gets a private office in our new O'Brian newsroom in a historic building on the campus near downtown Milwaukee, we are experimenting with adding remote fellows due to COVID. But so far, most fellows have moved to Milwaukee, which I am here to say is indeed a great place, a great lake from Milwaukee fellows make reporting trips nationally, internationally as needed. Sometimes with students. And you know for nine months we like to think that, for our fellows that Milwaukee is the center of the universe. So, we like stories that hold people and institutions accountable through investigative explanatory stories. Last year, Caitlin Farrell the cap times use her fellowship to decipher the National Guard's very poor handling of sexual misconduct cases, the year before that Gary Hawkeye of the Virginian pilot and his O'Brian team built the first national database of deaths in local jails of people with mental illness took the entire fellowship to do that. Fellow Maria Perez, of the maple, Naples Daily News trapped, all over the South for months talking to undocumented construction workers who are betrayed by their employers after getting injured. James Kazi of the Journal Sentinel traveled in search of better ways to address institutional racism and housing and education. And finally, Ashley to win, dove into the growing movement for better maternal care in this country. We are very solutions oriented, it's a big element of O'Brian projects we want to know who's doing it better, where and how. And we'll go anywhere in the world to find out and we have. So, you know, password, please tell an editor or reporter friend. Consider applying yourself. Do that story you've been dying to tell for years, applications open December one just six months from now or so. If you want to learn more please drop a question in the chat, check out our website, or even email me at Marquette David dot M E for conventional email@example.com I'll throw out that in the chat as well. Thanks very much.
Enjoy the day.
Thank you so much for being here. Thanks for being a sponsor, and thanks for pointing that fantastic fellowship which I did not know about. And I hope many of folks who are here today consider applying. So thank you. So now I'd like to turn it over for our next panel and welcome Anya Schiffrin to the stage who will host so Anya is the director of technology, media and Communications at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, she will moderate this session which I'm really excited about, from Pulitzer to Nobel Peace Prizes how ici J became a leader in collaborative journalism, including a closer look at the FinCEN files. So on your team, I'll hand it over to you.
Thank you so much Stefanie, for that introduction and I agree that fellowship does sound really exciting. I think we're really happy to be here at the collaborative journalism Summit, and I've known Monica and will for years, and I'm really excited also now to be with Yelena Kaushik I hope I'm pronouncing your name properly. This panel gave me an excuse to reread, so many of iCj ici JS Greatest Hits, and it was just fantastic to go back and read Vincent files again and Panama Papers again. Obviously I highly recommend the Obermayer books as well as the famous money laundering movie, the laundromat and I was just once again struck by the incredible breadth of the work that iCj has done. I think it's really by now, a well known fact, as my dad used to say that ICI J really invented or pioneered a new form of journalism that transformed the profession, the idea of getting hundreds of journalists across the world to collaborate on these incredibly important investigations, and in doing so, lead to much greater impact, as the stories unfolded across the globe, and also an incredible transformation for the people that got involved in those stories, the learning of new skills. The sophisticated use of data and databases, and these building partnerships and alliances that have really spanned the world, I know Drew Sullivan at OCC RP O 's talks about, you know, criminals don't stop at borders, why should journalists, so I think we really you know it's it's familiar by now we've almost got used to it, that it's easy to forget how unbelievably innovative, this kind of work was when it got started, so I just wanted to remind everyone, and also just wanted to say going over the website again, the extraordinary depth of not just the reporting, but looking at the impact. So I really encourage everyone to go back and read those pieces where you get to talk to the reporters, listen to them describe what they did, and then also what happened afterwards, who got arrested, what policies changed what laws changed. How did regulators deal with so much of this information and we'll give it in particular is written lots of stories about five years after the Panama Papers, what happened, and the whole corpus of work FinCEN, Panama Papers Luxleaks all sort of fits together into this incredibly sobering and depressing portrait of financial misdoing globally of corruption of collusion by banks and financial institutions, so it's really powerful stuff and I'm always just so happy to be able to come back and look at it all again. So I think that's, I'm done with my opening remarks, I want to quickly introduce the panelists. Money tell me that in, you are in Quito, I assume, but who knows where anybody is these days is an investigative editor at Outlander better so and one of the top investigative journalists in Ecuador, we were together a couple years ago with Joel Simon, having a very depressing conversation about press freedom in Ecuador at that time, things were supposedly getting better, I'm sure you'll update us on what's been happening since then. We'll forgive him and I have been collaborating for years because wills work on mining and oil in the extractive sector in Africa and also the involvement of foreign extractive companies, Australian mining companies so will has led and worked with many collaborators on the continent to expose a lot of the environmental and and other kinds of damage and corruption in Africa around mining and oil, and I'm delighted to see you, you learn and CO shake again, we don't get very much chance to see each other but we have run into each other at some of the conferences that we all miss, and I know that you've been really key as the training manager and partnership coordinator for Eastern Europe for ici j. So, um, thank you very much to all of you, you feel free to make opening remarks, my first question was going to be. How did COVID-19 affect the work that you do, um, my little pet theory is that places like Colombia and big, bulky institutions that need people to be in the same room have really had a hard time during the pandemic, whereas organizations, journalists are so self such. There's such so starters, they're so motivated and they're so good at meeting deadlines so I feel like a lot of journalism organizations have thrived at this time in terms of the work that they're doing so I was curious to get a little snapshot from all of you, unless you'd rather obviously talk about something else, I'll mute, and I don't know Monica if you want to start or
my audio. Yes, hi. Hi everybody, and well yes the pandemic has been really hard for us. But it's amazing that during the last year, the newspaper, change the format. We were, we were like a big old newspaper, and we change it to a tabloid and we change also all the web designed, because we are going to go to a paywall, and all was done with everybody working at home. So it was really like a challenge for us, but I'm also like very amazed that we did it, you know, and will for journalists, it has been difficult I think that when we are working with the ICJ and everything, okay, usually you work in your computer, you dig, dig, dig until you find things, but then you have to talk. Go and talk to people. You have to make an appointment with the banker with the corrupt guy with the official that you know that maybe receive a bribe or something like that. And for those things, I still prefer to have an appointment at the newspaper, even if nobody's there or maybe two or three people, but I prefer to do it so. And you in any way I can. Where is the main office, they usually work like that, You know when you have these important meetings, bear in the newspaper so we're, it's a kind of a formal thing. But yeah, it has been difficult, it has been difficult for everybody, but we keep working. That's it.
Well, hello everyone. It's
great to be here
speaking about this topic, and it's really lovely to see Monica,
because she was one of the
best and most favorite collaborators. I think people forget, often that not every journalist understands and not every journalist enjoys collaboration. And that's not a criticism of those who don't, but I think we need to keep that in mind when we talk about AWS, it's not a one size fits all kind of thing. Recognizing that collaboration is fine
it hard to hear. Yeah,
I was gonna say well if you want to move your mic, maybe a little bit closer to your mouth I think we're gonna better read there.
Okay. In life, there's
always a trade off with headsets,
yeah Also don't forget to check the source of your audio on Zoom because I feel like maybe it's not set to your headset but we're gonna continue. Oh,
shall I come back to, I'll have a look.
I think you're good.
Okay. I was just saying in terms of COVID, 19 and the distance that we've been forced to observe during the past year in our investigations. It has been challenging, you know, people think that ice is known for data dumps that somehow we wake up every morning, that we have access to millions of files and stories right themselves, but I think everyone on this call knows that's not really how ICFJ collaborations work. That's not how collaborations work. Elena and I and Monica. We know that 60 to 70% of a strong collaboration is about interpersonal influence interest in those bonds of trust, and those bonds of variance, so that when a journalist from America reaches out to a journalist, but that journalist in Nigeria, feels comfortable and safe in sharing information and sharing the storylines. Collaboration is all about trust, it's all about giving up part of what you would normally keep for yourself as a journalist, and it's hard to create those bonds of trust when you don't have the ability to say cans, hug, or simply meet at a conference, as much as the FinCEN files showed that cross border collaboration works. I think it works because I said he's been doing it for so long, in part, but also because I know that, rightly so hopeful that within a few months time on next year we'll be able to person meetings that make things.
We're still having a little, some problems so we're going to let Jelena speak well you both back and, but that was interesting and I understand, part of what you were saying I'll just restate, was this point that the trust and the bonds that the ICJ journalists have with each other and have to have with each other in order to do collaborative work, it's harder to establish those bonds when you're virtual. That's great, Ilana
Hi there. Hi everyone. It's great to be here online. So, I like actually these will inspirational speech in a way, when it comes to addressing the difficulties on working under COVID Because it has been one of the most challenging year in the collaboration world in the journalism world especially because you can imagine doing the project as big as FinCEN piles as you mentioned, so we had over 400 journalists, we had people from 100 Plus media countries. And you can imagine that at some point, almost all of them had to stop their work and had to cover COVID Not all of them, some were privileged to cover investigative topics and things like that. But the thing is is that when a COVID hits it hits very hard, like, it was noticeable, it was. It's not only. It's not only the way that it's, it affected, everybody's work it's how it affected everybody's life, and that was very much seen in our profession, right. And the other thing that was challenging in 2019 I say Jay started to have like a little bit of different online approach when it comes to training with a partner when it comes to work with partners online. We have established the communication platforms in a different way we have established our databases in a different way. So for us it was like we were set for something to be completely online like we were before, but even like on a larger scale. Then before. But the thing is is that, that, that kind of strong technical preparation that I said, Jay has actually provided us with a very soft landing when it comes to working online with partners, and what has helped is that some of our partners, along with the entire iCj crew and we you know we have like different. I would, I would call teams, there are not so many people but there are still teams that have worked separately. You know, during this era, and then the ones partners slowly but surely came back after you know a few months of high uncertainty everywhere. We managed to continue quite well and as you know managed to publish Vincent powers which became very, very high reaching project and one of the most extensive project that we have ever worked on.
Did you feel that it got the attention, it would have had. Under normal circumstances.
I'm here so I'll answer first is that I think actually that with the impact afterwards with impact nowadays that it's still that it's still ongoing. I feel like it did when we publish it by the end of September last year. At some point, the world was a little bit fed up about only an extremely own topics related to COVID. Of course that was needed and very relevant at the point, but the FinCEN paths were new, the documents that we have worked on very new. And I think that the audience of all of these media partners reacted massively
about an Ecuador Monica.
Yeah, we had also a huge impact here. And, yes, I agree with Jelena. Yeah, maybe it was like something completely different, but so strong, with so much information, with so much work after, you know, and, and especially there were some stories, like, I remember about the traffic of the drug trafficking, and how that money is laundered, and, and going through banks, and it's like everything is normal because they don't have enough people to see all the, the, the alerts that, that the local banks are giving. So, I think it was really, really important for everybody, because it's not only like, you know, because you have elicit. You have some, some different datian, but always after that, the money has to go somewhere. And usually it travels a lot. Because it has to be like clean, you know, it was like in the Panama Papers, I learned that, that it no it is not only that, okay I pay you in one place, no I pay you in Panama in Cayman Islands in Miami in Switzerland in Holland. And, but it's little by little so it I will I will make it difficult to understand how the morning went, how the money traveled, yeah.
I'm gonna jump in and hope that my microphones working better now. Good. I think you notice that impact is one of the words that I most love and most hate when it comes to investigative journalism, because it's so hard to get our head around, and in some ways, ICFJ has become a victim of its own successful model because the bigger, a collaboration is the more diffuse stories and impacts are. And therefore, the less visible in some ways, impacts can be. If you're writing a story about a small town, and it focuses on the mayor of that town for example it's very clear where the responsibility lies, who's to blame, and the root of the most necessary impact or reform. But when you're writing about 100 countries, and where the accountability is systemic and it relates in some cases to individuals, but as the FinCEN file showed abstract concepts or multi billion dollar companies such as Deutsche Bank and HSBC, and let's be honest, lots of journalists out there, have quite cozy ties with such banks because they rely on them for sources and business stories every day. Following. You know the trail of impact of seeing impact immediately is increasingly difficult that's my experience, and we're talking about investigative collaborations here. And I think in some ways, the Panama Papers remains the one that many of us think about first because that was the first time that many people in this audience, perhaps in around the world, really stood up and paid attention to this cross border. Power of investigative journalist working together, not that it hadn't been done before but Panama papers for a number of reasons, put it on the map. So five years, six years later, we've lost that novelty, if you like, of 300 400 journalists working together. And it's really a matter now of digging deeper or being more savvy media consumers, I think, so that we can follow up on each of those stories like Monica said, or like Yelena knows very well from Eastern Europe, impact on something like the FinCEN files can be incredibly important, but may not translate into a front page follow up story on the New York Times, or might not translate into the resignation of a well known politician in a foreign country, but what I hear from partners in Africa and the Middle East is that impact is just as important, even when it sends little tremors of fear among the business community or the elite community, who for the first time, feel as though they've been touched by or exposed through investigative reporting,
I think, you know, one of the advantages of getting older is that we can see impact, which takes years and years and years, and it's so interesting for us, this is slightly off the subject but we've been talking a lot about the vaccine waivers and the fact that this is a 20 year old, there's a fight that's been going on for more than 20 years. So as somebody who's been sort of looking at tax avoidance and money laundering, not in the way you have but, you know, paying attention to it for probably about 20 years. There's no question that the whole debate about it has dramatically shifted, and that it's clear that what ici J has done, you know, many of us to study this has absolutely raised awareness and done all the things that journalism supposed to do right which is you put the story out there, you not just name and shame but you put pressure on regulators you put pressure on governments to actually do, do their job, and the statement by Janet Yellen, a couple weeks ago about global taxation, even though it wasn't particularly, it was more about tax avoidance as opposed to, you know, tax evasion, I suppose, I thought that was unbelievably significant, and obviously you know we have countries like Ireland that are now saying they don't want to change but there is obviously a huge global discussion and, you know, too slow. Obviously for what we'd like, but I think there's no question that all of this is pushing all of your reporting is very much pushing the discussion forward. And again, you've documented a lot of that on on your website where you describe some of the effects the long term effects that you've had. So I think you can feel cheerful, I think, I feel like one of the lessons of the pandemic, and also the four years of Trump was the journalists kept doing their jobs, you know, yes, In some countries around the world. We've seen obviously more capture of journalism in Brazil or Turkey, but in many places journalists kept at it when other people were asleep at the wheel I just finished reading, and then I'll let Monica come in, Patrick Radden key spoke about the Sacklers and the Oxy content, And it was clear, you know, the government wasn't doing what it was supposed to do in many cases, but the journalists were, and the local district attorneys were, and they were, they kept, they kept at it. So, the I think that's really inspiring Monica, it sounds like you have something to add here.
Yeah, yeah you know I mean I think one of the most important thing for me of the Panama Papers, was that journalists could break the official narrative that the government was one of the most honest government in Ecuador, you know, because it was like having the ICJ with us and have it 300 journals, studying many cases reprinted. Our stories from Ecuador. It was, it really helped us to break the censorship and to show that journalists, keep adding all the time. And even if we had this bill of communication that it was horrible, in a father that we couldn't bring many many things, because of the ICJ, we could print it, those stories, and for example we did once one of the stories we did with Holland, other story we did with Germany, and another story with the Brazil. So that was really like a great accomplished for for the journalist. So, and even we had trouble we were in social networks, they keep attacking us in the corrupt press and things like that. But still, we keep our work going on and on. And yeah, and, and it was fine for us, you know, we, we didn't go to jail. We didn't. We were not fine for printing stories because that was the bill of communication, we, they, the government could find the media for printing things. So, yeah, yeah, so that's why I feel also so so glad that I was part of that team.
I was wondering, also, the stories that aren't getting told right now or aren't getting heated, do you feel like COVID has sort of distracted people, maybe giving cover to different companies and financial institutions this sort of can get away with all sorts of things, because people are so focused on COVID Like, from all the places that you cover right now,
what, what, what
do you see in terms of that. That's COVID help people sort of get away, all kinds of stuff.
Well, I mean, I don't know. I don't know in the rest of the world but in Latin America, we have, we have COVID corruption, too. You know corruption related to COVID to med scenes to vaccines and things like that. So, investigative journalists have been very, very busy with all these. And somehow, when you see corruption. Somehow, I mean, at the end, some of the guys are the same, that appear in other stories, because I think that, I mean, it's not one big organization, of course. No, but there are different organizations that in a way, have to communicate to each other or to or to receive the help of others to launder the money, or to send the money out of the country or the because of the regulators have to have to sign a paper or not. And then you keep coming to some to the same people, again, you know I need to like everything needs a little bit related. So, I don't think that because of COVID we have been distracted 100% In a way, yes, we have been distracted but the sad news is that we have discovered how corrupt the, The health, business could be your say. Yeah, so maybe we are not so aware of the. Now, of the mining business or something like that but we have been covering the health sector. For this year, and it has been, Yeah, it just really, you just realized that there is a lot of things to do there, because we need more transparency, and we need more openness, from the government to show how they decided to buy this or that. Why a bed for a hospital cost 10 100 times, if you buy it in wire kill, or if you buy it in kit, you know, so it's. And for that we need also help from outside, because we're in one of the stories I wrote. Thank God I talked to a guy who used to work for, for the Inter American Development Bank, so he sent me, that kind of a list of all the prices, international prices that were more or less reliable. And then you start to discover how how inflated the prices were in Ecuador, for example. So, yeah, that's another, that's another thing that we have to we have to take care of. Yeah.
Jelena will did you want to add to that or people or companies, and corporates politicians are they getting away with more now because of COVID people are paying attention to the money laundering because they're too busy worrying about things like the profiteering that Monica just described.
And I fully agree with Monica on so many levels so Eastern Europe is similar to that to that way. And as we can see all around the world is similar as well we don't know, certain prices. I think that that question we will know the answer quite. Not quite soon, but in some you know, future time like always right. I guess the ICJ will be able to do a COVID leaks at some point, if possible, because it is an international, and it will cover the entire world in that in that way, it's very, it's very possible to say that the answer to your question is yes, but as I said we at this stage we don't know but everything that we have learned so far points into the direction that this is a shield that, you know, helps them do additional things. So it's just a matter of time of noticing that.
So I think I'd like to ask a cheerful question. Thank you both for sort of summing up. What's this, more depressing state of the world right now and I'm glad, glad you're on the case I think you're right I think COVID is clearly exposed huge problems
certainly we feel like that in the US. There's also no question that the Trump era showed us that all the bad guys know each other, which is kind of amazing. I knew that you know the real estate guys in Central Asia were buddies with the thugs in New York. I was really happy to see on the website iCj website and update on Benny Steinmetz, you know, who's a well known terrible person who's done awful things and in West Africa and that you would sort of, you know, follow through with that and reported on his conviction in, in Geneva, so it's great to see some of these people finally brought to justice, but on a cheerful note, who can tell us, I don't know. Well are you laying out about this fantastic Nobel Peace Peace Prize nomination. How did that come about, what are the chances. What did you know what was the response because that was truly exciting news.
I can take as a starting point. Well it was certainly surprise. I think we all woke up to the good news that had been shared by one of our editors at ICI J. To my knowledge, none of us applied for that it's not something you apply for I believe we were nominated by a handful of Norwegian. Members of Parliament, who wrote what was a very, very, I suppose, comforting and inspiring nomination letter about the work that ICFJ has done but also the organization that's sharing our nomination, which is. Oh, it's another organization with a difficult acronym and I'm gonna mess it up, so I apologize, but it's a civil society organization that's been doing lots of tax transparency Tax Justice work. So, in and of itself, the fact that we were nominated together I think speaks volumes about where we're at, as a society in a global society in terms of recognizing the importance of Tax Justice. And for ICFJ as a nonprofit news organization. It won't surprise any of you on the culture realize that it put a great big smile on our boss's face and on our fundraising departments face because that kind of thing, really helps give all of us the encouragement to continue and also direct a bit more attention to iCj in the work that we do, because to go back to what we've been saying previously, you know investigative journalism, especially collaborative journalism, on the topics that ICFJ deals with is not really a matter of immediate impact. It does take some time, sometimes we put out a great story I've done this before, I'll publish what I think is my best work ever. And then it gets less attention on social media or less attention. In other media environments that, you know, a blog post that I spent 15 minutes writing for example. So, this recognition will really help iCj continue doing its work.
I guess we'll find out in a few months, whether or not you'd be surprised to be going to Oslo. I think in December for the ceremony. So I see we've got some excellent questions in the q&a. And so, Anthony, I've been cool is asking have you done any collaborations with ethnic publications in the US. The US diaspora has a strong connection with their countries of origin and gave some examples Ecuador news or, I'm sorry I don't know how to pronounce snowbee Digitec and in New Jersey and Illinois. Do you work with ethnic publications in the US was one of the questions.
