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News Co-opetition

Amy Gahran, on the Poynter site, asks if competition has outlived its usefulness in news gathering:

Imagine: someday a Pulitzer Prize might be awarded jointly to an enterprise reporting team spread across several news organizations.

This convergence has already occurred. The New York Times collaborated with Frontline on a brilliant series of articles/broadcasts, and won a well-earned Pulitzer.

Silicon Valley companies have an expression for this: co-opetition. They compete in many areas, but cooperate in others.

This is definitely the way of the future for news companies. I’ll be even happier when the collaborations include citizen reporters, but the NYT-Frontline example is a great start.

6 Comments on “News Co-opetition”

  1. #1 Paul Jones
    on Jun 5th, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    There’s been no Pulitzer for this, but AP stories are regularly taken and handed to reporters who as asked to add a “local angle” The result may be two stories the AP and the local beside each other or a hybrid of the two.

    In fact, AP is the prime example of news organizations working together as cooperatives.

  2. #2 Paul Jones
    on Jun 5th, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    Should be “There’s been no Pulitzer for this — as far as I know –“

  3. #3 Jon Garfunkel
    on Jun 6th, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    The Pulitzer’s are hardly a barometer of what’s going on in journalism. Nor are the Pulitzers the sole motivator of journalistic experimentation.

    Obviously, collaboration is necessary when tackling larger, non-scoopable projects, but not every possible collaboration just happs,
    Remember that the Times will collaborate with Frontline (or CBS, as they do for polling) before they do with their print competitors.

    In the case of “collaberation with citizen’s media” we might expect cooptation more so than co-opetition. That’s how it goes.

  4. #4 Jon Garfunkel
    on Jun 6th, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    above: “happens.” not “happs.” stuff happens.

  5. #5 Amy Gahran
    on Jun 6th, 2006 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for the mention, Dan. I just did a deeper exploration of the news collaboration theme over at my weblog Contentious.

    See: “Why News Needs More Collaboration”


    – Amy Gahran

  6. #6 Contentious » Why News Needs More Collaboration
    on Jun 6th, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    […] This could be a one-time project, such as the New York Times’ 2003 collaboration with the PBS show Frontline to produce an excellent investigative series on workplace safety. (Thanks to Dan Gillmor for the tip on that.) But it also could be an ongoing project, such as several reporters from around the nation or world collaborating on a beat blog (similar, in some respects, to the approach demonstrated by RealClimate, a popular weblog on climate change authored by scientists at various institutions). […]