Idea Thursday: Collaborative Journalism

Hello NCRA/ANREC members

The Center for Collaborative Media at Montclair State University recently issued a report on the different types of collaborative journalism that they have found, ranging from the US’s Homelessness Marathon to the Panama Papers!

We are seeing now more than ever news organizations collaborate together to pool resources to address large projects. The Panama papers brought together 400 journalists from all over the world. The massive international effort included the CBC, and Toronto Star and netter CRA investigations into 85 Canadians.

The NCRA/ANREC prides itself on being able to bring together our more than 100 campus and community stations to create local stories on a national stage. In February CFMH-FM lead this year’s Homelessness Marathon and brought together 17 stations with 11 hours of diverse programming from across Canada addressing the issues around homelessness in Canada.

We at the NCRA/ANREC believe in your community and your radio. The power to bring unheard voices, to tell untold stories is something that all 100+ of our stations share.

We would love to be able to further empower this work.

We are looking for feedback from our members to see if the following idea is worth pursuing, and developing. The initial idea we have we are calling the “CanElect Collective”. It would be a space where stations can produce and share content related to elections across Canada. Often the local stories draw together to create a regional or national picture, and sadly often the national discussion is lost without a local lense. In 2018 we have Provincial elections in Ontario, Quebec, BC, Manitoba, PEI, Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. We are suggesting that in the run-up and during these elections the NCRA/ANREC foster space for closer collaboration, and program sharing among stations within these stations. For us, we see this as a platform to share stories, for your volunteers to team up province-wide to create collaborative pieces. We don’t expect the NCRA/ANREC to produce programming, but rather to assist in bringing together and elevating the capacity of your own stations. And for stations not covering your provincial election, this would provide a great resource for community-based coverage! The NCRA/ANREC had similar success with our AltElection coverage in 2015 (See Here).


panamapapers1_160404.jpgLet us know! Is the “CanElect Collective” something you would like to see happen? We believe that if we can harness the incredible reporting happening in the 100+ stations across Canada we can provide great support, and truly local, and alternative stories, and voices to the fore.

Let us know,

PS, here is the report on Media collaboration

 I think it would be really helpful if the NCRA were able to create some sort of a site/page where this program/info sharing could be facilitated, since we haven't really mastered a solid form for program sharing on our own station's website (we use a combination of SoundCloud and YouTube, with a very few programs being archived on the actual site). 
It might also be an idea to create a public page for voters in each region, for instance where they could go to find easy-to-access/understand info on the election in their region (voting dates, polling stations, debate events, etc) coupled with downloadable programs produced by NCRA stations within the region. Might drive even more traffic to our stations. 
Here in NL, we just finished a provincial round of municipal elections. Going into it St. John's had the worst representation of women on municipal governance in the country, so a pervasive theme was gender representation on City Council. Several women ran, but there was loud criticism from local women's groups about the style and content of mainstream media coverage of the women candidates from the other local radio stations (both commercial and CBC). Consequently, the organization Equal Voice (which is national and has provincial branches) along with a team of independent women journalists approached us at CHMR-FM and we partnered to produce a special series of programs focusing on women and women's issues in the municipal election. It was a partnership we hadn't tried before but I think it actually worked quite well. Anyway, just as an example of the sort of programming that it sounds like you have in mind. 
Anyway, just wanted to share that and say that I think this is a great idea! 

Hi All- CJRU in Toronto is totally on board with the CanElect initiative. If there are Ontario stations in the South/South West that want to collaborate more deeply, we hope to hear from you.

Thanks for reaching out!
I think I mentioned this already but at the risk of being redundant...doesn't organizing group efforts like this seem like a natural for Groundwire, which seems like it could use more of the old raison d'etre (my opinion from a distance, I apologize if that mischaracterizes them).
In theory, I am all for this idea. Collaboration on election coverage and many other things seems like a no brainer.

But the issue remains, it is better for our CRTC spoken word compliance to not collaborate. I hate to say that might be exactly the limiting effect that was desired by "the powers that be", but as long as the incentive is keeping spoken word local I don't think we have the incentive as a group to spend the time and resources to coordinate a project like this. 

The definition of "locally produced spoken word" as provided in the standard conditions of licence for campus and community stations is "produced exclusively by or for your station".  So you could count the portion of shared programming that your station produces on its own, but you could not count the portion that any other station produces.  

However (and I'm not taking a position on the Homelessness Marathon per se but I am debating Arbie's point), there is value in providing programming for your local listeners that is relevant to their interests and issues even if it cannot be counted in the minimum quota of local content you are required to produce.  Only 15% of programming has to be locally produced spoken word.  Music does not have to make up the other 85%.
CIVL will gladly participate in both Homelessness and Elections focused marathon content;

We've hosted in studio debates for multiple ridings during every municipal, provincial and federal election for the past 6 years so we'd love to connect that work with sister stations.
We also hosted the homelessness marathon two years ago, and are happy to participate and assist this year in any way necessary.

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