Sheila jump in on that very briefly I've been, I see a longest so maybe that can help my knowledge, no. Although I would say that we're constantly seeking more collaborations in different kinds of collaborations, you know ICFJ has gone in the past seven years from an organization that would collaborate with maybe one media outlet in about 40 to 50 countries, largely European countries North America, and some Latin American countries, because people like Monica. How could you do an investigation without someone like Monica, but we've been trying to grow our investigations every project and that's why you'll see with our CO j that every time we publish something new, including the FinCEN files. There are new collaborations and new journalists involved, and the coordinator of partnerships with Africa and the Middle East, for example, and it's a personal mission of mine to never publish an iCj project without more journalists being involved from all countries. I don't have time to go into the diplomacy or the details of interest country collaboration, you know, because traditionally the model has been in exchange for a journalist or news organization agreeing to work at RCA J they'll often ask for exclusivity, you know you want to be the sole Italian or Uruguayan partner on a project that's changed, and many countries now have multiple partners involved, even in a little old Germany, Belgium, Rather, there are three or four me. My co J's projects because they recognize the power of working together. That's a long way of answering your question that we haven't done that yet, but especially within the United States, given its strength of investigative reporting at a local and national level, it's something that we're looking to do more of, we have on small project works with university, newspapers, or regional papers like the Los Angeles Times or The Chicago Herald Tribune or Chicago, something on our particular stories, but we're always looking to do more of that.
And there's a questions here that will or you'll and I think can answer since you do so much of the sort of the training and the partnerships. There's a couple of questions about sort of behind the scenes, how do you protect data conversations and reporting when you're working on huge projects, how do you decide who gets access, and then also how do you deal with the differences in terms of ways of communicating, or skills for example, skill levels. I know that, yeah.
Oh, all of the questions are good and all of them I carry a bit a bit different. So, when it comes to. So when it comes to how do we protect her data conversations and reporting and how we do it, is that first we have like special part platforms designed by our tech team that we use both for sharing the information, and both for communicating with each other. We are talking about 400 Plus journalists, so it has to be very secure and safe for all of us, not to mention that for some partners, it has to be even more secure than for others because we work with partners that are in really problematic countries when it comes to state of state of free press, especially in some African Eastern European countries or countries like Russia or even Latin America, right. So, everything is encrypted, uh, we do not share this is something that I kept on saying everyday almost, is that we do not share anything outside of unencrypted options we do have our messaging system that it's encrypted or we use emails that are encrypted as well. So the same thing. The same thing goes for data, the data is on a very safe and secure platforms, knock on wood, to keep it that way, but we do have we do have the team that is monitoring and closely reacting, whenever it's needed. When it comes to different set of skills. This is very much the case that we are talking about because again, the differences in partnership are big, we'll mention some of them sometimes we work with the best media in the world that everybody knows, you know, from Europe, from UK or from us but sometimes we do work with super small newsrooms or investigative centers that are placed. Again all over the world. We work with partners in Nepal in Benin in you know in like almost all Latin American countries as well. So, you know, it's the matter of like their engagement and willingness to be part of this project is the marrow of our noticing the partners who are professional enough to be part of it. And then it just takes some time to get them where they basically need to need to be. So the approach is very unique. I wouldn't say for each and every partner I would say for you know, groups of the partner that we work with, so of course we will not have the same kind of trainings and sessions with partners that are coming from, like, not so tech skilled media organizations, but we will develop time to both work on their journalism skills, but also in their tech skills in their collaboration skills as well. And what we, what we have found that it's very useful and what we have found that it's very needed, but also something that we are proud of is that we are asserting more and more to work with the journalists from global south countries, that if I can say somehow turn traditionally has been, you know, misplaced a little bit. So, we are starting to work more with those countries and we are providing as much support as, as, as needed to them. And when it comes to partnership, again, some of the partners are like Monica someone who we have worked with for several projects. There are always some new partners that we are getting in contact with no matter where they are. But what we do. But what we do is that we always try to choose ones that are very friendly, very like to share things but also very professional and courageous at their work.
And I would like to add something because as a pioneer and somebody that for example is not in social media. So it's like they are really nice people to help you to get to navigate in the platform, because it's a way where you, it's a platform, one is the one where you dig the files, but you need a lot of things to get to know and Jelena and other people are always there ready to answer questions to help you to give your sessions by it's by a special streaming. So you can always find out the way your way in the face. I know, and also the other platform to communicate each other. It's also really, really good to use, and it's always working, you know, when you have like three or 400 people that have to go there every day, and communicate with each other and everything. I think that there is something ICFJ must be proud of.
And Monica I wanted to ask you to address this question from Mike Sherry, about how to journalists cope with the harassment, and the threats and I'll just add, where I was actually discussing this with Emily Bell yesterday that the threats are so multi, you know, multiple now and so multifarious you were talking about social media so many of the threats are now online, and the Doxxing and they're aimed at women and they're silencing women and they're silencing women are. And,
you know, As we
were talking about this I was remembering, obviously, the old days when most of the killings journalists were happening in places like Mexico and Brazil, or the pressures in Africa. But, you know, today, there's just so many kinds of threats from sort of all fronts. Can you talk to us a little bit about how brave the journalists are and I'll just plug it global muckraking and African muckraking which were right, they were anthologies of investigative journalism from the global south and as after those books came out so many of those people were still getting arrested, you know, we didn't even a charter, how many of those journalists have been killed, how many had been put in jail and the ones who were alive, are still getting harassed, so can you talk about that,
I mean Ecuador's
yeah i mean you know that's it's like in a day to day thing, because you always have to think about it, I mean if I print, these are Ify Ron the story, what can happen. And it's true that now with social media, in a way you are. I mean you have more contacts you. Your stories are reaching a bigger audience, But at the same time you are also exposed to harassment. And I think also you are exposed to, to bad people trying to kill your credibility and and respectability in the session. And we have seen that we have seen that I mean here in Ecuador we were one of the first countries that had this thralls fryums You know where they were really, like, hundreds and hundreds of people giving, I mean like trying to kill you in the social media. So it's, it's difficult, you always have to think about some things. And for example, in my case, it's very difficult for me to write about Narco traffic. I, you know, it's something that one must be very very careful and. And in a way I suppose that in Africa, maybe it's in Nigeria, it may be another subject or something like that but there are always things that you are a little bit scared of. And, but in a way. On the other hand you are always a journalist, and you are always thinking No, I have to bring this because I have to print it, I have to say it. So it's always like, I think. That feeling is the one that drives you, you know, to do things to during the horrible years of refire Korea as government related to freedom of expression, I always said I, they have all I have to keep going, I have to keep printing my stories. So in that way, there is something like inside each of us, that makes you keep going and do whatever you have to do to print. So, it is difficult, but you can always find ways to do it. And I think that, you must be clever, you must be clever to find out different ways, things like maybe you sometimes in, you can share your findings. So if inside the country there are two or three media that are printing the story, then it could be also based, you know, so we found, we learned a lot during this, the years where we had all this repression and this harassment, being a journalist during the Korean government, but we learned how to defend ourselves. And I think that maybe that also makes you learn our better, our rights and how to defend them better. So, yeah.
Thank you Monica and I really want to shout out to Sarah Stonbely Who asked a great question, and Sarah, I think, well first of all I just want to remind everybody that Sarah did a fantastic report a few years ago on sustainability, which I'm quoting all the time about sort of under what conditions can independent outlets survive, and Sarah is now working with a whole group of people on a big report that looks at this relationship of advocacy and journalism, which is something obviously Gates Foundation is very interested in is particularly Miguel Castro and I've worked, I've worked on a little bit myself. And I think that clearly the relationship between advocates and journalists is ancient, we you know Adam Hochschild, for example documented a lot of it when you look at the anti slavery movement in the 19th century, very often they were funding newspapers, or the labor movement, many of the big labor stories in this world, you know trade union people like Jeff Ballenger in Indonesia in the 1990s who was monitoring Nike was working with journalists to get the story out, but clearly now when so much money is coming from foundations or coming from groups that are particularly interested in health reporting or environmental reporting or rural affairs or development or the SDGs, or women, or, you know, in your case, you're not getting funding from groups that care about tax avoidance, but you're obviously working with them to some extent, not necessarily the reporting but some of the context and an analysis, I think we just be really interesting for everybody sort of how you in today's role I'd given a bit of a potted history but in today's world, how are you navigating that relationship between journalists and advocacy
you know, obviously I know you're remaining independent and not letting yourself be instrumentalized but it would be I just I'd love to hear your thoughts on that, I'm Sarah's QUESTION
Thank you so much.
I can jump in for a bit on that and apologies to answering some questions in written format, then much more enjoyable to do it with our own voices. It's a really interesting, Sometimes thorny question you know ICFJ has received mouthwatering financial proposals from funders who ask us to start an iCj investigation in exchange for financing on a certain topic, you know the tobacco industry for example. And we've had to say no, time and time again and will continue saying no, that's obviously one end of the spectrum, we're seeing a lot more situations in which civil society organizations are creating their own newsrooms and I think Greenpeace's on Earth are uncovered, I might have that name wrong, isn't a really successful example of that doing impressive environmentally focused journalism from within a traditional nonprofit. It's what makes it somewhat more fraught for ICFJ is that because we're a global news organization on projects, the slightest whiff of external support or meddling can come back really negatively and strongly on any journalist in the consortium. So, you know, you're probably aware, but after the Panama Papers and other projects. We were called agents of any, you know, any secret service that you want in the world, depending on where you were we working for the CIA working for the KGB working for Mossad, you know, working for them walkabout at indrawn. So that means we have to be especially attentive to having that striving to have that strict line between reporting, and civil society, although I do think it's changing a lot more, my really for me, the most important thing is transparency. I think journalists. Thankfully in 2021 and for a few years are being forced to be more open and transparent about how they do their work. How do we decide what stories we publish, how do we decide what data we make a publish, public or not. And also, how do we work with experts and civil societies, I do worry sometimes when I'll read an investigative piece and I'll see a quote from an expert who works in normalization, and I know that that organization funds the news organization, but I don't see any reference to that in the story. It's little things like that that I think we are constantly needing to improve on. So that everything's out on the table and so that, As usual readers can make their own decisions.
I would only quickly add that will actually gave an excellent answer in the chat as well. But I wouldn't add that. It really depends like what civil society organizations, there are like in a different parts of the world. Like, they work quite differently so in Eastern Europe, it's very common that you are working hand in hand with some of those, some of those organizations because what they have is they have a very unique expertise that when you're doing these massive investigations, you're not able to you know get yourself to the core, in which some of the have. So that kind of a collaboration is something that I would say is very common in my part of the world. Well,
there was speaking of collaboration, there was a question that I wasn't sure if you were answering in writing room person about how does IC ij work with other journals moralization such as OCCRP or other cross border groups, I'll just by the way, give everyone a preview I was on the zoom with Anton harbor this week, and they've just finished a mapping of investigative journalism in Africa, and where it comes from, and they found that there's 38 centers around Africa, basically all funded by donors, and they're so they're each like a little sort of beacon of light, I don't think that they're necessarily collaborating that much together but I don't know but will did you want to talk about this or just continue answering this show because
I was interested in answering that question. I mean, let me tell you, everyone gets confused. First of all, Are you CJ i CFJ OCCRP, I mean, it's a good position to be in because all of these organizations that are in good and important work. And look, if I see ij could rebrand tomorrow and start from scratch, we'd probably choose a similar name someone hung up on me yesterday when I told them I was from iCj, but I think it is important to, for people to understand and for us here today to continue to explain our points of differentiation because they do exist, you know, I, I see a j for example is not a training organization per se, we don't. Yelena is our training manager but on ICTJ project so we don't, unlike other news organizations run trainings for 50 journalists in a room on general topics. We also don't pay journalists to be on our projects. You know we have four or five saved reporters on staff, whereas groups like OCCRP have much more editorial capacity because they're writing their own stories with their own reporters often more than the ICJ model which is one of collaboration with journalists in each country are empowered to do their own investigations. So I think there are important nuances there and I do think, at least from my experience, Everything's working in almost perfect harmony and complementarity you know OCCRP have a huge reputation and experience in Eastern Europe and Central Asia now for example, so of course they're going to be invited on every iCj project because of the journalists who they work with, you know, there is pressure in this day and age have restricted funding for civil society organizations and journalism for different organizations to condense and merge forces. And that's I think one reason, you know, we haven't done that and I don't think that we should do that with the various collaborative news organizations that are out there, because you know from the inside, I can see how different and complementary our skills and experiences are, you know, I don't know if Monica has worked with different news organizations and she has, you know, experiences in how different collaborative organizations work I'd be interested to hear that.
Yeah, I mean, well if I told you before, during this horrible years we had that we were attacked. We used to collaborate with each other, you know, because I think that we journalists were the first to realize we are retargeted with this authoritarian set government, but also I have had experiences to work with some NGOs, and usually, I mean, I have like apply for a project, and they have given me so much money, you know the last one was not even money but also access to that time. And that was the story I wrote last year about all these Chinese fishing ships that were around Galapagos, and also, the first the first collaborative work that I did was in the 2014, I think, with some people that now are in IC ij, and we did this, this camp program that was created by Chavez and Korea to take all the dollars out from Venezuela, and then we realized that the money was going to Miami and things like that so that was the one of the first things we did. And in a way, I mean, I like those NGOs that offer you the opportunity to do something, but they don't want to impose you their agenda, you know. So I think that's, that's like kind of a better way to do it, because, okay, I'm interested in the Indies, maybe you can help me and then I can propose something, and we can. Yep. And that's it. But don't try to impose me your themes or your subjects, so I will be like kind of a journalist to your service, you know, because journalists must not be the only people that they that journalists have to serve are the readers, and the and the public. That's it. So, um, but, but there are, but in this times where the traditional the legacy media are, are less, they are kind of less powerful because you have those little outlets that receive money, and not everybody wants to pay on the internet and it's more rare to find people who wants to pay for a new for a printed newspaper. I think that, yeah, there must be a way to get to. To find it, like a common ground of collaboration, you know, for example for us is we have work already with the during the COVID pandemia, we have worked with some small website also investigative journalist, and we have worked together, and we received some, some, finances, from an from outside, but we don't see each other as a as a concurrence, so we, I mean, you know, if you do like a good story, either they read it in a universal or in in a news website. So, yeah, I think that one, one has to think about the public interest, always, you know, for a journalist, I think that you have to have written this year, and then you will take the right decision. So,
I'm sorry, it's interesting I feel so lucky to be in this world of journalism and academia, because I feel like we're the most optimistic people that exists in the world so terrible, how do you stay sane and I take some surrounded by students, and because I'm surrounded by incredible investigative journalists, right.
I know that everyone wants to probably stretch their legs before the lightning talks. So we're going to wrap them but I want to say first of all that this was so inspiring, as always, really interesting to get an update from all parts of the world. And I think the sort of main message was that even though COVID has been tough. You're all adapt, you've all
and now you're covering a lot of things like the profiteering like on the impact of COVID as well as you're changing how you're doing business. As Monica describe the going digital, very quickly and I know that you're working on a very big project right now, that we'll find out more about, you know, later this year or next year, I think, other people have been inspired to I see that, Josie Gonzalez has already put into the chat some requests for collaboration, some new story ideas about disaster relief in the Caribbean, so that's always hitting when a when a panel leads to more collaboration I know if we've been in the room together, we'd probably all be hatching up a whole lot of new things, but at least we're managing to do that on Zoom. So really just wanted to thank you, Elena will and Monica for this fantastic presentation. Obviously the staff has been wonderful. I don't know Joe but he's really doing a great job on tech and Stephanie and our hosts, I'll turn it back over to Stephanie and then I know people probably be going to the other events and then lightning talks so thank you so much for letting me come today and
enjoying this wonderful panel.
Thank you, Anya, thank you and thank you to that to everyone from ICI J. What you do is, is so inspiring. I mean, I summed it up perfectly. And I'm just really grateful that you were here to share that with us today, and I really look forward to seeing your next investigation when it comes out, and all the other work that you'll do. One thing I want to know quickly, Sarah Stonbely You know, asked a question in the chat. So she's a Research Director here at the Center for Cooperative Media and what she was referencing is a study that she and Heather Bryant are co leading that will examine how civil society organizations and journalists, work together, and we and we hope that we'll be publishing that research by the end of this year if not in early 2022 So look for that. It will also include recommendations on ethical ways that those collaborations could continue to happen. One other plug I want to make before I turn it over to John Hernandez for lightning talks, is that we are doing awards this year Community Awards, they're fun, they're light hearted, we'll drop the link in the chat. We've been doing it already. We are giving away $100 gift card for everyone who wins one of those awards. So if you really love the ICI J panel nominate them for the panel that you just could not get enough of because we want to be able to award these gift cards out. So with that, let's go to lightning talk so lightning talks are our five minute presentations, this year we're doing them pre recorded that focus on one specific collaboration that happened, and I'm very honored to have lightning talks this year sponsored by the American Press Institute, and John Hernandez here on behalf of API to host today day two, lightning talks. So John, take it away.
Hey, everyone. Thanks, Stephanie thanks Anya, for hosting that previous session. My name is John Hernandez, I'm a project and Community Manager for the American Press Institute right now. I'm helping manage a listening and sustainability lab for five publishers of color throughout the country who are looking to deepen their relationships with specific audience segments in their community. Last year our CO managed API's trusted election that trusted elections network would try to connect newsrooms with subject matter experts, academics and researchers who could help journalists improve elections reporting and 2020. Both of these projects, try to think big, foster knowledge sharing and instill a sense of community, all the stuff that the collaborative journalism Summit is made of and core elements of who I am as journalists, and I want to thank them, take a moment to thank the Center for Cooperative Media for being a part of my journey in getting there. The first collaborative journalism summit I attended two years ago was one of the first and most consequential experiences of my young journalism career, not only was it the first time I got on stage as a professional journalist at a conference. It was the first time I was allowed to step out of my bubble in Minnesota, and imagine what we could do if we work together. The Center for Cooperative Media also gave me a grant to visit resolve Philly through its peer learning fund where I was introduced to people in an organization that tries to do right by their city and its communities in a way I always aspire to, even in a session today, where I was listening to other projects and collaboration managers talk about the challenges of this work, I couldn't help but think that even if the day that even if the day to day of collaborations, is difficult. The very act of collaborating is still a net gain for our community, because it makes room for people like me to be here and to fight the good fight to make journalism better, I can be the grumpiest of them all when it comes to journalism's issues I know that for sure, but being here today is one of those moments where the frustration fades away, and I can recharge and bask in all the good stuff that happens when, when we come together. I can't wait to see what inspiration we all get from the talks, we're about to hear. So with that being said, I've got one quick logistical note before we begin, a reminder that the presenters will be available to answer questions in the q&a section at the bottom of your screen you can also make use of the chat, so make sure to drop questions in the q&a section in there as we proceed. And now let's get to the videos, we'll begin with Sumi Agarwal, and buyer Duncan from reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, without further ado here zooming in Byard. Thanks for the intros, I am by Duncan reveals engagement and collaborations reporter and this is Sumi Agarwal, our interim Editor in Chief, you'll hear from her in just a moment. I'm going to talk very briefly about our review of reporting networks. So, three years ago, almost, we were confronted with a problem with some of our reporting and the problem was that we had too much stuff to deal with too many tips too much data to grapple with. And so, two of our investigative reporters came to me and asked if there was a way to outsource some of the tips that they'd received about work based rehabs and share with a community of local reporters across the country and I said, Sure, let's do it. We just need to find some local reporters. So, eventually that became our first member of the rehab reporting network. And we ended up outsourcing, almost 100 tips about rehabs that were forcing residents to work for free in exchange for treatment to this small network. And I think about 200 250 Reporters signed up initially on the promise of these tips and several started producing stories based on those local stories, centered on sort of reporting key findings. Before long, this kind of became an approach at reveal. And we do it with many of our different investigations if there's anything additional to offer whether it's Amazon injury records you see here in the behind the smiles reporting network, tips and resources about the census, or. Most recently we did a bit about PPP loans, who got them and who didn't and that focus of investigations but sue me is about to talk about right now.
Yeah. So at the beginning of May, we did a big investigation on the PPP loans program. You may remember that when the program was launched in April 2020 It was meant to help small businesses, be able to pay payroll, even though they might be facing closures and other things in the midst of the pandemic. Since then, the program injected more than $770 billion into the nation's businesses, and last may reveal and 10 other news organizations sued the Small Business Administration for access to that data, we want to understand who got loans who didn't, and why. A federal judge ordered the release of those records in November, and then we'd set about analyzing 5 million records to understand what had happened. And what we found were widespread racial disparities in how the loans were distributed, you know, and this was visible all across the country. We found that in the vast majority of metro areas that have a population of a million or more. The rate of lending to majority white areas was much higher than the rates for any majority Latin X, black or Asian areas, and in many metro areas those disparities were pretty extreme. We found that some of this was related to banking relationships confusion about the program that you could apply and how, and did a deep dive on this but as you can imagine, we could not necessarily use all 5 million of those records, and that was where our PPP reporting network came in.
