Cross-border collaborations become easier and more balanced

“By working alongside local journalists as equal partners — not as assistants or fixers — newsrooms can finally put to rest the practice of ‘parachute journalism’ and build longterm, mutually beneficial relationships.”

The barriers that prevented collaboration between newsrooms across the globe have been crumbling for years. In 2022, they’ll fall for good.

Many newsrooms used to consider global collaborations, or even regional ones, as logistical nightmares that required huge investments for uncertain returns — and better left to the big national publications. But the pandemic forced editors and publishers to rethink the logistics of gathering news. In the process, it lowered their reticence to work with others.

Technology has played a part. As much as we dread the now ubiquitous Zoom calls, they’ve become instrumental in demystifying collaborative work. A simple invite can bring together an entire team across multiple time zones, while messaging and free project management apps can keep the project on track until completion.

Improved processes have come hand-in-hand with a change in mentality: Covering a story so big that it directly affects every human on the planet has also helped newsrooms realize that there are stories that can be global in scope, but remain relevant to their local audience. In 2022, the increasing number of successful projects being published will entice more organizations to extend their hand to others and ask, “What else can we do together?”

As Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, noted recently, there’s a growing ecosystem of journalism collaboration, with Europe and Latin America leading the way, supported by organizations like the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Solutions Journalism Network, and the Global Investigative Journalism Network. Projects that have been born out of those networks, like the Pandora Papers, will serve as a blueprint for others to attempt their own.

In addition to improving the depth and scope of their coverage, an increase in cross-border collaborations will continue to redefine the relationship between Western newsrooms and their counterparts in other parts of the world. By working alongside local journalists as equal partners — not as assistants or fixers — newsrooms can finally put to rest the practice of “parachute journalism” and build longterm, mutually beneficial relationships, particularly around topics like migration, climate change and diaspora communities.

The success of these new initiatives will require further transformations inside news organizations. Leadership must invest in employees with the language, logistical, and cultural skills needed to work with a wide variety of partners, which has to go hand-in hand with their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Some changes to the internal culture will be needed as well to accommodate for new workflows and other demands of collaborative work.

The pandemic gave added momentum to cross-border collaboration, but it won’t be the last story to have a global impact. Newsrooms need to continue to build bridges between them to match the size and complexity of the challenges they’ll report on.

The barriers that prevented collaboration between newsrooms across the globe have been crumbling for years. In 2022, they’ll fall for good.

Many newsrooms used to consider global collaborations, or even regional ones, as logistical nightmares that required huge investments for uncertain returns — and better left to the big national publications. But the pandemic forced editors and publishers to rethink the logistics of gathering news. In the process, it lowered their reticence to work with others.

Technology has played a part. As much as we dread the now ubiquitous Zoom calls, they’ve become instrumental in demystifying collaborative work. A simple invite can bring together an entire team across multiple time zones, while messaging and free project management apps can keep the project on track until completion.

Improved processes have come hand-in-hand with a change in mentality: Covering a story so big that it directly affects every human on the planet has also helped newsrooms realize that there are stories that can be global in scope, but remain relevant to their local audience. In 2022, the increasing number of successful projects being published will entice more organizations to extend their hand to others and ask, “What else can we do together?”

As Stefanie Murray, director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, noted recently, there’s a growing ecosystem of journalism collaboration, with Europe and Latin America leading the way, supported by organizations like the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Solutions Journalism Network, and the Global Investigative Journalism Network. Projects that have been born out of those networks, like the Pandora Papers, will serve as a blueprint for others to attempt their own.

In addition to improving the depth and scope of their coverage, an increase in cross-border collaborations will continue to redefine the relationship between Western newsrooms and their counterparts in other parts of the world. By working alongside local journalists as equal partners — not as assistants or fixers — newsrooms can finally put to rest the practice of “parachute journalism” and build longterm, mutually beneficial relationships, particularly around topics like migration, climate change and diaspora communities.

The success of these new initiatives will require further transformations inside news organizations. Leadership must invest in employees with the language, logistical, and cultural skills needed to work with a wide variety of partners, which has to go hand-in hand with their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Some changes to the internal culture will be needed as well to accommodate for new workflows and other demands of collaborative work.

The pandemic gave added momentum to cross-border collaboration, but it won’t be the last story to have a global impact. Newsrooms need to continue to build bridges between them to match the size and complexity of the challenges they’ll report on.

Mario García

Millie Tran

Meena Thiruvengadam

Anita Varma

An Xiao Mina

S. Mitra Kalita

Candace Amos

Zizi Papacharissi

Eric Nuzum

Kendra Pierre-Louis

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Jennifer Coogan

Chase Davis

Alice Antheaume

Ariel Zirulnick

Don Day

Kerri Hoffman

Cherian George

Simon Galperin

Christoph Mergerson

Tom Trewinnard

Jonas Kaiser

Mary Walter-Brown

Julia Angwin

Wilson Liévano

Errin Haines

Andrew Freedman

Mandy Jenkins

Gonzalo del Peon

Mike Rispoli

Parker Molloy

Victor Pickard

Amara Aguilar

Kristen Muller

Francesco Zaffarano

Whitney Phillips

Kathleen Searles & Rebekah Trumble

Paul Cheung

Matt Karolian

j. Siguru Wahutu

Christina Shih

Anthony Nadler

Matthew Pressman

Burt Herman

Catalina Albeanu

Stephen Fowler

Izabella Kaminska

Cristina Tardáguila

Joanne McNeil

Sarah Marshall

Matt DeRienzo

Daniel Eilemberg

Megan McCarthy

John Davidow

Rachel Glickhouse

A.J. Bauer

Moreno Cruz Osório

Amy Schmitz Weiss

Tamar Charney

Joni Deutsch

David Skok

Gabe Schneider

James Green

Jody Brannon

Stefanie Murray

Brian Moritz

Janelle Salanga

Kristen Jeffers

Jessica Clark

Richard Tofel

Raney Aronson-Rath

Michael W. Wagner

Ståle Grut

Gordon Crovitz

Robert Hernandez

Shalabh Upadhyay

Sarah Stonbely

Jim Friedlich

Jesenia De Moya Correa

Laxmi Parthasarathy

Joshua P. Darr

Tony Baranowski

Larry Ryckman

Nikki Usher

Simon Allison

Shannon McGregor & Carolyn Schmitt

Doris Truong

Melody Kramer

Joy Mayer

Julia Munslow

Joe Amditis

Sam Guzik

David Cohn

Chicas Poderosas

Juleyka Lantigua

Jesse Holcomb

Natalia Viana

Jennifer Brandel

Anika Anand

Cindy Royal