Collaborative Journalism Summit Recap

From Wednesday, May 19th to the 21st, CCIJ took part in the Collaborative Journalism Summit, hosted by the Center for Cooperative Media. This three-day summit was hosted online with participants and speakers from across the globe. The intensive workshops, lectures, and collaborative conversations made this conference ideal for building organizational collaboration across the globe. Every speaker and panel brought a unique perspective on how collaboration can lead to powerful journalistic storytelling.

CCIJ participated in a lightning talk session on the conference’s second day. A lightning talk is a 5-minute overview of an organization that talks about mission, impact, and commitment to collaboration in journalism. Along with our video, there were many other talks (all viewable on YouTube). Whether founded to serve local or global communities, each organization’s talk made it clear that we are not alone in our mission. We saw collaborations between media outlets that could be competitors, like the Texas Metro News + Dallas Morning News, whose relationship benefits both them and their audience. The Center for Investigative Reporting collaborations illustrated how building networks between journalists have helped them publish high-quality pieces covering systemic issues of working conditions in Amazon warehouses, rehab facilities, and most recently, inequity in the distribution of P.P.P. loans. The Rainforest Investigations Network featured dozens of journalists from around the globe coming together to focus on a specific investigation. And other smaller community-based initiatives, like Solving For Chicago and the Colorado News Collaborative, are helping make sure stories told by local media find the widest possible audience. 

Our video featured people from different parts of our organization. Intern Willa Sippel and Executive Director Jeff Kelly Lowenstein conducted the interviews. We were able to get a peek into the work done by contributors from across the globe. Adie Vanessa Offiong, a member and journalist at CNN in Nigeria, detailed how her membership at CCIJ has given her a chance to mentor and train young journalists in Nigeria and has helped advance her work and career. Our design director extraordinaire Jillian Dudziak spoke about the unique visual and data elements of CCIJ that drew her to the organization. Winston Mwale, a member journalist from Malawi and the host of CCIJ’s Waterless podcast, explained the collaborative aspects of his work. Juliana Thornton, CCIJ’s development director, gave a brief overview of how the organization works to identify fundraising and grant opportunities for member journalists. Jeff Kelly Lowenstein outlined our ongoing projects and accomplishments thus far. And Raymond Joseph, the Southern African Editor, told the organization’s origin story. Talking to these members illustrated CCIJ’s innovative and collaborative nature and gave us a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come. This summit was a fantastic opportunity to see how collaboration can make an individual and organizational impact. Next year, we look forward to sharing more about our ongoing collaborative projects, Gaming the Lottery and H2O Fail with the CCM community.

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