Correct. So what we did for our PPP reporting network was team up with big local news which is a project out of Stanford University. And it was kind of a match made in heaven, they have a pretty sophisticated database for storing and sharing big datasets, not only for download, but also if it's a, a huge data set that you would crash your computer if you download they have a tool that allows you to open it and sort of analyze it right there. And we had as Sumi mentioned you know more than 5 million lines of data, surrounding all these different loans who got them and who didn't. And so what we did was ahead of publication, with two weeks ago we invited all 1100 or so members of our reporting networks to join the training and get access to the data. Now, it's never 1100 who actually joined our training this summer and it was close to 7070 Reporters attended the training. More than 50 now have downloaded the data sets, and since this network launched in the beginning of May, we've seen five local stories come out of it, and we're expecting several more. And we're excited to tell you about sort of any, any questions you might have. We're also excited to invite you to join the network's yourself it's reveal news.org slash network. I am the sort of community manager of the network's, and I'd be happy to see you. And we're at four minutes and 30 seconds zooming. Alright,
so I will just say one quick thing to wrap this up, is that you know as Byron mentioned this is all completely free. We simply do this as a way of making sure that all of this information and tips and everything else that we have gathered is being put to good use, and to really like help strengthen the investigative ecosystem we know that that can be hard sometimes for a small or local newsrooms and so we are just here to help. And so if you have any questions about any of our existing networks or anything have come down with Mike Beier is the man to get in touch with.
Absolutely. Thanks so much, and that's it. Sorry if I was on mute. Now let's shift over to the Midwest we're solving for Chicago has been putting a spotlight on essential workers during the pandemic during the pandemic. Here to tell us more about the 20 member collaborative is Sam chalky. Hi,
I'm Sam chalky. I'm the project director for solving for Chicago. We're a group of 20 newsrooms in Chicago that's been working on essential workers for about the last six months now, and I wanted to talk real quickly about three criteria that we use to determine what would make an appropriate topic for our group, and now that we're about 100 stories in talk a little bit about what we're seeing on the other end. So that's what I'm gonna dive right in. Topics got to be complex. This should be pretty straightforward, it's got to benefit from having multiple newsrooms multiple skill sets working on the issue should lead to greater understanding topics got to be urgent, it's gonna have a lot of dynamic information that people are making decisions on plays to our strengths as newsrooms it's something we're good at. It's why you see a lot of traditional beats, structured the way they are, they have a lot of dynamic information all the time, housing, government, crime, unlike those those are all based on some abstraction or some institution. Our newsrooms felt that that was going to make things more difficult for us and the way we overcame that barrier was by adding this third criteria the topics got to be about people. So it helped us keep in the foreground of our minds, who, who this project is for, whose project about who should be trying to listen to, whose priorities we should be considering who stories we should be telling those questions, became a lot easier for us to answer and a lot more straightforward to answer when we added this criteria that the topic must be about people, you know, being able to provide straightforward answers to those sort of questions, is really important and we realized that as we got into the reporting process, in part because the hierarchy of a collaborative, at least for us is super super flat. There are very few opportunities for anyone to tell anyone else what to do. I certainly can't sit in news budget meetings and pitch meetings and listen to stories and say what would or wouldn't make an appropriate topic for the collaborative to cover. So, the people who attend our meetings, who were there to help determine the topic and frame the topic, have to both find the consensus within that group amongst themselves, and then translate it back to their own newsrooms and make sure that that those values that understanding of it is maintained the entire time has to be really easy for them to translate what we mean by essential workers back to their newsrooms. We found this is, this is pretty critical. It's, it's, it's a lot more difficult when you're talking about abstractions, and we found that a lot of the problems that we've people have encountered in the past and other efforts in Chicago, we were able to get around in part because we had really easy and straightforward answers to these questions. We think that it had a real impact on the reporting to talk a little bit about that as well, because we're now about 100 stories in, and we had some goals we wanted to see that the center workers were reflected in the larger body of work and some specific ways. So, in some sense like we wanted to know that their priorities were, were there and we have surveys and other engagement projects and efforts that helped us do that, but some of the simpler questions were just demographics, we wanted to see if the demographics of who we're reporting about lined up with demographics, we knew about who was affected. So this map you can see of Chicago, on my screen here is the estimates from the Chicago metropolitan agency for planning of where essential workers live. The estimates are there's about 1.7 million central workers in Chicago that's about a third of our workforce here, they primarily live in communities of color, about 54%, so we wanted to see some of that reflected in our coverage. We've been going through our coverage recently and picking out who are the sources that we foregrounded who are the experts that we relied on. Where is the setting of the story often like where is this being reported from. And we found that 66% of the time, about two thirds. We were talking to people of color, they were the, the lead person, they were the lead photo. They were the expert, their communities were the communities we were reporting from 66% of the time, so it's a really rough guide but it shows that we, we were making some progress towards the value that we had. I will say that that's the value that we had on our own we had no mandates from funders and it was something we were tracking as we were going. So it wasn't a thing where we were like, seeing that we were slipping on something and trying to play catch up. Now this was a thing that we're looking at now, because we wanted to see
was this idea about people doing some real work for us, we think that it was, I mean, obviously there's other things contributing to this look huge black lives matter protests in Chicago were happening at the same time, we can't ignore those. But we think that this criteria did some work for us as well and it's something we're going to be looking at as we go forward and think about other topics too. So that being said, I'm looking forward to having conversations about this and lots of other aspects of collaborative journalism with folks. Over the course of the conference here. I'd encourage everybody to attend other sessions with the local media associations collaboratives that includes us, and we're in black and Oklahoma Media Center. So with that, just want to say thanks again for having us and thanks for listening to my lightning talk today,
Sam. We've seen many new collab collaborations pop up over the last year and one of those has been the rain forest investigations network, the collaborative is tackling stories at the intersection of climate change, corruption and governments in the Amazon. Congo Basin and Southeast Asia, a huge task but certainly an important one. Here to tell us more as the Pulitzer Center environment investigations editor, Gustavo violators. Hello everyone,
it's a great pleasure to be here with you. My name is Gustavo folios I'm the environmental investigations as sure at the poster center. I today going to talk about the rain forest investigations network. We just launch this new initiative at the Pulitzer Center, the rain forest investigations network, its
term initiative for investigating the fate of the rain forest regions on the planet, and their main drivers of its destruction. So let me tell you a little bit, how it works. So, the Pulitzer Center is creating this initiative to compliment. A lot of the rain forest reporting that's already going on with cross regional cross country investigations and collaborative reporting. And the way we are doing this, it's a lot with techniques of follow the money and data driven journalists so what we are looking at is creating in depth stories with the lot of quantitative analysis investigative journalists techniques in order to have a systemic view of this main drivers that causing deforestation in the main tropical forests of the planet. So we're looking at larger trends economic trends and also international trade and supply chain is the main supply chains like commodities like palm oil, and others. So as we're talking a lot about collaboration in this meeting, collaboration is definitely a key component for us having better stories, as we said the main goal of this initiative is really fostering transnational stories and collaboration. Here's how it's structure right we have 13 fellows from 10 different countries, they have one year, one year long fellowships, and they are divided in in the three main tropical forest regions of the planet so we have four fellows in the Amazon region three in the Congo Basin, three in Southeast Asia, and three that are working with global media outlets with global audiences, just a few examples of the bets that are part of this initiative, we have the New York Times, Bloomberg, NBC and now by he is representing this global audience but also we have very local outlets such as info Congo in the Congo Basin area confocal in the room will save in Cameroon, and Malawi for in Venezuela. So we definitely think collaboration is the best way forward and have the Pulitzer Center, we created a team to facilitate this collaboration so I'm acting as the editor of this group also have a tutorial coordinator, which oversees all the communication platforms, and also a data team, which is formed by a data manager and was one member to our viewers that we provide a lot of coaching and training, facilitate access to data and data analysis and facilitate communication. So that's all for me. Thank you, looking forward for your questions.
Thank you so much Gustavo. Now we turn our focus on Colorado, where the Colorado news collaborative also known as CO lab is looking back on a year's worth of achievements here to share more as CO lab Executive Director Laura Frank.
In Colorado, at least one of every seven newspapers has closed since 2004. Half of our 64 counties are in danger of becoming news deserts, that is having no source of local news. You all have similar stories in your states, here's what we're doing about it in Colorado. We started something called colab short for the Colorado news collaborative with a goal of helping news outlets, and their communities become stronger. We started collab right about the time everyone went into pandemic lockdown. I guess in Colorado we really like a challenge. Just one year later, we have nearly 200 journalists from more than 130 news outlets signed up to participate in collab, and more than 1000 Coloradans have donated to our nonprofit whose motto is better news for all Coloradans. Think of collab, as a laboratory, experimenting on three things better news, more trust and faster evolution colab builds better news that is higher quality news through collaboration among the partners, one on one coaching with our expert staff and free training for newsrooms on everything from the basics of investigative reporting to how to support diversity and journalists safety. We lead multi newsroom collaborative projects, but we also help individual partners dig into complex local stories that have statewide importance. For example when police shot an unarmed man in the back in rural Kiowa county officials were staying silent and the newspaper there had no full time reporter to investigate other media around the state had no capacity to send anyone, but colab did and veteran journalist Susan Greene was able to help the weekly Kiowa county independent uncover a pattern of misconduct that spanned multiple areas. The story was printed and broadcast by collab partners across the state, the county sheriff has now resigned, and the deputy is facing criminal charges. Let's talk about more trust colab helps build more trust through community engagement. We know newsrooms won't survive if they aren't well serving their communities, all of their communities, and they can't do that without closely engaging. So for example, we've helped launch statewide working groups with black and Latino X journalists, and community members to find ways news outlets can better serve them colabs third focus faster evolution comes through innovating business models and practices. You might have heard the recent news that Colorado's largest family owned newspaper group will stay under local control through a first of its kind of ownership model involving the new National Trust for local news colab helped facilitate that, along with many other partners, and we'll continue working with the Colorado news conservancy to help those 24 newspapers evolve and grow. I'll leave you with some tips tricks and tools for collaboration on the scale. The first tip is most important. If you aren't familiar with the phrase collective impact, Google it, working with other organizations is the only way colab could have scaled as quickly as it has, and have the reach an impact that it does take stock of, who in your community can help carry the load our news partners are heroic, and we have a host of other organizations like the Colorado media project the Colorado Press Association, and news voices Colorado who are working side by side with us. Here's a trick approach everything from a win win vantage point. If you can't find a way to benefit all who are participating, it's probably not a project for you. And finally, the tools, colab uses a tool from the Associated Press called Story share that allows partners to upload text, audio, video, photos, graphics, anything they're willing to share and collab partners can download them for free. When we have a large collaboration like our big COVID report or mental health project or election guide partners load their content onto story share so it's all in one place. We use Google Drive for planning zoom for weekly partner meetings, and we're about to launch the Harkin tool so all partners and their communities have a turnkey way to immediately engage with each other. Our website serves as our Information Center where partners can learn about the next training session or grant opportunity or sign up for direct emails with all the collab media and community partners. We are working together to make sure our fellow Coloradans don't wind up living in a news desert, whether they're in the rural plains, the Rocky Mountains, or Metro Denver. If you want to learn more about how we're bringing better news to all Coloradans reach out to me through Twitter or email, both are in the conference contact list, or go to kolab news.co that CO, as in Colorado. Thanks.
Thanks, Laura. Now let's turn to the Center for Collaborative investigative journalism, which has been bringing together journalists around the world to produce gripping stories that hold power to account. Here to tell us more is executive director Jeff Kelly loans.
Hi I'm Jeff Kelly Lowenstein founder and executive director of the Center for Collaborative investigative journalism or CCI Jay, welcome to our lightning talk,
at the end of 2016 I was attending the African Investigative Journalism Conference at vets University, and we issued an invitation to people at the conference to join us in one of the lecture rooms at another lecture, we were looking for a subject for which we could collaborate that cross borders, and that would be generic enough for everyone to be able to do it. A jet said Well, what about a lot. The lightweight. I still say to Jeff. At the time, you do realize that what we're doing is going to become an investigative journalism organization. Are you ready for it and he laughed.
We have two major projects that we've done so far. The first is an exposition of the existence architecture and impact of the International lottery industry. We've published more than 150 stories in South Africa, Mali, Switzerland, Bolivia, and the United States. Those stories have been published in English and French, and German. They've had significant impact they've preceded in the United States, foreclosures, arrests and state level audits, and in South Africa. They've led to, among other things to national presidential proclamation by President Cyril Ramaphosa and their subsequent raid of the national lotteries commission headquarters in Pretoria, and then we also are doing an ongoing look at access to clean water, and we've published stories in 11 different countries, and that's also been a really meaningful project.
My enemies used on Monday, and my mother in journalist, as well as the host of water this podcast order this podcast is a niche initiative for CCJ essentially the program, I speak to various journalists and creatives, all over the world to find out for example, how the idea to previous stories came about, essentially the idea is to share those experiences with other journalists all over the world. It's unique in the sense that we want to go deep into the minds of those journalists and creatives to find out how they think about those stories.
I am Julian Dudziak and I serve as the design director for CCI J. I think what makes CCI J special is not just our desire to produce stories by for and about underrepresented people in communities, but it's also in the way the organization has this true sense of innovation, whether that's through experimental methods of distribution like publishing stories within a virtual Metaverse or by exploring unique ways to meld the visual and data elements together. My background is in product design within the tech industry. So, on a personal level, I'm excited to explore the idea of applying a design process framework within journalism and storytelling, I'm Juliana Thornton,
I'm CCI JS development director.
working on doing trainings together with our members on various fundraising do's and don'ts, just very
practical guides on
ways that you can make grant applications work for you as a journalist,
and various ways that you can also make that work
for your organization. I def on myself, junk, I am a member of the CCI J community. I have been a beneficiary of opportunities that the CIA has made available with grants in unfolding opportunities for stories. One of search was from last year for the COVID 19 pandemic, Four report that I did on internally displaced people and how realistic it was for Ben to respect the COVID-19 guidelines, especially where water was concerned, as a member of the CCM community, I have made myself available to assisting young journalists who have needed help and information about Nigeria and some parts of Africa, some familiar with,
we work with in country journalists, and we give them the resources to tell their own stories, what we have set out to do is to train a new generation of Investigative Journalists, so it was over a few drinks as journalists as journalists do we got together. From that has grown a movement in an organization.
Oh that was dope thanks Jeff, we end today's session with a collaboration, out of Texas. Texas Metro News and The Dallas Morning News began partnering last year and have since become a model for newsroom partnerships. Here to tell us more are Cheryl Smith, publisher of Texas Metro news and Jamie Hancock North Texas editor at the Dallas Morning News. Hi,
I'm happy to be here today with you to talk about the partnership between Texas Metro News This Morning News. This started a little more than a year ago when we were launching an initiative called DMM local to cover areas in our community that had been traditionally underserved and one of those areas is Southern Dallas and Oakcliff, and we knew that going into it, we needed to talk to community leaders about how their media coverage of these areas on our part had been lacking. So, one of those people was Cheryl Smith, and it became clear pretty quickly from talking to Cheryl that this, we needed to formalize the things that we were discussing and talking about into an actual real partnership.
And what a wonderful opportunity because it says something about the leadership of the Dallas Morning News,
because communities felt like you didn't care. You weren't concerned and what I saw was concerned from the top, and the very top about how could we do journalism better, how can we better serve our communities. And so I was all in, I thought it was really exciting I think it's groundbreaking. And I think it could be a model for other industries and for journalism as a whole, we're talking about good journalists, good community service providing news information and so it's a, it's something worth exploring that thing in all my
brain for us that collaboration. Collaboration over competition so we've learned how to have a mutual respect and trust for each other that's been really important throughout the partnership and knowing, you know that we are here working together for the benefit of the Dallas community and our readers.
That's it, putting journalism, First, that is putting journalism first and realizing we can't do everything, but time to change. We have to pivot. We're living in a time we've never lived before, and, and there's so many stories, and so many angles and knowing that we have a team that we have a collaboration that we can't do it all, but together we can do more.
Instead of leaving it on a table say oh well it doesn't get covered because I think we're into a weak relationship, and this is about covered, losing information sourcing we share sources, and opening up an opportunity for
experts that may not have gotten a voice, or had their voice heard before on both sides. And then there are opportunities for information about internships scholarships reshare all of
that information fellowships, opportunities for us both to grow because if we're both successful. Guess who benefits our
audience, that's who. And that's who we want to benefit and our employees. We participate in training. And that is really important that
we could all learn from one another. And we're talking about learning from folks who have five years in the business one year in the business and some who have 2030 and 40 years. And as this industry changes, we have to be able to change with it and I think we found a way to make it work for us, really looking at being out in the community because
if we can show that we can work together, it sends a message out there for others, and maybe we can build a better society it's folks look back on and they'll say it started with, collaborate, and so we're gonna be doing fun things in the future and I'm excited about that.
I am to think I'm excited excited about getting out to community together and doing those sorts of things and having maybe some of these training sessions that we've all done on Zoom taking them to the doing them in person. And just to talk a little bit about the logistics of the partnership some of the more nuts and bolts, we, we will pay Texas Metro news, a fee for any content or, you know we will. We'll pay them for any content that we use of theirs and they can use any of our content photos etc for at no cost. We also pay a monthly stipend for weekly meetings that Cheryl and I hold with our teams, different team members to talk about coverage of the black community in Dallas to talk about sourcing share story ideas, and those have been really cool and I just kind of look forward to them every week doing them and getting to know Cheryl and her team and finding out really what's going on in the pulse of the community,
a deep, deep thank you on behalf of myself and API to all our lightning talk speakers and to all of you for listening. Now let's turn back to Stephanie for our next session.
Thanks, John. Thank you. We have shared the Youtube playlist link in the chat so you can rewatch all those sessions, and thank you to all of our lightning talk speakers I know it was a little different this year pre recording. Maybe next year hopefully fingers crossed we will build me together in the same space, and be able to do it under fire live on stage so thank you and thank you to API as well again for sponsoring our lightning talks this year. So up next is our collaborative meditation. I am really excited about this I know I said that yesterday, it's one of my favorite parts of this year's event, and I am honored to welcome back to our stage to Leah Jones so delea
thank you. I hope everybody's having a good day today, you know tomorrow's Friday. We know we're gearing up for the weekend. It's been a very long week.
you know, I've been thinking a lot about setup sort of the things that kind of motivate me in journalism right and sort of the things that kind of keep me grounded and also balanced. So again, I'm from rural Texas. So you know, I grew up around a lot of, I want to say a lot of wisdom, grew up around a lot of generations of my grandparents and so you know a lot of things that I kind of take to heart or a lot of things that I value kind of come out of the wisdom that they shared with me and I in this particular moment I kind of want to talk about my grandpa. I pop off, You know, used to go on the road with him all the time. Till this day still talk to him, you know, he's 100 he's, he loves nature he loves long road trips and I kind of acquired that from him especially that meditative practice of like just actually being in nature and actually being present. One thing my grandpa always says, is like to never fight when you're angry, right, when we talk about resistance when we talk about changing journalism, we have to also, you know, understand that a lot of those things either come with conflict or they come with pushback right, and so you know sometimes it's kind of hard to kind of keep that balance or to kind of not kind of take some of those things to heart are not even be stressed by them right. And so I asked my grandpa was like, you know why, you know, it doesn't make sense to not fight when you're angry when else do you fight and he's like, Well, you know, you really don't fight when you're like mad because you're irrational right. You can fight strategically right you can be grounded and also still move with intention. And so he says, you know, for him, he's religious so he says he goes to his Bible to kind of go back to that moment. And for me,
for me going back into nature right taking walks right, but also doing these very little, small grounding practices or techniques sometimes just like really helps to ground me when I either feel overwhelmed when either, you know, I'm just kind of enraged about something, especially within the realm of journalism because there's a lot of things to be angry about. So I kind of wanted to introduce some of those grounding techniques as well. So the first. I do a lot of vagal nerve tapping. So in this area right here. It helps to kind of release dopamine when it's activated so like anytime that there's a car crash or anything. This is why people kind of grab this, this part of their chest or when people are overwhelmed or gasping, they're like, right, because this is the area that activates that part of your brain. So me and my therapist, we do a lot of practices around vagal nerve trapping so she'll be like, press your your hand on your chest and take a deep breath, maybe like four or five deep breaths and I'm going to do that in this moment so. And I encourage folks to join me as well.
And I'm going to just do one more.
And I'm in my body and I'm filling myself right. But also another way to activate this area of your body is with butterfly taps. So crossing your thumbs like this. And essentially, just you know just tapping. And you can do that for about like you know one or two minutes, and that way it kind of releases those openings right and it calms your body down right and brings you back to yourself. And so I really wanted to introduce that idea to you especially in moments where you may feel overwhelmed, where maybe a walk doesn't work right, or maybe even when a stretch doesn't work right. I also want to talk about gratitude. Gratitude is always something that's gonna bring you back to yourself and kind of bring you back to sort of the purpose of why you're doing this work. So going on a gratitude walk just going on a walk and looking around, and realizing the things that you may be grateful for. Sometimes in the mornings, you know, when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I'll write a list of things that I'm grateful for a list of people that I'm grateful for, especially within this journalism realm. But I think that it also helps to change your frame of thinking there are a lot of things that that's very easy to be very upset about within this industry and I think that the gratitude portion is kind of what motivates us and keeps us going. You know, While we're kind of talking about grounding and balance I am curious to know the folks who are actually watching the session in the chat Can y'all please just put, you know what are the things that ground you, what are the things that bring you back to yourself. Thank you, Roxanne. You know the things that that truly, You know, sort of help you become more rational when when you know emotions are kind of overwhelming you when they're flooding you. And so I encourage folks to kind of throw those in the chat and we can do that for like the next two minutes,
we'll do about another minute and a half. So Christine quit drinking water and stepping away from computer trying to touch you touch your toes. Yes,
that's a really good way
petting the dog.
