J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, an initiative of the American University School of Communication, has announced the launch of a pilot project to support partnerships between mainstream news organizations and hyper-local news sites.
Funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Networked Journalism project will be piloted at the Seattle Times, the Miami Herald, the Charlotte Observer, the Asheville (North Carolina) Citizen-Times, and TucsonCitizen.com. The project will support a liaison at each newspaper and provide small stipends to local partners, most of which have yet to be chosen.
Upon completion of the project, J-Lab will compile lessons learned by the participants into a report on how such partnerships could work in other communities. Among the topics J-Lab hopes to explore are the attributes to look for when recruiting partners, opportunities for sharing content, the kinds of partners that are interested in partnering with mainstream news organizations, and methods for measuring success.
"We hope this project will help traditional news organizations and new media makers begin to figure out how to amplify good content coming from their communities," said J-Lab executive director Jan Schaffer, "sharing it, even monetizing it for all participants."