It’s not the public that doesn’t want to pay journalists to do journalism, it’s management

For the past week or so, Journalism Twitter has dug into the regularly occurring theme of how poorly people who work in journalism are paid. It is an extremely important conversation and they are entirely right. The deal for journalists, — and I’m including everyone who does the work, not just capital-R Reporters — is a bad deal. Low pay, horrible conditions, little power, career paths more built on social network than skill and employers with unreasonable expectations and in many, if not most cases, absolutely shit management. …

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From News Catalyst and LION

Today we’re proud to announce a new effort to make the path to journalism entrepreneurship easier: The Tiny News Collective, a new partnership providing the tools, resources and commonwealth of knowledge to help people build sustainable news organizations that reflect and serve their communities.

The project is a collaboration between News Catalyst and LION Publishers, along with a group of industry leaders and partners. The Collective isn’t trying to “save” local journalism as we know it. …

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Maybe it’s your first year in which nothing could feel good. Maybe you’ve had a run of bad years. Maybe your circumstances are such that nothing has ever truly, fully felt good, only less bad.

Time is an abrasive that shapes us all. The coarseness of this year has left deep marks.

I try to think of foods that have tasted amazing and nothing lives up to the memory.
I try to trick myself into different moods with music and it has no effect.
I try to pass time with movies and tv shows and nothing connects the way it used to. …

News Catalyst launches partnerships to help news organizations address product challenges

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Circumstances for many news organizations have been difficult since long before the current crisis. Whether it’s a lack of capacity or support, newsrooms have been struggling with designing and managing effective product processes that can bolster their work and better serve their audiences.

News Catalyst was created to help news organizations through experimentation around tools, technology, collaboration and product development. To that end, we’re launching a new partnership program to provide assistance to organizations.

What we’re looking for are partner news organizations interested in collaborating to solve a challenge they are facing in their organization.

What we hope to accomplish is helping our partners find useful solutions to their problems and to share what we learn so that other newsrooms can build upon those approaches. …

It’s the same forward and backward. Today. 02022020.

I have to admit I’m usually annoyed when people carry on about unique dates.

This is the only time when it’s gonna look like that!

Well…yeah. That’s how time works.

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Photo by Murray Campbell on Unsplash

We get really excited about the opportunity to observe something genuinely singular. A near impossible occurrence in a universe in which no event or process is truly unique. What occurs once can and does happen again.

Circumstances we think we’re free of can rebound in our lives across the distance between now and then. …

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A look at ten of the most exemplary collaborations of the year.

There was a stunning array of collaborative journalism projects this year. Newsrooms dug into complicated stories, in-depth investigations, forward-thinking projects and some of the most difficult issues happening around the world. There’s no way we could properly recognize all the incredible work that was done this past year, but we want to highlight some of the influential work we saw from collaborating newsrooms.

This list isn’t in any specific order, but is instead grouped by the major themes we saw reflected in coverage.


Detained: How the US built the world’s largest immigrant detention system

The stories and images from the southern U.S. border have hardly abated as we continue to learn more about the government’s shifting policies, tactics, and the inconsistencies in addressing people seeking asylum or attempting to migrate to the United States from Central and South America. One of the major components of this story is the network of detention facilities that attempt to avoid scrutiny. This collaboration from The Guardian and The Marshall Project investigated how the multi-billion dollar immigrant incarceration industry that stretches across the country came to be. …

Looking at journalism as a process rather than as institutions and an identity

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Building relationships with communities that have not been historically prioritized by most of the journalism industry is not simply a decision on the part of newsrooms to begin to show up, but a process of reconciliation, repair, service and inclusion. Having a healthy relationship with any community is a never-ending process that is both work and privilege.

The work of inclusion isn’t just about acquiring new audiences, building a pool of members or expanding a subscriber base. Equitable inclusion is a moral imperative, an acknowledgement that the truest story of our world can only be written when we all participate and the best chance that we truly have to address problems, from the wicked, world-shaping challenges to the daily situations that we all grapple with. …

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Looking for story ideas that you can start working on today? Here are 102.

By the age of 60, nearly 70% of Americans will have experienced economic hardship. For most of us, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Newsrooms play a vital role in reporting on issues that have an outsized impact on those with limited means.

Covering hardship as a specific topic isn’t about finding “poor” people and doing stories about them. It’s about investigating the impact of systems and processes on people experiencing hardship, which systems and processes disproportionately affect people experiencing hardship and which problems we can help people experiencing hardship better navigate through quality reporting. …

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Everything beneath these clouds is complicated.

The middle is the part you’re not supposed to talk about while it’s happening. It’s more comforting to the audience and certainly more safe to wait until you know how the story concludes before talking about it. This is definitely not the part you’re supposed to talk about out loud while trying to start a company or find work because this is the part that is messy and not at all heroic. It doesn’t make a good segment on a resume or highlighted skill on LinkedIn. It’s terrifying to write about. …

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It’s been an incredible year for seeing what can be accomplished by newsrooms working in partnership. Whether it’s covering far-reaching wicked problems that a lone newsroom couldn’t fully report on, teaming up with different kinds of partners or for different goals, these collaborations embody the opportunity of collaboration and show why the future of journalism is collaborative.

Here’s a look at nine of the most interesting projects that were published or broadcast 2018.

Verificado 2018

Verification and fact checking disinformation during the Mexican Election

Verificado 2018 was a partnership between nearly 100 different groups spanning newsrooms, technology partners and university programs that covered 28 of Mexico’s 32 states. The coalition responded to audience verification requests across multiple platforms including WhatsApp to fact check and debunk disinformation in the form of text, images, memes and more. The project launched in March of 2018 to cover the months leading up to the July elections where thousands of candidates were running for local and national seats. …


Heather Bryant

Deputy Director of Product @NewsCatalyst. Founder of @ProjectFacet, supporting effective, meaningful collaboration. The future of journalism is collaborative.

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