Oh that's not weird Stephanie you're petting your cats yeah that's you know what I mean those are our best friends, those are our family members we love our pets, my dog, her name is sugar because she's so sweet. She's like the best cuddler in the world, very very dramatic, but she's a great cuddler walking barefoot listening to music that's a great one walk Roxanne and stretching,
All Lizzie weeding my garden as skimmed through emails from people I admire. That's beautiful, jumping jacks. All Christina with snuggling her baby nephew was so cute. I love that. And you know sometimes I even know you know folks who actually make folders of the things that they're proud of things that you know from folks that they admire, and sometimes they go back to that folder whenever they need to kind of be grounded and kind of reminded of kind of why they love this industry in
the first place.
Jean appertain I mean my favorite place.
I go on like random hikes with my dog sometimes throughout the day, that helps as well. Love this. And we can do like maybe 30 More seconds of this Oh Bachata or salsa, okay yes, especially in the past 13 months in isolation, no social distancing social dancing,
I love that Sileo Cruz, Romeo Santos, love that. I listen to a lot of rap. I listen to a lot of girls and rap right Twerking is liberatory like Twerking is healing I don't care what anybody says, looking at old newspaper clips yes from when I was starting my career Yes, let me tell you about growth. Yes, absolutely. Oh, imagining quiet in the woods and slowly seeing wildlife going about their day. Absolutely. So now that we're kind of coming at the end of the session, this is like pretty fast so sorry for wrapping up so fast I just want to thank everybody for sharing their grounding techniques, and to kind of think about even out, you know, outside of the summit, even at work, you know, even on the weekends when you're not even thinking about work to really just apply these techniques on a regular basis so I'm going to just turn it back over to Stephanie But thank you all again, I'll see y'all tomorrow, and I hope the rest of y'all enjoyed the summit.
I want to
talk a little bit about equity and equitable partnerships, talk a lot about diversity, we talked about different ways of addressing this right here. A word that I think we tend to forget about a lot is power.
Power is everywhere.
Humans were programmed to do two things which is to reproduce the human species and
to replicate power.
One thing that I'm very aware of is that extractive nature of journalism. Remember about what is getting done what can't be done and that's what our community wants to know we know we're oppressed, and I call it, sometimes I say, there's some that we, we do journalism sometimes fall into this trap of like, I call it done journalism where it's kind of like hey, guess what's happening in our community and the people who've been living in our town like.
We want to help
beyond just you telling us what the problem is being able to think about what are the solutions are
able to have time and space to think through what we're going to partner with to make our work as impactful and meaningful as possible, different folks bring different things to the table bring different people, and want to participate. It's just a matter of us saying, Okay, where
are you at, And,
and how can we support that work. power is everywhere.
I'm Daniel Purefoy and I'm the racing place editor at Galois today but yeah I'm just going to give you a bit of a story about our collaboration
is a five year old magazine and media organization headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, devoted to journalism and storytelling that eliminates unsettled dominant narratives pursues justice and liberation stands in solidarity with marginalized people and communities across the south, and today I'm going to talk with you a little bit about one of our collaborative projects with a writer, who's currently incarcerated on death row in North Carolina
for you years ago, a former editor of Scalloway approached our team about a writing workshop and is facilitating with death row prisoners at Raleigh Central Prison. One of the participants a while may have already written a memoir, and was seeking an opportunity to write more for the public. Specifically, he wanted to write about the problems with the education and parole policies in North Carolina's prison system. While was sentenced to death in 1999 and 21 years old. He told me that prison was where he grew up, where he decided to pursue his education as he goes through the decades long appeals process to be released from prison, prisoners in North Carolina do not have access to publicly funded education. Amongst the general prison population they are deemed unworthy of privileges. The resources are considered wasted on. No 140 Men currently on death row, Lyle is one of the only prisoners who has attained an advanced degree while incarcerated. 2016 essay for Scalloway, he said, quote, there needs to be something more than the poison of prison, air that lethal combination of hatred, bitterness and ignorance that rots mind, body and soul
to leave that for another grand possibilities life without parole, simply another way to make prisoners disposable life without parole is silent execution is still one of the best circulating articles and is now taught in courses on criminal justice reform at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and it's been taught in a writing seminar at Duke University,
collaboration with Wilde has been fruitful for us. He's written for us has led to invitations for university lectures by activities for major education media outlets like Inside Higher Ed radio and podcast interviews, and most recently, he had an interview with CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT Sanjay Gupta about the impact of COVID-19 in prison.
Name with him to all of these venues, and we see the impacts and increased traffic to our website and engagement with our overall work.
Every couple of months,
I take a 45 minute drive to Raleigh to visit Lyle in Central Prison. Every time I have to leave everything but my keys and photo ID in my car. I walked through an automatic door to a room empty except for glass, detailing the celebratory history of the prison and a wall line with Central Prison T shirts, sold as souvenirs to tourists. The elevator takes me to the role of sell room, and I always find love and one of them, really, and ready for a two hour conversation
about everything inside, outside, is writing projects is classes of drugs work
before the pandemic shut down all visitation privileges. He told me that the $500 check he received from Scalloway his last story on how prisons routinely violate freedom of the press was the largest patient he received with his wife is 42 years old. Many lessons learned collaboration worthwhile and other prisoners, but this is one of the most important. We are committed to paying all of our writers Lau have just realized that pain incarcerated writers in particular have exponential impact on their ability to survive and to keep speaking truth to power. Thank you.
My name is Evan Sanchez, I'm a local entrepreneur and Atlantic City resident. I'm here with Allie Nunzia and Mike Rispoli to talk about stories of Atlantic City. So why Atlantic City, Atlantic City has suffered from what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls the danger of a single story. When people think of Atlantic City. They all too often think of just one story, casinos. While the casinos are a part of our story. It's far too narrow, and is led to a limited understanding of our city, both locally and beyond, Atlantic City
is a microcosm
of the world, filled with schools where 40 languages are spoken, natural beauty like our free beaches, and a wonderfully rich history that includes a
jazz legacy. It is true that we have problems of all cities, poverty, homelessness, addiction, and more. With a population of under 40,000. It means we have an incredible opportunity to be a hub for experimentation to solve the problems that are facing all places, in a very small way. Many of us felt that our stories. The real ones, the messy ones the important ones
weren't being amplified
incredibly proud to say that the movement started that night has surfaced and spotlighted
Atlantic City specific stories through the stories of Atlantic City initiative work must continue. Because Atlantic City is so, so much more than just a casino city diverse. It is beautiful, and has the potential to solve big problems. And once again become a world class city, but only if we change the story.
One thing that we want you to understand is what was missing for you. If you're us we're going to ask you to take time out and whilst they're caring genuine relationships with people in the community, you would probably have a challenging time finding a few extra minutes even on your most well intended day. That's for people like myself the non journalist women, it's crucial that we encourage you to identify key partner that already have established trusting relationships
with people in the community.
People know me people know my team and people know that they can trust that. We're here today to point out the not so obvious.
folks that have been freezing their family in these neighborhoods for generations. The people that care for their neighbor, even when the city seemingly doesn't. The people champion their environment with every
part stacked against them. People
that promote the human spirit, even when basic needs aren't being met. It takes enough of courage humility and vulnerability, not only see but to listen for what's really going on beyond the audio. Beyond the bias that you may have about your own community, we learn when we leaned in a bit more in our own city and that people take care
of other people.
My question to you is can you identify a partner that you might work with as an access to more
in your community.
What we know is that our words
create our world. The stories we tell,
and what we tell our children, is what they live
into we're accountable for better stories
that share the fullness of who we
are. It looks really different than when a lot of collaboration is internal. This was something that was led by the community and not the newsroom.
As someone who is a former journalist and is now a community organizer, I think there's a lot of things that journalists are interested in doing collaboration, organizers, your successes your community success and if you want to be successful, you need to work with people and get as many stakeholders invested in collective success and justice. Even if you're a journalist, even if you find it challenging and maybe a little uncomfortable. Your future depends on collaborating with the community. We need to stop thinking about the community as a liability. instead, your community is your greatest asset.
Anything, any newsroom collaboration, strengthen, journalism, and it makes it more reflective of the democracy that it's supposed to have.
If you're tired of hearing your audience criticize your work, call the community in, and if you're tired of feeling overworked, but you don't have enough time to final district stories out there for the community and activate them. When you're tired of feeling that the public just doesn't understand the value of journalism and what you do, call the community in an activate them. What's exciting about community newsroom collaboration is like this, like the stories of Atlantic City project is that the community stops just being news consumers instead their constituents for local journalism. Thank you,
common thread in these projects is that organizations, reap the benefits of content sharing, while maintaining a high level of autonomy and editorial independence.
Local ongoing and separate collaboration that we looked at in the report is between Charlotte tomorrow, and the Julie's progress within Charlottesville, Virginia. And here, Charles both tomorrow began as a newsletter focused on education issues, and the daily progress is the area's legacy printing paper. The progress began to print. Education stories when they downsize. And now, hundreds of stories later, they're still involved in collaboration, it's been mutually beneficial
taxonomy and editorial independence autonomy and editorial independence,
autonomy and editorial independence.
Hi everyone, just let me figure out how to unmute myself for a minute. Sorry about that. I'm really sorry about that. It's incredibly embarrassing for the break. But it's okay, we've all done it. As you've all reminded me on Twitter and in the chats. Welcome back to the collaborative journalism summit I'm Stefanie Murray, I'm the director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, and I am so thrilled to welcome you to this discussion. The next conversation that we're hosting here is one that I've been eagerly awaiting. And I'm very grateful to the Lenfest Institute for journalism for sponsoring this conversation about building just and equitable partnerships journalism partnerships in service of a shared reimagined future, I'd like to welcome Roxanne Stafford, to the stage, and I'm overjoyed and humbled to welcome Roxanne Stafford to our stage to share this space with us and she'll be hosting this conversation. Roxanne is managing director of the Nightline fest, local news transformation fund. And she will be leading us through the next hour together so Roxanne, the floor is yours.
Thank you so much, Stephanie, I'm thrilled to be here in company, and in community with all of you, thank you to the collaborative journalism summit team, and all of you who are tuning in and doing this most important work. I also extend gratitude and acknowledgement to the indigenous lands we are gathering from and to the ancestral wisdom that is guiding us as Stephanie shared my name is Roxanne Stafford, and I will give you all a little bit of a taste of what the night when fest local news transformation fund is before we jump, jump into this conversation. We are an independent joint initiative of the Knight Foundation and the Lenfest Institute, designed to strengthen local journalism at scale, with a focus on journalistic excellence in serving the information needs of communities in the US. The night Lind fest, fun, our framing is really around a mutual aid approach to journalism, and we'll get into some of that today, with a focus on the relationship between sustainability and equity in our national as well as in our local work in Philadelphia. So when science fiction author Octavia Butler was once asked for advice on predicting the future. She said, There is no single answer. That will solve all of our future problems. There is no magic bullet. Instead, there are 1000s of answers. At least you can be one of them. If you choose to be. Now as we continue to learn more about the ways in which we'll be living in the pandemic and continue to do the important, and Paramount work of accountability and reconciliation to address racism and systemic inequalities. We're going to be seeing lots of different ways that news and information and partnerships will be created communicated and lived. So I am so honored to be here speaking with four people who in the words of Octavia Butler chose to bring an equitable just and Stephanie if I may add another word, joyful, future into the now, please join me in welcoming such an amazing group, CANDACE Fortman, Executive Director of outlier media. Chris Norris, managing editor for community engagement, uh, why, why, and why why nice news and information community exchange, Eric Marsh, the community outreach organizer at why why nice and retrica Lita co, co founder of URL media and publisher of epicenter in yc. So to kick this off, maybe we can just quickly go around and each of you can briefly introduce yourself as you describe your news organization and initiative, and also answer this question. What do just equitable and joyful partnerships mean to you.
Would you like to start,
Candace, would you mind kicking us off. Since I named you first, that's okay. Yes, sorry, everyone. I'm Candace Fortman with the extreme honor of being executive director of outlier media here in Detroit, Michigan, and outlier is a service based journalism organization that focuses on the needs of low wealth Detroiters we do that in several ways, but I think the one that is most well known is through our SMS text message system. And we do that also by first asking Detroiters what are their highest information needs, what do they need to know today, in order to survive in Detroit. That works survival is really important because so much of the information that is available to all of us in the many ways that it's available is about really thriving right so the folks that we work with really need to be able to survive in the moment that they're in and that is what we do. And I have to say that there is no outlier, without partnership. Our entire model is partnership based. We are fortunate to be able to work with almost every newsroom in Detroit and many newsrooms across the country, and that in and of itself gives me joy, that the center of our power does not exist only in our newsroom, but it exists in newsrooms across the city across the state and across this country. And Roxanna, you and I have talked a lot about what I have been learning from Kwanzaa, and what I am trying to put into our work here at outlier and I'm really trying to get back to a village minded mindset. Yes, we are starting to put together the feet and grounding of outlier. This is a village newsroom, this newsroom belongs to no one but the people it serves. And so that gives me joy. Also, and I'm just really grateful that I get to be here on this panel with you all today and get to talk about my favorite subject in the world. I love it. Thanks. CANDACE I know we'll be getting deeper into what does it mean to have a village mindset as we move forward. Chris, love to hear from you, and then Eric about what you all have been up to in Philly.
Sure. Good afternoon everyone I'm Chris Norris I also go by flood the drummer or just flood, and I'm the managing editor of community engagement at why we are the local NPR and PBS affiliate and I newest initiative or project or program is the news and information community exchange. It's a mutual aid journalism collaborative that organizes supports and develops grassroot content creators that are already serving their neighborhood, timely news and information. The reason I'm excited about nice other than the really cool acronym and logo is that it's, it represents what the future of journalism is and should be for many areas, because we're not focusing on platforms as much as we're focusing on people, we're not focusing on algorithms as much as we're focusing on access, we're not focusing on clicks as much as we're focusing on community, the guiding principle of nice is that our audience can also be collaborators, and that communities aren't just consumers of news and information, but providers of the two, and so we center and value that lived experience and expertise juxtaposed to just centering academic attainment, and we recognize that our community partners are not our competitors, they are an added value that enhance our journalism, they provide us a pipeline to original story sources and original programming, and they carry us on their backs because they
go. There you go. All right, already dropping these truth bombs left and right, I love it I love it. Eric, I know you're part of the nice community, can you share a little bit about your role. And again, what does an equitable just and joyful partnership mean to you.
thank you, Roxanne and thank you for that introduction, and thanks for Chris I don't know how to follow up what he just shared because he pretty much just said it all right, um, I oversee the news and information community exchange, as Chris said, and I think that to answer your question about just equitable and joyful partnerships, I think nice, is the epitome of it. I'm one of our partners, Mr Restrepo, has said multiple times that nice as a family, right as a small content creator a grassroots broadcaster. She often refers to our group as her family because she says, Never before in her career outside of a major newsroom has she been able to be in the same room with like minded individuals, and all the partners have kind of have reiterated that sentiment that not only do they get a sense of community, while at the same time serving their community, but they, they get an understanding of the landscape in a different from a different perspective because they're in the same room at the same table with so many individuals, and honestly I feel like are part of why why is the smallest part. We simply facilitate the conversation bringing these individuals together, and I'm going to steal an analogy that an old friend of mine uses all the time. And that is, you know, you know, our partners represent hydrogen and oxygen, and we just bring him together to make water they're making something that they've never been able to make individually. And by bringing them together it's just creating something new and something that's life affirming and life giving, so I feel fortunate and blessed to be able to, to facilitate these conversations
but I'm partners.
I love the molecular analogy, mixed in there, I'm seeing folks doing shout outs in the chat, please drop your questions, thoughts and shout outs because we're getting into this, we may not be able to be around the same kitchen table, but we're definitely feeling the energy from each other and Mitra, I'm so glad to have you pull up a seat to our kitchen table please share with us you are doing so many incredible things with URL media, as well as Epi Center NYC, shout out to Epi Center NYC because you all help me, help other people get vaccinated, so I appreciate all that you
are happy to hear that.
Um, well, I'll start with Epicenter and then shift to URL, except that as we talk. for the next hour or so you will hear that there is so much overlap and that's precisely the point Epicenter launched in the summer of 2020. I live in Jackson Heights, Queens, one of the hardest hit areas by the pandemic, and it just felt like, We literally felt abandoned here. It was ambulance sirens, who is looking out for us and just community started to swap to kind of what Eric's analogy of. It was really just putting it together our communities were already swapping information that was you know, equal parts survival equal parts joy, will I find, yeast, will I find you know what's the line of Patel brothers like is there social distancing at the supermarket. Is there a hospital bed at Elmhurst, right. So, it was just a overlay and I think it's important to recognize that we often write the journalists are really good at going into tragedy, but the reality of how we both consume news as well as engage with each other is an overlap of tragedy and the seeking out of joy and happiness and fulfillment and that really kind of got baked into our identity when we launched initially as a newsletter.
It grew pretty
quickly I mean the early days of the newsletter like I would consider it a victory. Speaking of mutual aid approaches. If the local food bank said hey me Troy we got six shipments of the size for diapers that we were in shortage of and I would, you know, again coming from CNN, which is where I worked before, you know, six is nothing but for Epicenter six was a revolution, right, and so I kept leaning into that type of feedback to direct us, And at the same time, Sarah Lomax Reese who's been a friend of mine for years, and the. We have a lot of Philly in the house today I know the President of Wu rd of Philadelphia's black talk radio station. We had just been comparing notes because she's so wise and my friend so why wouldn't I turn to her as I'm watching at the center. And it dawned on me that the same reason people trust us and, and love us arguably is that we're small and intimate and we're exactly engaged in the type of exchanges that, you know my co panelists have spoken about way more eloquently, and yet we are up against Google, Amazon, Facebook, we are up against these behemoths that make it impossible to build sustainable businesses and so we said if we band together. Can we try. So I wanted to admit we are trying, we soft launched URL media, right after inauguration that was intentional, and our messaging was the next four years cannot look like the last four or the last 400. And so we are centering black voices, it's very it is a very important part of our identity. While we are for black and brown media outlets. Even the work and Epicenter as we did the vaccine outreach that Roxanne is alluding to. We learned very quickly that if you sent her black New Yorkers to get their vaccines, guess what the lady on the Upper East Side the white lady benefits to in fact, many of them benefit. And so we started to use that approach and so the reason I say you can't really separate. In some ways the ethos of our outlets, is very much what has been described here URL media is eight partners right now, we share content and advertising revenue, and then you're hopefully seeing us increasingly making appearances on NPR and PBS and just trying to get those stories to redefine the mainstream that is a big part of our identity. I'll just segue to that joy of collaboration, which preserves the, the ethos of
It's amazing to work with people who come from different backgrounds, and yet we were all raised in a very similar way where it's not like anyone was especially wealthy but we always had extra food on the table for people who showed up, we always had people sleeping in our basements, and so, or in like in my case, sometimes on the floor of my bedroom and we just come from backgrounds that we're literally creating community as a part of our upbringings, to work with people like that in journalism allows us to redefine journalism in a credo, and it's not about beating each other and kind of think about the way that mainstream newsrooms talk about each other. It's the competition, right, and we don't see each other that way. Like I cannot tell you how much joy that brings me because it's coming from a place of inclusivity, you can't talk about diversity and inclusivity if you don't practice that as a strategy and so. And then the last thing I'll say that has been an intentional Joy of Creation is epicenters last word of our newsletter literally the last word is always an artist, and I believe that artists, and our community members, especially over the last year, are an integral part of just even us rethinking our formats of information, as well as making sure that we intentionally make the last word like, you know epicenter is going to tell you
how hard it
is to get a vaccine that stuff is really messed up there's institutional forces against you but if we can leave on a piece of artwork that brings you joy, And by the way we pay those artists. Then I find I feel like it starts to create a movement that you know also centers joy to some extent.
I love that meter. It's so connected to what you all we're all sharing right this shared ethos, whether we talk about it from a village concept or a molecular like bringing together of h2o It's all defining what we mean by mutual aid and I love you bring up the point that artists have to be a part of this process, creative folks are definitely essential and Eric that makes me think about some of the stuff that you've been talking about specifically with the nice community, and how we need to work on different ways in which we approach partnerships, such that we're moving beyond traditional news organization ways, and really thinking about how do we bring people together in honoring their true lived experience and so I was just wondering if you could share a little bit about how that's been happening with nice, given the fact that you do have artists and creative folks who are essential to how you will get information out as a collective.
