By Matt DeRienzo • LMA consultant 

In a short period of time, collaborative journalism has gone from a few high-profile projects celebrated at journalism conferences, to a buzzword, to ubiquitous in the local media landscape.

Massive investigative reporting projects such as The Panama Papers were laudable, but felt like the domain of The New York Times or The Washington Post, out of reach for newsrooms without significant resources.

But since then, dozens of grassroots journalism initiatives have shown that some of the same principles of collaboration can be accessible and beneficial to news organizations of all sizes, business models and ownership. An unprecedented amount of funding is going to support journalism, from national foundations, and increasingly, community and place-based foundations as well.

What is collaborative journalism? Simply put, it’s a news organization working with another outlet, in a formal or informal arrangement, on a specific story, project, series or discipline, on a one-time or ongoing basis.

In this new Accelerate Local report, Collaborative Journalism for Local Media, we’ll explore a wide range of types of collaborative journalism, best practices, pitfalls to avoid, and how all of it leads to a fundamental re-examination of who and what news organizations are really competing against. Numerous examples of collaborative journalism projects are cited throughout the report, which can be downloaded here or by filling out the form below.

Accelerate Local will be launching The Collaborative Journalism Project in 2020. This initiative will take a business model approach from the very start, something that has not been done in North America to this point. We’ll use the learnings from the collaborative projects featured in this report, as well as others, to test our assumptions. The goal is to prove out a sustainable business model in one large city and one smaller city, and then widely share the learnings with the industry via playbooks, onsite assistance, workshops and more. We are working with a funding partner to finalize the details. If you are interested in being part of a collaborative journalism effort or if you are in the early stages and want to be involved with this project in some way, please reach out to Lindsey Estes at