||Collaborating isn’t just for reporters: Sharing the invisible work of design, production and development between newsrooms
||Editorial collaborations are trending across the news industry with more and more organizations co-reporting and co-publishing stories and projects. But far less common are partnerships on development, design and production needs, an area where most newsrooms may not be fully equipped and could use more support, as most outlets don’t have their own dedicated developer, designer, and other technologists on staff. Yet this 'invisible work' is often the foundation of strong, innovative journalism.
This Spring, a developer and an editor from The Chicago Reporter, a small investigative news organization of just five staffers, teamed up with a designer/producer at WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR station with a newsroom of more than 70 people, to cover the coronavirus pandemic in a unique way. Our goal was to avoid duplicating efforts on the hard but critical work of efficiently processing and visualizing important local data and reporting on the crisis of our lifetimes, and instead play to each other’s strengths to build stronger news products. And by sharing the assets this partnership produced with a dozen other local newsrooms in two languages, our tools and graphics attracted more than 1.2 million sessions in less than three months.
In this session, we’ll share everything we learned about building a symbiotic collaboration between very different newsrooms, including tips and strategies for getting buy-in from your bosses, establishing streamlined workflows, creating assets that work for a variety of different organizations (and their CMS’s), and feedback loops to improve your products between different audience’s needs. We’ll also share our experiences of other successful — and not so successful — attempts to partner to meet journalistic needs beyond the writing and reporting.
Most importantly, we want to hear about the ‘invisible work’ you've collaborated on, the work you wish you could collaborate on, and help you develop strategies and technical solutions for getting there.
||Asraa Mustufa, Paula Friedrich, David Eads