No, thank you for that. Yeah, I think the way that we do that is one by reminding them and recognizing that they are professionals when they walk in the room. Right. And so this idea of grass roots, quote unquote community, you know, it's very easy. All of these terms come with their own history and label. And so it's very easy to fall into the habit of diminishing someone when you say community or grassroots right because traditional mainstream media has this reputation of kind of ivy league status in a way, right, and so we want to really just put all of that to the side, and speak to the professionalism and the dedication that people bring in their commitment to serve news and information to their communities and reminding these partners which we do and every single time that we reach out to someone, is that it's their work that they've already been doing in the community that made us even recognize them and what they were doing made us to even reach out to them and say hey what you're doing is worthy and it's valuable, and we would like you to come and share with us, not take, not in a, like a manipulative kind of way where this is a top down hierarchical kind of relationship, but it's really about, we have something that we can share together, something that we can build together from an equal footing, and I don't want to, I don't want to, again, I don't want to be the one to come up with all of these that analogies and cliches, but I'm gonna do it right, already for it are bringing our VP Sandy Clark has used this analogy of. We no longer want to give this concept of like, people want a piece of the pie, right, we people want to be in the kitchen with you when you're baking the pie and making sure that the flavors that they love are the things that are being included in it and that they have a noun and the creation of it. Right. And so understanding from that concept, that it's, it's not this thing that we're trying to put together and serve to others. It's really a way of growing holistically as a community, and saying, We've recognized value that everyone has value, and everyone should be sharing their own stories and telling their own stories and we just want to facilitate that process.
I know I know there are folks listening and tuning in, they're holding their hands up and saying, That's what I believe in and that's what I work on and it connects so nicely to what you were saying Mitra about how your household is was designed and is designed folks may be sleeping on the floor, folks might be coming over right to borrow the Wi Fi to do their homework right. You have to build the muscle memory in order to be able to do this, this is not a thing that just happens, people need to know your house is a house that is open, so to speak, if we're living in this metaphor world right, they need to know they can come into the kitchen and bake that pie as, as you always say Chris and Sandy and Eric shout out to Stanley Clarke, of course, kids I want to quickly go back to the village concept because I feel you were nodding the whole entire time is both Mitra was breaking down how her home life and connection to how that manifests in her work and how Eric was throwing down another analogy. Can you help us feel the power of the village, and what we need to do to be able to be in the village. Yeah, I literally wrote down on this post to know all of the words that people were saying that were interconnected, and this idea that we're all talking about the same thing. And so much of that comes from how we were raised. So when we talk about diversity, we're talking about the importance of the mindset that comes with people who are raised differently. And, oh, growing up in Detroit. My mother was black club president, and so she was black clippers knew most of my life, quite honestly. And so I have been serving a community. Before I knew what service was before I knew understood what community was, I just knew that what my mother told me to do, we would go work the poles we would throw a back to school fanfare and we go. When we got a computer and we were the first family on the block what a computer, she made me make a newsletter. We didn't call it a newsletter. She called it a flier, because they exchanged the trash day and she said, Hey, you're on a computer, and tell people, they changed the way they're picking up trash.
In that way, she's very bossy, um, all of that, all of that has taught me how to do this job. I didn't know I was being trained to do a job ago,
just do what my mother told me to do I was doing when unity raised me to do. And so when I get to last year at GSK, and I wrote my very first piece, and Don, opened it up and she said, I don't hear you at all. In this piece, I could have been read this in the Wall Street Journal, where's Candace and I assumed since I was at Stanford, nobody wanted to hear from Candace, people wanted to hear from a higher version of myself right. And she said know what we didn't bring that person here, we brought Candace here. I want to hear Detroit. I want to hear the person I knew, and that is how I got to the piece about faith is not a business plan, right, right, all right, likely from like the lessons I got in that Baptist Church on the west side of Detroit, those things, teach me every single day how to do this job and as I lean more and more into those village principles, more and more to the way that my community raised me the people who got me to this place are more small lessons and some Bible School in the back of a hot church during the summer. I am becoming better at being able to lead a newsroom that thinks about the collective that wants to collect it to be a part of it. And that part is really hard, because that is not how this industry is set up,
there is no reward in operating that way. however, when I see what we're able to deal with our friends at Detroit Detroit. Our friends at Planet Detroit, what we're working on how we're re envisioning the future of journalism, even on the business side of how we do this work. It is the only thing that keeps me here, because if I had to operate under the systems that typically govern journalism, I probably would have left, long before I ever got to outlier. And so, the, the thing that keeps me going and I think probably the folks on this panel as well is that I am envisioning a new future, the future, like it does, like the President does, and it is the only way I can continue to do this word, and I honestly believe is the only reason our audience believes in us because they believe we can build something better than what they've been handed thus far. Yeah, Candace thank you I know we're getting some amens and Hey hey hey is from people tuning in around this. And I would say that all of you present are helping people realize that we can live in that future now we just need to be brave enough to call upon experiences that we have had an honor them along with honoring everyone around us, that reminds me of something that Chris you often talk about in this larger context around, you know, committing acts of journalism and and that connection to again the lived experience I was wondering if you could share with folks who haven't heard you, so to speak, give a sermon about commit committing acts of journalism and you could break that down for folks.
Sure, I mean I think we all know from, you know, just, we're coming up on the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. And the reason that case became what it was is because there was a brave young woman who committed an act of journalism. When we think about many of the cases, who many of the cases of police killings that have materialized and emerged just hash tags, we know of them because individuals are brave enough to commit acts of journalism, and what the industry. Traditionally hasn't done was value those who commit acts of journalism, they only value the journalist, and the, the idea that citizens who live in their neighborhood to tell stories for and within about their neighborhoods don't have the same level of cachet trust and equity that someone who parachutes in their neighborhood to tell a story dies, is the main problem, there is a power and a perception problem with journalism, and the perception is that there are certain people who get to tell the story for others. There's an elite group, a handful of the chosen few who gets to tell a story from the ivory tower, and they can go into a neighborhood and tell a story and then go back out and then the, the people who live there, who tell these stories, who have the trust. They are seen as being too close to communities as being not able to be objective. Within the truth, you know, that whole conversation of objectivity and journalism won't get us I won't, I won't start on that today, but that's a whole
breakdown in it. Chris, you could break it all down, here we go
in me that's a, that's a whole problem because you journalists, many journalists get into the business because they feel passionate about a subject, and they pitch to the editors, again and again that they want to chase this investigation or they want to chase this story because it matters to them. And so, it's not an objective, no one's thinking objective because if you were objective you just take whatever story someone gives you and you'd write that story. So the idea that there is objective objectivity in mainstream journalism is a myth, but it's used as a way to devalue Community Center journalism because we use the lack of objectivity, as code word for lack of professionalism, and that's I think what we're doing differently, why why is that we are centering those people who commit acts of journalism in ways that are as nuanced as as creating social media broadcast and as basic as committing producing flyers and newsletters for a certain type of community, all of that stuff has value. There's a reason why when you watch the big stories, the big protests, the big police shootings, is a reason why it's not NBC 10 and CBS that has but that camera footage right, it's because they can't get into those rooms they can't get into those spaces and certain people won't talk to them and so they find the people on Twitter who have that video and they credit them, and those people commit acts of journalism and the industry doesn't recognize them, and the value that they, that they, that they bring, but we do, why I think we, we, we intentionally talk about expertise in a myriad of ways and it's not just centered and academic attainment it's centered living experience and the people that are closest to the problem should be the ones to help you inform it they should be the ones that help you think about it and so again I go back to one of the guiding philosophies is that our audience can also be our collaborators and that in itself is a, is pursuing the future of journalism because the future of journalism is always talked about in the context of platforms and algorithms and very rarely do you get to hear about people, right, and so the future of journalism is people. Mm hmm.
The future is always people I love, I love that Chris, and that cultivation of understanding that begins at home, as both Mitra and Candace reminded us. I want to keep going down, down this path because I think it's really really important that we have to be able to address coded bias, literally, coded right, as well as the big codes the laws the policies that perpetuate this bias. And I want to talk about this also in terms of, of the business, or revenue model structure. Right, I know I've had conversations with you all about this and I want to bring more people into this because I think sometimes we think about bias on the quote unquote content community side, But we don't think about the structural inequalities that force us into certain business constructs, or into certain revenue models. Mitra, I'm wondering if you could kick that off and then I know Candace. That is something dear to your heart that you've been working on as a GSK fellow as well.
So I'll give you like the, It's not a secret, but we've been an intense brainstorming around the membership model for epicentre, and it speaks to exactly what you just outlined, and also some key learnings from what y'all were talking about in terms of audience interactivity and engagement. So what do I mean by that. So I think there's like a classic membership model of like $5 a month paywalls like these are all things that we've almost taken for granted to the extent that when you, when I say I'm going to do a membership program, people just are like, Oh, you're gonna have to log in to get Epicenter content and I think what we are doing there is mistaking our value to communities as just articles, maybe videos, and we are, you can't separate the lack of digital disruption in mainstream newsrooms from the lack of diversity because we continue to be in these very linear formats of consumption when anyone who spent any time in Jackson Heights or any of our communities can tell you know people are not reading articles on websites, thank you very much right
so that was an important kind of like step back on what's our business model. And the membership program so what we've decided is that our content will be free, or at least this is like iteration I'll come back in a year and tell you if it's still the case, our content will be free, convening feels like something people want to pay for. So what do we
mean by that
me giving you a food tour of Queens is going to be the best damn food tour that you can go on,
I mean, we know that, right, like, yes,
Can we charge for that my husband taking you to as an artist taking you to art galleries that are undiscovered and kind of off the beaten path worth paying for. Now how do we continue to be inclusive, you know, do we allow some folks that are in the free model, do we have a lot like a lottery system for people who don't have to pay for those things, we're still figuring that out. So that's like one bucket but I think this idea of content being what people pay for it can be misguided because we need to be a little bit more expansive and for us it really is this idea of gathering discussing, and then this gets to where you've interacted with Epicenter on the vaccine front. Our volunteers we have dozens of people who want to be a part of the future of New York City. And so, we feel like we've been able to unlock some really interesting network models of, you know, here's a news story, there's a group of people in need, as a part of it, can we as our first response to this, not just stick a microphone in your face and ask how you're feeling but figure out what are the resources you need. And guess what we actually become
people keep turning to us
and giving us better stories as a result right so that's that's one thing, another bucket is a philanthropy, it would be. We are a for profit organization so as URL media, it would be remiss of me to not acknowledge the role of philanthropy in getting us to this place and some of that is funding reporting funding community management just getting us out of the gate, and I want to acknowledge that. The third is advertising we've landed advertising deals both for Epicenter and for URL media. I think one of the, one of the kind of bittersweet messages to come out of 2020 was forcing businesses to put their money in bipoc and local media. And so that has been a response that makes us still see a model with advertising I feel like I'm not answering one of your questions there
was no you're good you're bringing it there, you're helping people understand.
I just was another one that you attacked in there. Okay.
Oh, you're good. I love, I love what you talked about in terms of networks, again, as we're using a part of this time to talk about business models and revenue models. We know it's important to have a sustainable competitive advantage right as we are working on our ventures on our own or it's even part of a larger organization, and one of the most powerful sustainable competitive advantages is the network effect, right, And so that's what you were talking about neitra And I want people to examine what does the network effect, again, the multiplicity, as more people come together when we frame it in terms of a mutual aid approach and not an approach about raising more money for capitalistic gains and so that's why I want to come back to you, Candace. You kicked us off with your introduction talking about the village model and I think that's a way for us to start to think, newly about network effects as it relates to sustainable competitive advantage. Not to
say capital is bad,
but Right, we're moving for more things where yes and group, so he's break it down, it helps. And so,
I'm gonna get real real right.
Here we are. Let's do it. Okay,
so for the first two, I've been an outlier now for a little over two years I started in February 2019 And I know how much money was in the bank account the day we started, and it wasn't a whole lot. And so I know what it has taken to get us from that day to a place where we're able to hire.
It is not enough
for outlier, to succeed alone. We need the other organizations that exist in this ecosystem to be as strong, and even stronger than you think, which means that we have to think about any investments that we have gotten. And how do we make space for other organizations that exists that we work with that we learn from that we thrive with to be able to learn from how we receive those investments, but more importantly, how do we double down on those investments, right. Look at what I was talking about Kwanzaa because I just wrote a piece about this, and we look at that principle of cooperative economics right there you go. Yes, I started to reach out into my actual roots and say what can I learn from my own experience as a black woman in America, that can help me lead an ecosystem into a better way of being. We talk a lot about collaboration, on the editorial side, and clearly I'm big champion and proponent of that
we have to
talk more about it on the business side, I guess yes, and Sarah are doing is revolutionary. It is what we have to do in order to survive. And so we're starting to talk in Detroit in a really small group about what it means for us to join together instead start to do the same thing they're doing at URL on the revenue side, how do we start to go after local dollars together, how do we build sales principles together and shout out to Ashley, who would who I know is on this call right now from Detroit Detroit, because she has been so wonderful in being a partner with me on this because I
don't have a colleague on the business side
and outlier, she is my colleague, she will consistently be my colleague and when I do have somebody on the business side, but we are really thinking about how do we grow our organizations not as competitors but together, how do we go up that hill together, it is the only way any of us will make it, and more importantly, we are all preparing for a future where there aren't two daily papers, operating in Detroit. In order for us to be ready for our communities to still have information and news as a service, we have to get, we have to get stronger, and the only way we can get stronger, is together. Well well, um, I, oh Candace. I love all the sermons we're getting all all the mic drops and. And speaking of futures, right. Um, I'm curious before we have an opportunity to open it up to folks who have been Thank you popping it off and chat with their questions, and please continue to add them. If each of you can just share, you know, this, this discussion is about us reimagining a shared future. Right. Not just any future but a shared future. If each of you could just briefly share with us what you think that shared future is. I know we've gotten glimpse a bit in this conversation. But just then round it out.
Eric would you like to start.
Thank you. Yeah, I think we've seen over the past year what a shared future could look like both good and bad, right the pandemic has shown us that we are a collective body. Right. We're not just a group of individuals doing their own thing, you know out here we are, globally, a living organism, we're all interconnected. Right, and so the pandemic obviously showed us that on a negative side but this idea of mutual aid and the way communities and individuals have stepped up to support one another and to support folks who are from very different backgrounds and different demographics right and look don't don't necessarily look like you right. That's also what the future looks like. And I think by understanding that bus going through this process. We've been forced to look at our humanity and look at what's important to all of us collectively and individually, and we see that mutual aid, helping one another. Um, I'm gonna just go and keep saying stuff. There's African proverb right,
all right, not fall on one roof alone,
right, so now there's nothing that happens to my neighbor that does not, in some way, impact me. And so I think this is the future is understanding this, from a human perspective and then and then maturing into the ability to work together and work collaboratively for me that's what the future looks like.
Well well, and we'll get into I know in the questions that I'm already seeing them come up, what is that maturation process look like. So thanks for teeing that up, Eric. Mitra, what is your reimagined shared future for us.
So I think it's, um,
this is gonna sound weird, I, it's like understanding from our partners that this is a long game because while URL certainly says we could solve your diversity problem tomorrow because our partners have the content that outlets need right so that's like a framing that we'll use. On the other hand, we deal with many many people who recognize, they have a massive problem on their hands, and it's been hundreds of years in the making and so just this commitment to a long game, is something I longed for, and yet to be super honest with you I'm somewhat skeptical of and so I think a lot of us feel this urgency, right now to work new, like, you're seeing this from my peer group of journalists of color we're working our asses off because we feel the pressure of this moment, because we don't trust the system to be there, not just 10 years from now but one year from now, I don't know if all the advertisers lining up right now are going to be there in a year and so guess what I'm doing until three in the morning I am sending them. Every proposal I can because I don't have that cushion to not do that. Right. And so, my dream for this future would be almost an embrace of this as a way of doing the work and all of us doing the work. And somebody mentioned in one of the chats just the nature of collaboration requires resources and for us just to acknowledge that because working together and like that image we have extra food at the table. I'm even as I said it I'm like well I'm very nostalgic about it you know who might not be my mother who had to cook it. Somebody had to do that work with labor, labor involved so I just I think that's another part of our future and acknowledging that and supporting that and sustaining it.
Thank you. And again, there are questions coming up that want to explore more of like, how do we do the honoring of the labor correctly and also how do we think about time differently. You all might recall that as we kicked off this panel, we did an acknowledgement of our indigenous lands as well as our ancestral scholarship and wisdom, because we know that, you know this isn't a season of the month kind of thing if we are truly going to get to the places that all of you all have shared. CANDACE I want to jump over to you if you could briefly share what your reimagined shared future is. People are the center of their future, the people who work to do this work. The people we are serve and who do this work with us, but also I just want to say go back to the past for one second, we are moving so rapidly through 2021, remember what it felt like in April of 2020 to live anywhere in this world. We were all stuck in an information gap. Every single person, regardless of race, creed, how much money you had in the bank, you had you had a need for information. Now remember what it would feel like to live like that all the time that that feeling. I don't want anyone to feel that going forward, I don't want a future where people feel like they are constantly in a tornado where they can't figure out how to get from A to B. That is the future I'm trying to solve for every single day, and I think it is the future that requires us to center people, and to build for and with people as if we honor their presence and their intelligence. There you go. Honor is as that key you all talked about earlier, the notion of value I know folks in the chat want to explore like how do we make sure that we see that humanity and value from the get go, versus trying to match it to a false, false reality. And Chris, if you don't mind, can you take us home before we transition into the questions about your reimagined shared future for us. Sure,
I know we're short on time I'll be very brief. I think, you know, I shared future is, is emphasizing the word share, and making sure that we share our platforms and we share our wisdom. I truly believe in the concept of a cognitive surplus that we're all individually, really good and really talented on our own but when we come together with that wisdom, our experiences, our talents and our resources we can make something much bigger than any of us could ever imagine. And so I'd like to see that your future in this industry, include a very intentional skill transference and transference of human capital, across city and country lines across city and state lines, and acknowledging that the issues that that Philadelphia is dealing with, you know, in terms of gun violence, and this the answers, and the insight and the context that's needed to tell those stories and to come up with solutions are the same exactly answers being asked in Atlanta and Baltimore and Detroit and Compton and watts and parts of Texas and so that we don't become so focused on local news that we forget that we're all a part of an ecosystem and that even if we're telling a story from Philadelphia, there are lessons to learn from Baltimore, and there are lessons learned from Detroit, and that is not less local to reach out and get voices from Vega, to tell the story in Philadelphia echo Bureau, beautiful
I want to quickly build on all the features that you shared by uplifting a couple of questions that came into our q&a chat, and I know folks have been answering some of them along the way. One of those questions is around how do we get these messages right these shared features these approaches that you all are doing on the ground these troops. Is this attendee said in front of more people in front of more as they put it, quote unquote, mainstream media, What things do we need to do, folks.
I'll start, and I'll say, what we need to do is make sure that we are forcing the conversation in spaces where people feel uncomfortable. Right. You got it, we have to disrupt the comfort of the status quo. Because, again, I think, as you see, and again, I'll say again, it took a pandemic, to shake up the system. Right. and so now that people have shifted. We're at a crossroad.
And so we have to make sure that we continue to keep our foot on the pedal and and and amplify the voices of those folks who are standing on a corner with their camera, who are capturing George Floyd being murdered, we're standing, we're amplifying the names of individuals who are willing to go out and, and raise an alarm around the things that are impacting our societies and our community. And we have to make sure that we, we engage in conversation with the gatekeepers. Right folks who have the keys to these legacy news organizations, and make sure that we are in constant conversation because we're in constant struggle and tension. So, how can we form those conversations create those conversations that broaden people's minds and perspectives and really show how we are connected, because there are some folks that are just are strictly concerned about the business of this all right. And it's, it feels great to be kind of kumbaya ish right, but there are some bills that still need to be paid and how can we speak to those individuals as well. One of the first things that we did inside of nice when we brought folks together was recognize that, hey, we're coming out of a pandemic, and a lot of people have impacted negatively, financially, so what did we do we put them in contact with our grant writer we put them in contact with financial managers and put them in contact with people that can help them remain sustainable. So that then we can continue to have this conversation. So I think that's something we have to do is just continue to keep our foot on the gas and push these conversations in uncomfortable places. Thank you
and I just want to lift up what you just said, Eric, because you all are a part of a legacy organization I appreciate you all saying hey look like. We ourselves have contributed to things so we ourselves also have to be just as active and doing the right part of the process of reconciliation, repair, restoration, all the reads, we know that are so in part important during this part of this time we try know you jumped into the q&a chat and talked a little bit about this but for folks who haven't had the chance to get over there, would you mind sharing a bit of your reflections on, on that same question.
I and I come at this from a place where I do similar to what Eric just said feel like we do need these partners we do need the mainstream media, again we are trying to redefine the mainstream media right to be inclusive. So there's two things that have been redeeming for me in this journey one is when newsrooms or former colleagues themselves come to me and say, why couldn't you do this at all the organizations you worked for before and I've worked at some really deep pocketed organizations, CNN, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, courts, the LA Times and so I just think by asking that question, it's definitely forcing a reflection of the industry on how do we create opportunities for innovation in this type of community journalism inside organizations without doing like 65 memos and six years of planning right, that, um, has been also redeeming as mainstream newsrooms saying come and talk either to our newsroom, or, you know, in the case of NPR I go on W NYC every week, and Brian Lehrer takes, who's a very popular talk show host here takes what we're doing an epicenter, and we do like a vaccine readout on the week. For me that's invaluable not just because of the quote unquote exposure that everyone says we always need, because the mayor listens to Brian layer and if I'm Steve are black and brown people I need the mayor to do what he's got to do to put the freakin right signs on the vaccine site so that people know what's going on or put them in other languages and so for me, I'm I'm fine using the mainstream pulpit as access. And I also have been able to leverage I mean this I think comes from my own background and being in media, it's allowed Epicenter to feel like we're punching above our weight and get, you know, interviews and get CVS and Walgreens to fix their policies in response to what we're unearthing that's that's very important to effect change.
absolutely. I know we are getting close to the end of time but I just want to uplift one other question from Josie thank
you so much.
