Collaboration In Sports Journalism


Shocking yet not surprising word today that that the greater minds at the various newspapers south of the border have decided to put their heads together and collaborate for the greater good of the industry. In case you haven’t been paying attention, newspapers are one of the biggest losers in the current economic climate, and cuts have been far, wide and deep. Some papers have even ceased operations. Nowhere in sports has this been more evident than in the NHL. Where teams would have writers travel with the teams on the road as the norm, many in the US simply don’t pay for their people to travel. The world has simply changed.

Finally, for the greater good at least 49 newspapers have decided to work together on a column sharing initiative. Consider it like a pool of articles in which each member paper can pull from. The majority of papers in this group of 49 have circulations over 100,000. There are some big name papers rumored to be involved, including The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The member papers will each pay into the “website” and file stories with the site from which other members can use those stories. Furthermore, a member paper will be able to edit any story it pulls from the website. It is a brilliant idea for the times in which we live. If a newspaper can save the cost of sending their own people on the road to an event, why not get excellent coverage from another reputable source and have the ability to edit it. Imagine that the Atlanta Thrashers were playing in Minnesota. Instead of sending a Thrashers reporter to cover the game, the Thrashers could pull the story from the Minnesota paper, edit it to fit their market, perhaps get quotes from phone call or email interviews and print that story. The Minnesota paper gets credit, the Atlanta market get’s their story and all appears good.

The question of course is how do the writers get compensated. Hopefully, they will get a cut of any story they write that another paper pulls.

A brilliant idea that should have been implemented years ago. I wonder if any Toronto papers will join or be allowed to join. Thanks to the folks at editor & publisher for the story on newspaper collaboration on sports content.



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