How can we collaborate to help funders demand of media that is as you say going to operate in this work that honors, right, all the concepts and truths that you all have been dropping right here. What can we do to get these funders on board. Let me, I'll happily take that. I think one of our funders is on this call right now, maybe more than one. You have to manage your funders, there's a power imbalance that naturally exist, right, money creates a power imbalance, remove that power imbalance,
from your mind.
That was some advice that someone gave me
that really truly helped me.
The moment I started seeing myself as someone who needed to hunch into the room. When I talk to funders, and remove my own self worth, from the conversation, I realized that what I needed to explain to them is, what is the work of outlier, what is the goal, what are we trying to accomplish and how they can join us on that journey, and also accomplish their mission, their goals and see out the values that they have set in place as well. You have to be willing to lose, perhaps some money, and I know that's hard especially for, for those of us who are struggling to get 1000 $100,000 in the door, but I promise you that if you stick to your guns. And if you really are constantly saying the same thing they're hearing the same thing I'm not changing what I'm saying, right, the ones that are aligned with what you are trying to accomplish, will emerge, and you will get greater support than you ever could. If you bow down to people who are unwilling to match you mission to mission.
Thank you. Now this is, this is so so so true,
and I'm just gonna say a couple highlights from that one, that you, you were dropping the journey is a journey together. So we need to think about accompaniment, like how do we all together teach each other to get to these shared futures that we're talking about, right. And the fact that you're a personal integrity and your story, right, again what you all shared at the beginning about how you were raised. Who is your block captain, who comes to your house for dinner, right, how you care for people in your family and your family family, you know what I'm talking about right, that type of sensibility is so key, right, and I appreciate candidates you being so vulnerable about the sacrifices associated with having to leave money on the table. When that is not a home, a real home for you and your future. Friends, I know we can keep going on and on with this illustrative amazing group please follow them and their work on all the social medias, all the apps, right, again, we just want to thank each of you for what you do to bring in a shared future. And I would be remiss not to close with this. Octavia Butler,
and she said this,
so be it. See to it. So, off, keep running, you've got this and please continue to connect with folks at this incredible conference. Looking forward to seeing you all in the streets. Take care everybody. Thank you.
thank you oh my god I feel like I feel like I'm not like the right person to come up on stage and just thank you all. I'm so blown away and honored and that we were all able to share space with you, having this kitchen table conversation. Yeah, that the chat shows it. Social media shows it. This was so inspiring and I don't even know what else to say thank
Thank you all. Thank you for that and thank you to Lenfest for sponsoring that conversation. It was will be one of the highlights of this year's summit when folks look back, I know it well. So, thank you. Next up, we're gonna bring folks to the stage, who also believe really strongly in equity in partnerships with communities and service of communities that includes Lizzie Hazeltine, from the North Carolina, local news lab funds, and also I think she'll be joined soon by Melanie sill of the North Carolina local news lab workshop so Lizzie, it, the floor is yours. Take it away, and thank you again for sponsoring last year's summit this year Summit, we really appreciate it.
We're proud to sponsor this summit goodness knows we would have loved to welcome all of you to North Carolina but as you've seen last year and as we're seeing no surprise again this year. This is a heck of a conference, whether it's in North Carolina, in place. I'm curious. I'm curious if there are other North Carolina people if you've laid up the chat with where you are. Heck, you can tell me what your favorite kind of barbecue is we can start that fight and chat. But, Melanie and I are coming back to you. A year after we told you first about a support base that the North Carolina local news lab fund established at Ilan University to back the kind of convening connection and capacity building that we saw folks in North Carolina were hungry for in their collaborations, and in their community serving work. You're going to hear so much about how that excellent work has evolved here in North Carolina in just a few minutes on the panel, but Melanie and I wanted to take the moment to frame. What's happening, kind of in terms of this state ecosystem level, and yes, there's no way I could do this without Melanie SIL who is the Interim Executive Director of that NC local news workshop at
we've, we've talked a lot about ecosystems, what the heck's an ecosystem.
Because you know ecosystems I just watched that documentary about the octopus and watching all the fish and the sharks and so on and so forth so you know from Earth Science ecosystems. Sometimes creatures eat one another but our view of the ecosystem. And the way we've been working is just to think about a broad umbrella for doing news and information with a focus on how you serve the needs of people in North Carolina, you know, changing time and changing technology and platforms and so on and so forth. And so it's about helping build relationships helping build connections, working a lot, one to one with people trying to solve problems connecting people up, doing workshops and panels and just celebrating and elevating and amplifying, a lot of the great work that's being done around the state.
And Melanie what you when you talk about that I think about the feeling in rooms where I feel and I see other people in the chat saying that they feel like they belong to something that they've got a place, and that their work rounds up to something more than what they file at the end of the day, or how many page views, an article gets it reminds me of the feeling that we've gotten these rooms today and all the big picture stuff aside and creatures eating creatures or creatures helping creatures, what's, what's been cooking we I can offer some updates about funding but I know you've got a lot to share about specific collaborations, so I'll get the funding stuff over with first good news there's there's more of it here in North Carolina for news and information orcs are funding in the fund more than doubled last year and that's not even counting the more than half a million dollars that was invested in other projects outside of our structures, a lot more of that is for collaborations, we heard in the panel just now that collaborations take budget. They take resources to make them work. We believe that too. And some of that funding is coming in from out of state, like the American journalism projects investment and W fa e a stellar collaborator and part of the leadership of the Charlotte journalism collaborative solutions journalism network made an investment in southernly and in lastly Latino and si for bilingual collaborative reporting on economic mobility in our state, and there's so much more, I would exhaust our time with the list. But I also want to note that this is partially because North Carolina funders are recognizing the value of your collaborative work. They're jumping into this pool with us and they're making investments of their own, because they see that projects like the border belt independent that serves Bladen Columbus Scotland Halifax counties, is ready to make sure that communities have what they need to make decisions about their futures. And this is happening because there's momentum and Melanie, can you tell us a little bit more about the high points of that momentum and this expansion of community serving collaborations.
Well I'll tell you about a couple of things that we've done and I would love to talk about some other things but I don't want to steal the thunder from the panel. So what's great is how many different experiments are underway, or people learning have tried things or moving on to things that are more productive for them. We've, we've done a couple of experiments in a call poll resource and talking with people around the country this is I think an area of promise, where in addition to collaborating organizations figure out how to create a pooled resource and so we decided last summer just in response to the pandemic and some other things to create a pooled resource of interns and they produced content that was used by more than 30 news outlets around the state, and, and so that was a good experience in kind of significant have a common pool of content. We have are doing a kind of unusual collaboration with six media partners around the state who each is working on their own efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, and they're coming together to trade notes and to learn from one another and then we're also bringing in some expertise and resources to supplement what they're doing and what this does is also create a conversation among these media partners around that. So, um, and then we've done some things with data, data journalism training and thanks to Ryan Thornburg at UNC, producing some training for us so we're just trying, doing things that are kind of responsive to needs rather than creating a program and trying to get people to come. We're sort of like listening to needs and responding to needs and figuring out how to pull people together around common needs.
And of those common needs. What trends are you seeing or changes from the last year.
Well I think a lot of people at the summit would agree that coordinating and facilitating collaboration is a common need so people want to do it, and kind of need help with the capacity or extra bandwidth. But there are things like you know something that's been coming up recently on familiar topic but the libel insurance libel insurance for individual journalists and so on and so forth. It's not an easy one to solve, but some of them are around. How do you do community, community engagement, or how do I kind of start trying to reach out to Spanish speaking audiences what our resources to do that. But we're also seeing some of the collaborations that have been underway for a couple of years. Moving on to the next, next level and next phase are maturing and out of these large collaborations and you'll hear some of this at the NEC at the panel, people finding value in partnerships of two to three members so realizing that, again, collaboration, like other things is best in response to a common need, and with a really clearly defined outcome in mind. So, we've seen the North Carolina watchdog reporting network come together which is a reporter driven collaboration, sort of loose and less structured than some. And then you mentioned the board about independent which is aiming to create a journalism center serving for rural counties and creating regional journalism that hasn't been there before, so that's really exciting experiment.
you know, our last panel focused on specifically okay, we know equity is important, racial equity class equity moving beyond, and deeper into these kinds of work. Where do you see some of this work headed next.
Well, I think, you know, one of the, one of the wonderful things to see is how some of the startups, again, are becoming more mature learned a lot in our state of North Carolina Health News and Carolina public press and key City metro that are now more than 10 years or more, had been around 10 years or more. You also see new voices and new startups, some small legacy outlets, kind of expanding like the public media outlets so I think that kind of really understanding these networks, and this landscape of doing local news in these contemporary ways versus, you know the old kind of there's the big dog and then there's everyone else. And so how a lot of the conversations that are still happening are around those. What the prior panel was talking about, how do you quite really create equitable partnerships within news organizations, how do you uplift and and kind of empower people in your newsrooms that maybe have not had a full voice before. So we're starting to hear this more. We're also there's just, you know the the reality of course is that the newspaper industry is still in an existential crisis at the local level. And so there's still more changing happening there. A lot of good work happening a lot of big questions. So, in this more diverse ecosystem and always, and then the questions of kind of what are the networks and what are the ways the right places to come together to serve the public good.
Yeah, and if, if I can riff on what you've said and maybe incorporate what I was hearing from Mitra and from Roxanne and from Candace and others on the previous panel, that it's going to take all of us
achieve these goals of equitable community service for the Civic good that you just described. Even though we're still in this in the depths of this transformation with a lot of unknowns, people are still engaging with what needs to happen and focusing on communities. Now, did I hear, I know that you were working on some census and redistricting work I'm curious if you wanted to give folks a preview of that, especially since it looks like we've got a strong contingent of North Carolina people who might be interested in what you're offering there.
Yes, well, we're fortunate to have a nonprofit in the state called Carolina demography that does just what it sounds like. But they're highly expert in working with census data. And so we're putting together just a workshop with Caroline demography and Paul Overberg from investigative reporters and editors who's just done so much great work around census and some of our North Carolina journalists, but we're also using as a way to hear from journalists about what they need in order to cover the upcoming release of the census data and redistricting process. We do see a couple of our newsrooms in the state are really getting well set up to do this but there are a lot that don't have much resource. To do this, so I think this is an area where we can be a, you know, do some bridging and maybe create some of that pool resource
so we're excited about that.
That's great to hear and if folks want to learn more about this work, they can come to an event you're hosting in early June. Correct,
yes it's June 2 And if you go to NC newsworks.org You can find our events and training, all there.
that's the update. We want to make sure that this panel has plenty of time to tell the stories that are such great illustrations of what's possible in North Carolina. Stephanie I'm handing it off to Andre now Yes,
yes I'm just appearing on stage just in case you needed. Phil any time but I think we're good. We've got Andre here right,
yes we do so Andre I pass it to you. Thank you for moderating this panel. Thank you.
And before Andre start talking, I just want to note that Andre and Heather Brian are the only people who have spoken at every single collaborative journalism summit crafted by you like a jacket or something or other sort of swag. Take it away.
I was looking forward to a five timers robe myself this year well we're going to be meeting in person. But that is a point of personal privilege I'll take right off the top. Stephanie,
thank you. I
was thinking about it I'm found the phone call it was five years ago Christmas weekend that we spoke the first time about this comp, about this summit, and it is a it is a it is a privilege and a pleasure to be able to do this for the fifth time. So, the formal part goes. Good afternoon, everybody. Hello everybody. Beautiful. Good afternoon to you from Jones Valley in Central Alabama. My name is Andre Nata, I currently serve as the president of the Board of Directors for the tiny news Collective, we have news coming up soon. That's all I'm really going to say about that. I think we have an announcement coming up in the first week of June, I think that's about what I think the board would let me get away with for that. It might involve our first cohort. But in the meantime we are going to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart and these the southeastern United States in particular, the state of collaboration in North Carolina. My bully pulpit has long been about the fact of everything that has been going on in the southeastern United States. And the fact that a lens needs to be shined on it more and more often, and the conversations need to be amplified more and more and more because it is not that these things are not happening it is that more people need to be aware that they are happening on a continuous basis. I believe that there is a slide that we'd like to show here at the very beginning.
I believe Chris is going to be sharing his screen
yep there Yeah, I believe Chris is gonna be sharing his screen, I'll see I can even get a joke in for Chris. Chris right so from from Charlotte with Kiana, would you please unmute yourself.
Okay, sorry about that. Let's go. Alright.
Can you see that,
yes we can, yes.
Andre Do you want me to cover this section.
Yes, I was all set to, but since you're ready, I think
that one more time I'm going to hit present there, we're still getting the value here.
Let's do this. Alright, how's that. Nope, same thing, but
let's just go with it.
Okay, so it's just two slides so we'll go through this quick, so we can get to the panel but we want to first start with kind of a baseline of what collaborations look like, and the state, and hold on one second. Sorry.
Let's sing up again.
I think if we keep going we can make the record of four reshares in one panel
I think so.
I think we go for it, I say we try it on.
I say we own it at this point,
so Alright so
there we go.
There we go. All right, so we wanted to start off with just a baseline so the current examples of museum collaborations in North Carolina include the North Carolina News collaborative, we've where there's 20 news organizations across the state, the North Carolina public radio association with 16, North Carolina watchdog which you've heard about through several sessions watchdog reporting network with seven. The Charlotte journalism collaborative, which I'm here to represent with six newsrooms, along with three organizations from the community, North Carolina media equity project of the North Carolina local news workshop which Melanie just mentioned, and the North Carolina investigative journalism collaborative of Carolina public press. And these are just a small segment of what collaboration is looks like in the state. Dozens of individual and cross newsroom collaboratives and projects and partnerships are happening daily. And with that I'll turn it back over to Andre, and we'll be discussing some of those partnerships and what they look like.
Thank you very much. I am going to input because a note that I thought would come in did not
cheat and use the schedule. So what we're going to do is, is we're going to go ahead and have each of the panelists talk for about 45 minutes. During that time, I would like all of you to go ahead and submit questions into the q&a section because I want this to be as, as, as engaging as possible, and the only Next I got two questions, mainly because I think when you hear from these folks about the general overviews of how they have approached collaborations, because some of them are involved in several. As you'll hear that. And then we can dive into a couple of them in particular I think you're going to have some, some deeper questions and I could probably come up with and I want as many thought provoking threads of consciousness to continue to move forward. So with that, because I am using the list on the agenda and not the one else can use, Don, would you like to go first, for
sure, sure I'll jump in. So I'm John Marshall, I'm the Chief Content Officer at WSI he were the MTR station here in Charlotte, I'm over the last so I just looked at our collaborations over the last year and over the last year we've had 17 collaborations, 10 of which are long time and ongoing. So these collaborations have allowed us to expand our coverage of the Latino community of the black community of small businesses of transportation, voting in elections climate change COVID-19 racism and health care and more. They were really important to tackling voter information and voter disinformation before the elections. They also allowed us to give people critical information during the pandemic so we were able to assist people people's questions about everything from unemployment benefits, jobs info and other resources available that help them through the pandemic. They've also allowed us to increase our community engagement and community training efforts. So for example we have two reporters embedded in the library. Through a collaboration with the Charlotte Mecklenburg library here, and that's helped us better connect with people throughout our community, and respond to their news and information needs. We also worked with the library over this time to continue our storytelling and podcast training. So while we wanted to do and started those efforts in person, we moved them all to virtual. And we also did an eight week boot camp training people how to tell their own stories. What was important in that collaboration is that we now we targeted to individual branches to ensure diverse participation, because when we see when we open something up to the entire community. Oftentimes communities of color, get drowned out in terms of registrations, so we were very targeted in that approach. And through a collaboration with several other entities, we put together the first show that podcasts Festival, which was a month long conference join nearly 14,000 registrations from around the world, and then Melanie mentioned it but we're part of the North Carolina media equity workshop, and that's helping us in other newsrooms improve diversity, equity and inclusion in our organizations in our journalism, and in our recruiting. So some of our partners over the last year that we've worked with some of the other ones our publication serving communities of color, some newsrooms that are focused on single topics. One international newsroom has been part of our collaborations. We partner with a couple of national newsrooms. And then other public media newsrooms we work with on a daily on a regular basis we have weekly calls and coordination with them. We work with universities and our collaborative which Chris will talk more about represents TV, newspapers Peerfly digital and other organizations. So here's some of the things that we consider before deciding to collaborate. Number one is, does this allow us to better serve our community. After we determined that, you know, are we co authoring the collaborative effort, or is it just a plug and play. It's very rare that we participate in pulling it plug in plays, You know we want collaborations to be equitable and just like we want to participate in equitable collaborations. We also want to make sure that our partners feel that way. So when we started collaboration we solicit input, we set expectations together, and then we hold those regular check ins to ensure that we stay aligned, and that we can tackle obstacles quickly. So how do we manage all of these collaborations. First and foremost, the previous panel and others have talked about it, but finding the right funding to support some of the work that we want to do, and in many cases we've been able to obtain grants to support the work, and to add resources for both us and our partners, for example we have two reporters that we hired to grant to write stories for us and several other partners. And tomorrow we'll talk more about the collaboration that we have with London CSEA here, in which we share reporter to cover the Latino community. Second, we looked at who's going to lead the work from each newsroom, it's really important to have the right leaders in place, not everyone has the right skills, Outlook or approach to help lead collaborations. So, it's important to screen for that upfront, but then once you identify that you're running into leadership issues to pivot quickly and unapologetically to ensure that your collaborations remain successful, and then distributing the work, you know I initiate a lot of collaborations, but I can't manage them all and so I'm fortunate to have several journalists in my newsroom who can lead collaborations and what I look for is making sure that the people leading our collaboration, understand how our newsroom can contribute to the partnership, as well as the value and expertise that our partners bring, we have a meal surprises policy so honest feedback is necessary, and any challenges has to be addressed immediately in any newsroom partnership, or initiatives that I'm involved in, I stress, no suffering and silence, because we can't fix what we do not expose. We also approach our collaboration as an opportunity to share with and learn from our partners right so it's an equal exchange of value we know we have as much to learn as we have to give and that's the way we try to approach these, and then I'll end with this, each person in that collaboration must embody, two things. One is a spirit of generosity and two is the ability to push past ego and I cannot stress both of those enough, you know, I think a lot about the need to be organized to communicate early and often and to be clear about goals going into the collaboration, but those two traits are really the foundation for successful and equitable collaborations. Thank you.
Thank you very much. I want to make sure that we, that we get your full title in because I think we, we've neglected that the jobs Jeannot is the Chief Content Officer and the Executive Vice President for NPR member station fa e. Next up I am shifting the schedule. Line up a bit and I want Lovie Cooper from Scalawag magazine to do next year.
Hey, I'm loving, I'm the managing editor at Scalawag Scalix a nonprofit journalism and storytelling organization focused on the south, and we work in solidarity with oppressed communities to disrupt and shift dominant narratives about the South as a whole so I think that that's something that is a little bit different about us, in comparison to some of these other North Carolina specific and North Carolina centric publications. And I think in addition to that, something that makes us a little bit different is the all of our work is grounded in that solidarity lens through what we refer to and other folks referred to as movement journalism shout out to Lewis Wallace, on the chat, they're shutting me out, read his book. To learn more, um, But yeah, so most of our traditional reporting projects are based on the idea of producing news that's grounded in you know the experiences of oppressed people and that basically for partnerships means thinking more on a story by story or series basis, as far as how we approach different topics, because the needs that we might have in a partner shift depending on the needs of what the story is telling so our approach to partnerships is really intentional. And when we're thinking about journalism as a way to share information that's informing folks on the ground we kind of willfully absolve ourselves of the greater kind of agenda setting burden that can keep journalists in competition with each other. So I think it really, you know, creates an atmosphere that is more open to, you know, a back and forth. When it comes to co editing co producing CO sharing things like
sorry editorial vision is driven by those communities that we aim to serve. And, you know, we are not breaking news we don't need to be the first people to share a story, but we want to be the best at providing the context and the next steps and the actionable information around a story. And yeah collaboration has been really key to kind of growing in that despite being often under resourced. You know we cover more than North Carolina but we know that we as editors and our contributors can't be everywhere in the south at once and aren't capable of holding all those connections themselves. And you know the south deserves a thriving media ecosystem to get back to what is an ecosystem right. We want other news organizations to flourish with us in that we want everyone involved in a story, whether they're an editor producer a source you know the author themselves, that we want them to feel like, you know, working with Scalawag and working on that specific story has an impact on you know they're working on that issue. Um. So a good example of something that kind of falls in line with all of this is our ongoing powerlines partnership with Southern lead. It was funded through the Buell Center at Columbia University, that, well for one provided us funding to go after these stories that might not otherwise be told, but, you know, it allowed us the space to publish in depth stories specifically about climate change and infrastructure in the South. That partnership produce some incredible stories that we just wouldn't have had the resources or the capacity or the author pay the funding right to go after individually. And I think that the climate change angle is a good example of one of those topics that benefits from having you know combined knowledge combined resources combined connections things that these are stories that are far reaching that you know there might be something for making a statement about the region or the state as a whole you know something that, that we need outside input on in order to make sure that we're getting it comprehensive and fully correct and most impactful that it can be. So you know the stories that we put out, we make sure that they serve both of our audiences right, we're not just thinking about okay, is this a scallywags story, who are we serving here but how is this going to be the most useful to the most people. And from that, I mean, we've seen that that kind of targeted approach to our specific audience plus their specific audience means that collaborations like this overperform online. You know they they stand out from the rest of our content the things that circulate the most year over year are these stories that have another newsroom, in the end that we are both publishing the exact same thing, you mentally that math sounds like it shouldn't work out right, the exact same thing is out there twice. But, but, yeah. So the powerline series has been renewed for this year we're going to be producing an enterprise series, as well as other collaborative fun engagement things with sotherly this year so stay tuned for, for all of that, and I think that that's five minutes so I will hold the rest of my thoughts until later.
Thank you, me and thank you for keeping track of the five minutes, right there with me, it's pretty good. Yeah, yeah. Next up, Sherry Chisholm Hall. Would you please mute yourself.
Thanks Andre, and hi everybody, thanks for having us here today.
you know, we observer, I'm the editor of The Charlotte Observer and well we have a lot of we're doing better, it's one of these one off partnerships of, here's a specific series that we're going to work with a specific partner to publish six stories on x, or with two partners, you know, really, our core is that we're part of for collaboratives for, you know, what I would call longer term and longer term today to me is like a year to two years, you know, three of those are heavily focused on content journalism, and one that you've heard mentioned multiple times, is focused on diversity inclusion in North Carolina newsrooms which, obviously, long term does or midterm even does impact content but it's not the focus right up front of that collaborative, you know, all of the things we do, the reason we have all these different efforts is because they each and I think John talked about this. They each have different missions to some degree, or the membership is different. Some have a different geographic focus. You know that each are seeking to solve a different problem. You know, each of them has its successes and challenges that can be slightly different, some ways, you know, like other collaboratives, some of ours were developed to address issues in the pandemic, or pivoted during the pandemic. When you know the issues that we were covering rose to the forefront, and it's just to talk about a few of those. You've heard people referenced the NC watchdog reporting network anti nuisance group Carolina public press is here on the panel as part of that, it's really the smallest of our groups at seven newsrooms. You know initially came together because in the early days of the pandemic reporters in different media organizations were finding that there was no accurate COVID testing data, and what there was, um, you know, the state was saying it was up to local counties to give that out and they weren't giving it. So there was just this absence in the silence around testing data at a time when it was a desperately needed. So the group came together as really banding together to do accountability work and push threatened legal action in some cases, to get COVID testing data that was needed. And if you remember at that time on a national level, you're hearing these messages like anybody who wants a COVID test can get it, and all of us at a local level knew that that wasn't true. And since then that network has expanded its range of accountability reporting, some COVID related issues, some not, but it's very heavily. Reporter driven, and, and, you know, group editing of documents and things were obviously also part of the Charlotte journalism collaborative I know Chris will talk about that. It's one of the, it's the only collaborative that we're heavily involved in over a longer term, it is really about a geographic area specific to our market and not regional or statewide, you know like the watchdog network, it's kind of evolved in focus through the pandemic as needs and issues in the community changed.
You know one of the things about it being so local is that everybody in this collaborative was somebody who at one time we would have seen as a competitor. And that thinking was far more tested for us at a local level I think that it was on even a statewide level of really getting to a place of seeing people as partners, for example like Leticia is, as someone who was a part of the collaborative also, we sort of have a separate thing on the side where, because we've gotten to know each other in this partnership, you know, he'll The Guardian will say, I've got a great story, we've translated it Do you want it, and you know we'll say here's a good story we did she'll say can I translate that and have them publish it, of sharing of content, kind of in a separate cul de sac off that collaborative, we're also part of the North Carolina News collaborative that Chris mentioned up front, it's our largest group with 22 news organizations across the state. McClatchy Gannett and Lee newspapers in the state are part of it, we organized in 2019 and at that time was gatehouse BH media we're also part of that, you know, we have several different problems. One is the sharing of stories of, you know, the observer doesn't go into Asheville and cover Asheville anymore, but if they have a story that might have some impact in Charlotte, We now have the ability to share those stories, but we also do some original project reporting and, you know, in 2019 we published this seven part series report out of multiple newsrooms on the urban world divided its impact in North Carolina. And then last year we published a six part series on economic recovery from the pandemic, you know, one of the things that I think has been an uplift forces examples like that economic recovery package where the Pulitzer Center funded a project editor for us, so no one newsroom was trying to give up an editor at a time went was hard to do that. We had someone come in who was not of a newsroom and organized like each of those news, six different newsrooms produce stories for that series. So it was a great model Pulitzer Center funding that really made that happen for us. And then you know a little bit slightly different you've heard a couple of references to the NC media equity project, which is not necessarily a content collaborative is this project of the NC local news workshop at Ilan University, and really a pilot project to advance diversity and inclusion in North Carolina, media and newsrooms and, and, You know we're among the six partners there. I mean, if I look at a common thread through everything that we've done, it's been seeking to strengthen accountability reporting and finding places where we believe if we work together with 234 522 newsrooms that we can deliver journalism that none of us could individually, deliver. So, you know, increasingly, the question that comes up from this is, how many collaboratives can our team handle really effectively without being spread so thin that we're not a good partner, and I think that's just an open question that we all try to figure out and, you know, especially in a year where everybody has been so stretched and stressed, through the pandemic through covering in a meaningful way racist racial reckoning coverage, but to really sort out those questions of how do we make sure we're giving back as much to this as, as we're getting. Thanks Andre.
Thank you, Sherry, appreciate that and we have a couple of questions that we're going to circle back and ask, in part because of some comments that you made here. Next up, I would like to have. Angie Newsome from Carolina public press meet.
thanks for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to be with a lot of my colleagues here in North Carolina and certainly to talk about some of the collaborations that we do at Carolina public press I'm the founder and executive director of Carolina public press we are a nonprofit news organization that's 10 years old this year that focus on focuses on In Depth and investigative public interest reporting now covering all of North Carolina, and 10 years ago when we started CPP, collaboration, and community engagement and community partnerships was kind of baked into how we do our work, you know, ultimately our, our role we see in North Carolina, is to go and add investigative and public intereses to organizations and with organizations and to communities that perhaps are not receiving it freely. Right now, so we knew that that we couldn't do that by ourselves. And so we've done lots of collaborations throughout the years. They typically fall in about three different pots one is actually journalism like collaborating on big journalism projects that touch every county in North Carolina is 100 counties. The second is lawsuits we collaborate with a lot of news organizations and pushing for public records and open government, often through going to court. And so the cost share on that is that client, and we collaborate for that and then share kind of the results of what we're able to get or not. Unfortunately, in some cases. And then third is trying to be a resource to organizations that may need us in a crisis and so that brings me to COVID. So COVID happened in March, you know, our, our, our mission, like lovies is not necessarily to cover breaking news that's not what we were aiming to do however we knew that our team couldn't stand by the wayside when COVID came and we it was pretty easy to see that there was going to be people in places in the state that we're going to have a hard time accessing information accessing knowing where to get tested. Knowing where to get vaccinations etc So we created what we call the emergency news team. And at that time, the focus was to really be a service to rural newsrooms and so we spent time on the phone calling every rural community paper in the state and saying hey, something happens, because we didn't know at that time if somebody was going to get second, what was going to happen to the newsroom, like just to say we're here and we're available if you need us to pick up a story for you. We're here to do that and we were able to do that in a couple of newsrooms. But fortunately, there wasn't a huge need for that, in the long term people were really resilient and you know our fears about COVID were unrealized, however, the other part was is that we did reach out to Spanish language news organizations, especially in the western part of the state, and ask and partner with them about getting news to that community. And we launched a broadcast on our mainly radio and produced news that they could distribute through their broadcast networks and that we can distribute through hours and we were able to get a lot of that reporting out through am stations and networks throughout rural North Carolina. So that was really great,
then comes you know what our big mission is is the investigative reporting and sharing mentioned, and talked about the North Carolina watchdog reporting network which is still going on, and is something that we're proud to be a part of their seven newsrooms that are a part of that they include TV, a public radio station, newspapers like the Charlotte Observer and us, and the focus is really mission driven very mission aligned with us and that's how we gauge most if not all of our collaborations is doesn't meet our core mission and in this case Absolutely because it's investigative and we have gone to court with collaboration in addition to producing 50 stories together to get information for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Safety about the treatment of prisoners. What's happening in jails in the state. And most critically and what I'm most proud of, honestly, right, that was successful was pressing a legal case to get the outbreak numbers at nursing homes in North Carolina, which they were refusing to provide so we did go to court ordered mediation actually to get that, and I'm really proud that without that reporting network that information may not have been released in North Carolina so it's very impactful and I'm really glad that we're still a part of that and and continuing to do that. And our team is very small so we do engage in collaborations we think about what we can add. And what, what further information that we could receive that can get us further down the line, and it has to be mission aligned with us, almost 100% And almost always that's investigative. And so that's just a snapshot of what we've been able to do. Right now we're involved in three collaborative lawsuits to try to get public information including the release of body cam footage and the Elizabeth City shooting which has not so far been successful, but we're not giving up on that. But that's just one example in the case that I'm talking about the North Carolina watchdog reporting network is still is still in mediation, so we'll see what happens with that as well. So, thanks for having us. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk just a minute about the work that we're doing.
Thank you and we're looking forward to digging back in a little later on. Making sure we keep mindful time Chris, you're up.
Thank you Andre. Hi everyone, I'm Chris Russell, he can pronounced er, and I'm the director of the Charlotte journalism collaborative. We officially formed and are launched in 2019 as a project of solutions journalism network part of the local media project at SGN supported in part by Knight Foundation and modeled on s Jan's method of investigating and reporting news with a primary focus on solutions to community problems. You've heard from some of our partners already but the partnership includes six major media companies in Charlotte The Charlotte Observer W FA WC and CTV London TCS keynotes and cue City metro, along with three local institutions. The Charlotte Mecklenburg library night school of communication at Queen's University and free press. Our core purpose, as we've defined in our recent strategic plan is finding solutions and forming communities together. That includes multimedia and cross newsroom projects. Previous in person. Hopefully feature in person but now, virtual community engagement activities that have included town halls panel discussions workshops, watch parties in our first year The Charlotte Observer Charlotte journalism collaborative focused on affordable housing, which we continue to do through a solutions journalism lens, and a project called I can't afford to live here, that continues today as I mentioned, and as many of you know like mini city Charlotte is rapidly growing, where citizens face increasing difficulty finding affordable places to live close to work schools and community center so our work has really focused on helping center conversations around that stress, especially for those with the fewest resources that have, you know, increased problems of displacement. While not moving away from the issue, the collaborative pivoted to focus on the immediate needs of residents during COVID-19. That included news coverage of vital health information local stories on the impact of the pandemic, and also the community's resilience, virtual community engagement events and town halls, and the project we were, we've been extremely excited about this year our graphic novel that partnered local artists with local journalists to bring together the arts community reporters and reach new audiences with information that's vital. Sharing mentioned some of the individual projects and partnerships that formed from our collaborative as well. You know, we've heard it over and over but collaborative collaboration definitely involves a new push for financial support as well for local news from foundations and the business community and donors. And as we've learned we've, we have that ability to not only show broader impact through our work, but it also involves collaborative reporting, and that individual newsroom sustainability. That's just built from that mentorship and partnership which I think is really important, a really important aspect of what we do. All of this helps create a thriving local news ecosystem that's poised to tell the whole story, and to really convene community and decision makers and create healthier communities. We've just gone through this strategic plan, as I mentioned, and, you know, our future incorporates more opportunities to work together to amplify this important stuff and from our perspective we've seen really the awesome things that can happen when we let our guards down a bit, take chances, work together and have the courage to do so. All of that comes from collaboration, and I think I'm going over my five so I will shut up and pass it on to the next
day I appreciate that, because I want to make sure that I let everybody know that we are going to get to as many of these questions as possible and that some of them actually are related, so I'm going to ask them as such. And I've also given. Nate, the person who has to do TV. The fortunate thing of having to be tight and do it in about three to four minutes, so. Oh good, I just
had a five minutes story last night so I'm willing to give back some time today for sure I need more Beto, I'm an investigative reporter with WC UNC Charlotte, NBC affiliate here in Charlotte, we've been a member of the college journalism Collaborative for now two years, a collaborative I think is kind of moving into its kind of toddler phase now, which comes with the challenges and its benefits for me early on, it's really helpful to have a super like hyper focus, I know I talked to Chris about this all the time. What is our focus, I'm a content producer. I need to focus all the time and so in that regard it's been really beneficial solutions and housing, early on, at least in the first year, and the back end of this pandemic, what do you think about like solutions and housing, those are not issues that are generally competitive anyways. So that's partly why I like it too. There is no real, I don't think, push and pull, because we're not going to have our you know announcer say an exclusive investigation uncovering what's working in other cities you know tonight at 11 Like, we may say that but we're not going to say with the idea that somebody else is going to get, you know, beat us on that because it's it changes kind of the tone of the conversation. So I really like that what I think I've struggled with over the last year is there not really distractions, they're all important stories obviously but I think the quick evolution of what was the pandemic, and the social justice movement made us kind of continuously spin our heads around and figure out what are we going to put our energy behind and I think that, you know, over time, we did some really great reporting it was just hard to keep up with it. And once we hit our focus I thought we did a great graphic novel project on contact tracing on what was working on what may have worked elsewhere, it's also to kind of hard to, when you have kind of a once in a lifetime pandemic, see what's working elsewhere you kind of have to see where the pandemic has been to kind of see what's been working there we tried to evolve in that way as well. You know, we also did these kind of listening sessions which to me are part of journalism too just because we didn't report what people told us we actually were listening to people in our community, which I think we need to do more of. So that to me are kind of some of the challenges and benefits and I think as we move forward, you know, I would like to see us reach out, or you know we're based in Charlotte, but it hit those news deserts as well. And the coverage. I think it's important for collaboratives to give coverage the stories that don't get that much coverage because that's kind of we can use our voice to kind of push those stories. So those are just some of the ideas that I have and I think we've done some great work and we're back on the housing beat now but we're obviously nimble enough to kind of evolve with the world that we're living in.
Thank you. Tight
So getting into the questions almost immediately I'm trying to merge two or three of them together and I hope I don't butcher them and if I do, please reach out to me in a message and I'll come back and ask a secondary one legacy media is fierce, is fiercely defensive, over, over competition, and don't necessarily want to share insights user data contacts, things like that. So, and the fact that, how well did you all know it well, it's actually a two part thing. One, how did some publishers change their mind in order to go ahead and get involved or leadership. And then second, related to that is, how has, how have the last two, three years or particularly the last year, change the way that this all works. Because, How, how well did y'all know each other. How is this made it easier to work together. And I'm gonna toss it to Sherry because of a note that I put in the q&a section, and I'm gonna go to her first and then anybody else who wants to go please let me know.
Um, what who's defensive. What do you mean by that.
it's absolutely true is, I think this was a huge pivot for a lot of legacy media organizations, not just, you know, Legacy print but I think some legacy broadcast. also and, you know, I'll just be honest it was a real growth and learning process for me and to kind of look back and embarrassment and saying like I clung to these things, that that should not have been clung to, you know, one of the things the Charlotte journalism collaborative talked about in our, you know, in our mission building was, what is it we all want to accomplish together. And I think when you come to the place of saying, Wow, we all want to serve the community together. And you know, we thought that this was proprietary to us. But, you know, to understand if we rise above that. I know that these six groups together with our three other partners can do more than I can do myself, admitting that and letting go of things that you just held as like, this has to be only ours and only ours, and then later realizing that's kind of like a, you know like a kid holding on to their blanket and not sharing it with somebody else, of just getting over yourself a little bit.
I'd like to piggyback on that because, um, so Sherry and I had a conversation early on when I returned to North Carolina, about partnering together. And I think, Sherry, I hope you don't mind me sharing this but I think what we have is a very honest conversation about some of the barriers to collaborating, right, because of the histories of our organizations, the history, I mean, baggage that had nothing to do with us. Right. And so, you know, and over the course, and you know so that was 2017. And over the course of the last several years we found creative ways to overcome those barriers and to put, you know like the past aside in terms of the the competitive mindset of legacy newsrooms and a lot of ways and so we've had a lot of growth, but that came through very honest and transparent conversations about where are we starting and where do we hope to go with this.
I'll jump in, I'm being the project manager we've had, you know, I've been able to see this happen with the reporters as well, which I think really serves as kind of like an energy behind the work of the CJC, especially during the, the pandemic where, you know, Nate can share, you know, incidences where him. Lauren Lindstrom from the observer and David borides from WF he did interviews together, they were able to, you know, make it we were able to make a stronger connection with DHHS for information around contact tracing than we probably could have done as individual newsrooms, especially some of the smaller newsrooms in our partnership. So, I think, you know the reporters definitely bring an energy to making that partnership work.
And before you, but I want Nate to jump in and I want him to go ahead and piggyback off what you just said but I also wanted to talk about. How did you convince the higher ups to participate in and take pride in all these collaborators and Nate's friends. Oh no,
I'm here but they you know they presented it to me at that point they were already committed at our TV station they wanted to be part of this so it was easy you know for me it seemed like a no brainer. There might be more of a question for our news editors here manager.
How easy was it to do ahead as well to kind of play off of that. How easy was it for you to go and sell that idea to your newsrooms. How easy was it to go ahead and sell the concept of. We're going to take part in this collaboration, having, having, having managed the collaborative and having been the deputy manager of a collaborative back in the day I know, I know that it can be easier said than done. So, so how were you able to go out and sell that.
I think that's an important twist on that conversation, because in our organization I don't think it was the leadership as much they needed convincing, you know, there, there were peers across the organization whether they were in the business side of the organization and thinking, well if you partner with that institution that we usually get sponsorship from maybe they won't sponsor or, you know people on staff who again like legacy mindset of, you know, well we haven't played so nicely before in the past with those folks. So why are we collaborating now. And so, I mean it's a conversations and work, and just the commitment that we're going to do this and, and throughout my career found that just start where you are right, just do something prove it can be done, and then replicated and people will come along and that's been our experience.
And I'll just say this too, like how many times in our profession have we been wrong, like we thought we were doing the right thing in our institutions, and we were wrong. And if we've learned anything over the last year, it's that people want want us to just listen to them and so like for me I often think, why aren't Why is every journalist in Charlotte, going to a press conference right now. It seems like a waste of resources,
what if the public figures, talking we do kind of like a pool in the courtroom right whereas everyone else is fact checking, you know, at their computer where they have access, if they're actually telling you the truth, because there's low hanging fruit and really we can have a bigger impact when we're all together but I kind of feel like it does take a large group of partners, to get the movement right like in CDC we have quite a few people, But if it was just I don't know, a couple of us, it might be more difficult.
I'll um, I'll second that. That Don's point. A couple of them. One is, don't underestimate the baggage in your, in your organization and in your newsroom, I mean I've had people come back and say, but yeah like this person from over there tweeted this as well when was that was like 567 years ago. And so it's just getting all of those things out there but it's absolutely true. I, I had nobody I had to get upward approve this. But it was really how to explain to the newsroom. Yes, you may still want to break news and beat competitors, but over here, this is what we need to do together, and to really find your way is there's no easy answer, there's no playbook of each situation we have to talk about it, and it took more work, and it still does of trying to explain our partnerships and relationships within the newsroom, than it did the corporate hierarchy was just never an issue.
I think I'll just circle back really quickly to the first thing I said right which is, how does this help us better serve our community, and we use that to ground our newsroom in the work right so if we're approaching these things because it's going to make this better in service to the community, then that becomes a no brainer, it's hard to argument to argue with, How does this fit the mission, right, and service to the community is exactly where we laser focus on everything and that often answers the naysayers.
But he else want to chime in on this one because it's a pretty good question. All right, um, I would like to kind of, kind of go sideways a bit and ask if some of you have already answered the questions or degree. How is the shifted, how is your approach to collaboration shifted as you have been in the collaborative. How is it, how has it changed the way that you do work. How do you go ahead and how were there were the things that were added, were the things that were taken away, and did, figuring out and starting to listen more to the community, help in this process, Angie.
Yeah I think over time with our collaborations. First of all, we don't say yes to every collaboration because we recognize that some of them. Well, to be quite honest, we don't have the capacity to do all of them I mean we are a very small team. We have a particular skill
So we're not a good fit for every collaboration out there, nor are all the partners we want to work with good fits for us. Um, so, so part of it is just recognizing that we have to say no, probably more than I really want to, because she John's point I feel like, you know, being in service to community you feel like there's always something more to gather there's another story to write there's another question to ask, there's no lawsuit to file etc but at some point you have to kind of focus right so we try to focus our reporting, and our collaborations in that form. But secondarily, Beyond collaboration, just in our project development at Carolina public press when they are not, you know, they're not conceived to be collaborations at a certain point, we're talking on our team about, well, who could we talk to about this who might in the state of North Carolina, or in the nation, be interested in this particular project even at this point, like if you've already worked on it or at that just idea point and those are two different, sometimes those are two different answers based on what we know about our potential partners, so I feel like that the question of collaboration is kind of an underlying thing among almost every almost every, especially the big projects that we do at CPP
Summit. Yes, Chris.
So, um, you know, for me I'm in a little different position as you remember where I'm not one of the partners but helping to, to hopefully guide them, but I have heard this from several the smaller newsrooms I mean I think one of the biggest impacts has been grants and funding. I would say, you know at least two of our newsrooms had not applied for funding before, from a grant perspective until they join the collaborative. So just seeing what's available and what's possible, has really shifted the way they think about collaborative work, and how it also builds sustainability within their smaller their newsrooms as well. I think four of our collaborative members have received, Google DNI innovation challenged, grants, or awards. And, among many others so that has been a huge shift in how they operate.
I might want to come back to that great question, although I see Lizzie put an answer and but lovey, do you have anything to add to this, because you're in a pretty unique scenario, how Scalloway functions.
Yeah, for sure, I'm sorry, they just started construction outside my house as this panel is happening so if you hear any loud bangs, it's that. But yeah, I'll say that something that has shifted over the last couple of years for us as we've embraced more collaborations and especially as we had to move our events online was just like, thinking about using partnerships as a way to better understand our target audiences, and the people that we want to engage with, with the work. So like last year we held a screening of an environmental justice, documentary called Mossville when great trees fall. And so that was an example of a time where we were working with a media maker right we were working with the folks who produced this documentary and it was traditional, q&a kind of conversation watch the film, you come to this event, But we were thinking okay so beyond that, you know how else can we expand on this, how can we make this not just news about the news but into something actionable, and something that's an experience so we brought on folks from other on the ground environmental justice organizations who you know are not explicitly involved in what the film was about right but they are adjacent to it and they can provide a lens for anyone who just showed up because they wanted to film screening, you know, to then take that next step and activate and do something in their community. So I think that that's something that's been on my mind a lot lately is like thinking even outside of like the constraints of traditional news partnerships, and really honing in on on scalawags role in like an ongoing conversation and how we can move folks from from point A to point B. And yeah, working online only has been, has been a challenge for a lot of those events are usually the best way to facilitate those one to one conversations but I think that that's also opened up, you know, a lot of reach that we didn't have before you know we can focus on different states, different regions bring in folks that we might not otherwise have the capacity to cover that news directly and just have them come in and speak for themselves, and then use that as a, as a generative source of further news that we can do. Um, but yeah, I'd say that that's how we've kind of shifted last couple of years.
Oh, well, then we're kind of on a tangent again another tangent to the idea of shifting I know it's already been answered in the notes and John's about to answer the question as well. The role that universities play in the collaborations. Is there a role for them. And, there already are some answers written so I'm going to go to Chris first just because it's fun to do this again after so long but
yes, I posted an answer in there but Queen's University as part of our collaborative, and definitely helps. Add to that community connection, as do our partners at the Charlotte Mecklenburg library, but also it's a direct connection to journalism interns that can support our work, research, you know, we've currently been working on a data project that we've spoken with the university's data and research team. Other instances, you know, UNC Charlotte. There are several research fellows there that are working in the affordable housing sphere, so it just makes sense for us to connect and and find those local connections, whether they be in, in universities, museums or like with our graphic novel and art spaces so I think across the board. It's worth reaching out to any connection look like.
Hello, today I know you are writing an answer as well so if you just want to write the answer and you want to answer it as well,
I can jump in, we so we partnered with Queen's University. Right now we are partnering with the, you know, communications program they're setting up some creative approaches to one creating pipelines for us but also looking at different ways to cover the community by working with the journalism students. In addition to taking advantage of their new service which they just started, and then we partnered with UNC Chapel Hill, we're currently building out a new way, a new collaborative reporting platform called Story mosaic, which will allow members of our community to have direct access to journalists who can answer their questions. So, universities are a great partner, you know that is largely grounded in my work at Montclair State University that Stephanie and Joe continue but just using the resources of universities to help serve the local news ecosystem I think is a really important tool that we should all use.
Right, I do want to put one other question that has been answered, but I want to make sure there's a public follow up to this question. In addition to the research that Sjn is, is, is engaged in that lies of put into the chat, highlighting. In addition to that, are there is there any is there any research any of you are doing individually or collectively besides that related to measuring impact, or seeing or being research being done to show the impact that your reporting or efforts are having.
We're not doing like formal third party research is that the thinking behind the question but we are looking and trying to measure our own impact. You know we do collaboration, to help us expand how we serve diverse communities, for example, so we're looking at who are we reaching today that we weren't reaching before this right as those collaborations continue. And so we're measuring we have an impact tracker that we use to capture anecdotes, but also then to look at the real metrics.
I can jump in to, if, if that's all right. So we yeah, we don't have like a third party measurement of impact we do two different things. One is surely like Did we get the information did policy change happen. We know that our seeking conviction collaboration which I talked about a couple years ago in this in this at this event, where 11 users participated that directly resulted in legislative change in North Carolina so we can at least in my point of view, resulted in legislative change so in that way we can see impact, but we also internally we have an impact tracker as well and we have set up criteria which we believe to be really important for investigative stories we grade ourselves basically about whether we hit that impact and I read about that on better news.org You can see, you can see that you can see a template of what that impact tracker looks like.
let's see, I have two questions left here, that I would like to present publicly, I think the more important question though is one that might get to a lot of some of your answers throughout the throughout the course of this, most of this last hour. What makes North Carolina such a unique and fertile place for collaborations, you all have a ton of collaborations, and, and you all genuinely enjoy the work, or at least it seems that way. So, so how, what makes it this way, how was it so easy to go ahead and or both easy being a relative term of course, but how is it how is it possible for all this to go tick box,
very idealistic answer, I guess that would be the word. I grew up in North Carolina, and like just the idea of the Southern dinner table, I mean we, we come from a place where we come together at the dinner table to solve problems we come together at the dinner table to have conversations and it's it's not a solo activity. So, I don't know, maybe that maybe that plays in on Drager from the south TOS so I would,
I would say I've, I've become a son of the South. My mother always told me that it was more about just a general sense of what it felt like to be in the south, because I'm first generation. My parents are from Trinidad. And so the idea of what it felt like to be in the south and I would say maybe less so, the kitchen table than the front porch or the back porch, which in some cases could be the same thing depending on what time of year it is. So, so the idea of being able to have people come together to just have those types of conversations, to go ahead and inject an answer I think that allows the South in general, allows that. And I think South Carolina and I mean, yeah, South Carolina, because that's on my, they're all on my brain because I've been talking to folks all week about this stuff, South Carolina I think about what happens over in historic Mitchell Ville, I think about. I think about my, think about family in North Carolina I think about. I think about the tons of friends here still in Central Alabama. I think about the years in Georgia. I think about the ability to go ahead and continue these conversations, and I think they never really end. They just get told you're going to continue it later on. And that's kind of nice you you notice there you also know that that you know that they're not perfect at this still work to do, but I will shut up and I will let you die. Don't answer.
So, so I don't know if I'm the only New Yorker in the bunch, but you know as the dope, not, not necessarily have been there, although I consider Charleston home. I will say, there's a reality to collaboration which is, you know, we can't approach journalism, the way we have historically approached it right like we all have limited resources. In many cases the resources have dwindled over the years for us and so, you know, if we want to be effective, we have recognized that we're stronger together. And, you know, and that we can have reach an impact and cover topics that we wouldn't otherwise cover by teaming up, and so the reality of it is that we have replaced loss of resources. By using the collaboratives to strengthen us where we might otherwise, really be vulnerable. So that's at least the value, part of the value of collaborating for me and and I think other people recognize that, you know, by coming together we're even able to attract external support that we wouldn't have been able to attract,
and I'll just say like we have a modest group here but there are people on this panel to help lay the groundwork for where we are today right i mean if it wasn't for the accounting public press, you know, doing this all those years ago, we wouldn't be able to pick up and start are unclear, but if, and I think I've heard the observer was greatly involved years ago now I think it also helps in North Carolina or public records laws are not very good, so it's very easy to come together again something as simple as that like that, that alone wants me to work with everyone you know to get access to public records,
that's extremely important.
I was just gonna say that too and Thanks, Nate for that really kind. What you just said that's really nice but I mean, going to court, going to the appeals court in North Carolina is not an expensive to get public records. Those of you in other parts of the country might be surprised at what's considered not public in this state. So, or even if it is how you have to go about in to get it body cam footage is, is an example of that where you cannot get it without a court order in North Carolina. And so, just the sheer cost of some of this especially like the in court, really demands in some case collaborations.
And with that, I believe with some with a few seconds spare because I know Joe is really excited about this, unless somebody has anything else that they would like to add to this discussion, we do need to wrap up, I'd like to thank all of you for making the time this afternoon I need to thank everybody out there in video land for tuning in as well. And once again, thank you, Stephanie, for this opportunity, all these many times, always fun.
Thank you, thank you off.
I love that Molly to cheat on Maestro and collaboration and evidence.
I love it.
Thank you, thank you everyone from North Carolina, for allowing us to put you up on the stage and ask you to share what you are learning and doing and seeing for the last two years in a row. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your insight and your expertise. And I'm sorry again we couldn't see you last year, in person, but next year hopefully. So to wrap up today, we are going to go to asks, and offers live. So I'd like to bring up on the stage. He's going to bring himself up on the stage is Joe Amditis from the center to host, Joe.
Alright everybody, you know the deal this is asks and offers live your one opportunity or two opportunities your final opportunity I should say, to come up here and address the conference and address everybody here and tell them what you got going on what you have to offer what you have to ask. We've had a lot of great activity on the asks and offers board on a Padlet which you can go ahead and access at collaborative journalism.org slash asks it's sponsored generously by blue Lena, and I looked earlier we don't have Ned Burke in the in the in the audience here today he's apparently afraid that I'm gonna bring him up on stage, against his will. But I promise I will be nice to anyone who agrees to come up on stage this time. If you'd like to come up and talk to the group about, you know, anything you have going on anything you'd like to offer if you have a job opening, if you have a project you're working on or if you just want to connect with some of the other folks who have been throughout this amazing Summit, so far. Oh good, we already have somebody so what we'll do is we're going to bring you up as a panelist will promote you to panelists you'll come up, you get about a minute to say your spiel. Thank you, Carrie for volunteering to be first we'll bring up you come up you say your spiel, you go back as an attendee and then we'll bring somebody else up so carry your, your on you go ahead and take it away. Hi there,
I'm Carrie Mitchell,
I'm in Dallas, Texas, and we are prepping to launch a local media project collaborative here
looking for a project manager. So if you're interested in living in the Lone Star State and dealing with us here in Texas and are probably worse than North Carolina,
Freedom of Information laws.
Then, hit me up,
I'm at Dallas free press, Calm that's our website and the job listing is there or carry ke ri at Dallas free press, calm,
Fantastic. That is a textbook case of asks and offers right there, that is how you do it. Thank you so much Carrie we're gonna go ahead and put you back into the audience and we'll bring up Christina. Christina come on up and share what you got to share again folks this is one of your only opportunities to give a shout out. It doesn't have to be an Aston offer since we got a little bit of time we're a little bit ahead of schedule as we do love to be here at the collaborative journalism summit, but if you want to come up good awesome Michael thank you for volunteering, we got Christina up here now Christina go ahead and unmute yourself and take it away. Hi,
I'm Christina. And I'm very glad to be here. I enjoyed this conference, this is my second year journalism was my first love was a science and tech reporter back in the day, and now I'm a literary publicist and we are submitting panels of people to go and speak at the Association of writing programs Conference, which is a major conference that reaches a lot of academics in the literary field as well as commercial writers and just people interested in writing at some point and I would really love to be able to bridge the journalism, and the academic and professional writing world. And so I'm interested to know if journalists out here are interested in being part of a panel, how this we're of people who are speaking, we have it people write to me and tell me what they want to speak about on panels so we have a few that have already formed, and there's one that is on women's strategies to combat sexism and sexual harassment in the unprofessional writing workspace. And then there are a few others, and that have to do with people of color queer, various issues and then I am also very interested in journalism and collaborative journalism, and I would be open to setting up a panel just to journalists talking about journalistic ethics, and you know just what riders can have other sorts can learn from journalists or just you know what journalism, the journalism research ethic has to be able to share with writers so you can reach me at, authors large and firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me I have posted on the Padlet. So you can find me there,
we saw that I really appreciate that you've been pretty active as well I just a shout out to anybody else. Thank you, Christina, I really appreciate that. Just a shout out for the folks who are confused the password is CJs 2021 lowercase, no spaces, so Thank you Christina we're going to put you back in the audience there we do have another one, plenty of folks still on the call today so I want to make sure you're all able to get out in front of them, and tell us about your various projects we do like I said we got a pretty active board here I'm looking at it now we might screenshare in a second to show you but right now we got Michael Morris he's going to come up. Good friend of this of the summit Michael, welcome, go ahead and unmute yourself and tell us what you got.
Hey, thanks so much, Joe, I'm the co founder of Muckrock we run a bunch of open source tools including Document Cloud, and oh transcribe and Floyd machine and a few others that I forget. And we've been doing a lot more editorial collaborations we have this archive of 125 million pages of documents. We've held file just under 100,000 public records requests I was so inspired to hear all these stories of how bad public records laws for collaborations. And so we're actually hiring sort of a collaborations editor a data journalist and a developer, all focused on building better tools to help collaborations, but also working with collaboration so if those positions sound interesting to you, I'll drop my email and I'd love to chat with you. I'd also love to kind of hear if there's public records collaborations that we can do, we've done a lot of sort of audience participation crowdsourcing efforts, other other sorts of group efforts, crowdsourcing reading through documents, all that fun stuff. I'd really love to chat with you about, and I've just learned so much so thank you all to all the presenters who shared their success.
Hold out before it before you go there, I just got it, I gotta give you credit for that virtual background there that's it's subtle, it's moving it's impressive, it's visually pleasing, we might have to put you in for a nomination for Best background I just want to remind everybody, once again, thank you. Thank you Michael, I want to remind everybody once again that we do have Community Awards trying that new thing this year, just like we did this year with the Aspen offers live trying to give an opportunity for the folks who are attending this virtual summit in virtual hell here, an opportunity to, to engage in more creative way, sorry, Stephanie, I didn't. I said a bad word on stream, again, want to give everybody an opportunity to participate but also there's a little bit of cash behind it this time we got $100 gift cards for our award winners, and each of the categories, well yes did Teresa it is virtual hell it's been more than a year now and you know starting to lose a sense of who we are and community so we want to make sure we give opportunities to to reengage that element of our brain in our existence here so one more chance everybody to come up we do like I said we have a really great look at the the Padlet here is pretty active I'll just share really quickly. We got a lot of stuff here I got a lot of good opportunities we got opportunities to connect with nonprofits collaborations, we got a new books coming out we got new hiring got new positions and OCCRP, we got working groups, Linda Miller's in there typing right now as we can see, feel free to like, comment share all that good stuff, pretend like this is a YouTube video like comment and subscribe everybody go over there it is again collaborative journalism.org slash asks and the password is all lowercase, no spaces, CJ s 2021 I don't see any more hands in the in the in the audience here would be fun if I just started randomly promoting people up onto a panelist and forcing them to turn on their video that would be no, no, so I'm getting, I'm getting no my producers are telling me we can't do that. That is, we can't, can't, oh yes, we got one who do you God who is it Mike Sherry Oh yes come on up, Mike. Awesome. I'm gonna I'm just gonna ride this out I got the energy here I drank a Red Bull earlier this morning, or earlier this afternoon, and it didn't give me energy it's much as it made me more anxious and jittery but I can ride this out as long as we need to folks, I will hold you hostage here, Mike, You're on go ahead hit us.
Alright so here's Mike Sherry I'm coming to you from Prairie Village Kansas which is actually suburban Kansas City, Missouri. I have been very interested in hearing about all the collaborations because I want to start one here in Kansas City Metro Area so if anybody has any I mean I've gotten tons of ideas but if there's anybody else who wants to send me some more thoughts, my, my way. Let me see. I guess I'll figure out how to drop my email into the chat. And anyway, it's been a great conference and I look forward to tomorrow.
Alrighty, well thank you Mike. It's hard for me to hear you a little bit because I think you've got some audio issues there but I did get some of you in there, did I cut you off. Are you done or did I cut you off, no, no.
Can you, yeah. All right. No, I'm
good. All right,
well thank you so much. Anybody else in the audience here before I start, just randomly posting and calling people up here. I do want to appreciate everybody in the chat. Thank you so much everybody talking about my hair blowing in the wind, I'm actually on the beach right now. This is a green screen. And so you, we set it up. Look at this, we set this whole thing up, so that I can just be on vacation during this entire process a little bit behind the curtain here folks, isn't that good though. Look at that, Like that's legit. That is, that's really good. All right, so I don't see anybody else, let's see. Let's see if I can get. We'll put me up, this is what you guys missed last time for me on the graduation stage. Look at that. It looks real, right, except for the bouncing hat. Okay, Andre wants to come up entrepreneur, come on back up. Let's get you back over, let me change that back into my serious background there we go. Andre come back up here. Mark also wants to come up Andre, you're good, come on up and tell us what you got to say. Andre, you're good. Can you start video There we go. All right, welcome back. Yeah.
Yeah, it's this whole thing, it's a long battle with us over the years.
Right, yeah, you'd think, you think that this is just a legit background here but this is no this is green screen, we got Mark, we got Mark I'm gonna promote you for now mark but Andre I'll give you a chance to say anything you want to say and then we'll bring Mark and have him do his thing.
I'm, I'm looking for work. I am, I'm a free agent, I would like to stay in the southeast United States family's going to be in North Carolina in the near future but outside of that, as long as I can get within a short flight. I'm looking so if anyone's got any ideas, let me know. I can share information on the Padlet or you can find me on the Twitter's.
Awesome, well always good to be on the Twitter's, always good to be out there on the Padlet as well appreciate that and as you just saw folks Andre is a very competent moderator and knows his way around collaborative journalism and is a dedicated veteran collaborator himself he has been here since the beginning of the collaborative journalism Summit, so we really appreciate that. We're also joined now by Mark. Mark Taylor can can feel I hope I said that right, Mark. You're up go ahead and take it away for us.
Andre I would really like to invite you to join us on our democracy cast podcast for democracy watch news I would love to talk to you about what's going on in your part of the country because there's an amazing collaboration is going on there. And right now we're actually on the other line of a press briefing going on our national press briefing, so we were talking about this conference, organizations, growing, and innovating, and this whole new movement that I've been seeing in all these different conferences that I've attended lately the International Symposium on online journalism. The World Press Freedom Day events through the United Nations in the National Press Club and then this, there's, there's a whole new movement going on in journalism and I'm really excited about it and I think you all are a part of it. And I think, you know democracy watch news as we were talking about. While this is going on. We really want to be a part of that too and we are going through the same process that other groups have gone through. We are a nonprofit news organization so of course getting that nonprofit status and fulfilling all those requirements and fundraising and all of that is very important. And I'm hoping that we can all sort of teach each other along the way, how to make that happen, and I would love to have some of the folks on this conference on our podcast to talk about some of these issues and pick your brains and learn from you and what you've been doing and also Joe, I love the fact that I'm not the only person that wears sunglasses on, Zoom conference so.
Yay, thank you.
Join us at democracy watch news.org We also have multiple feeds where we're doing international news feeds. A lot of the folks who follow us are journalists or other news organizations, and we also have the podcast is called democracy cast and we're just, we're trying to do journalism that doesn't get done normally by mainstream corporate media and kind of innovate and reach out to voices that haven't been heard. And, really, you know, spread the word about this new movement of about journalism and spread the right
mark it was a little hard to hear you as well I don't want to cut you off but yeah I think you got a microphone that we got to get it closer to your mouth but do appreciate that. And yes, the sunglasses I bought these sunglasses today I was supposed to have them yesterday but the ones that I brought apparently are polarized and you cannot see anything on a screen with your glasses are polarized. So I opened the open up my windows here to go try to run the search to show with the glasses on and saw absolutely nothing so had a good little stop at the CBS this morning and got these cheap, beautiful cop looking pair of sunglasses for all of your viewing pleasure. I think that just about does it for the Aston offers today and for the, for the second day of the collaborative journalism summit thank you all so much for sticking with us to the end. Again, head over to that Padlet sponsored by blue Lena collaborative journalism.org slash asks, and the password is CJ s 2021 all lowercase, no spaces. We will see you all bright and early at the crack of noon tomorrow for our third and final day. Thank you so much for joining us and we'll see you again on Friday. Take care, folks.