We’re excited to announce an editorial partnership with the Seattle Times that encompasses My Ballard and the rest of Next Door Media’s sites, PhinneyWood, Queen Anne View, Magnolia Voice and Fremont Universe. The partnership originated with a grant by American University’s J-Lab, which aims to explore how established media companies can work together with promising neighborhood news sites.
You may have noticed over the last several weeks that SeattleTimes.com and MyBallard.com have been linking each other on stories, and that’s a component of the partnership. We’ll be exploring other ways to work together in coming weeks and months. Our friends at West Seattle Blog, Capitol Hill Seattle and Rainier Valley Post are also part of the partnership.
This is a testament to all of you — our readers, contributors and advertisers — who have helped make My Ballard a part of the neighborhood. My Ballard is powered by the neighorhood, not us. The vast majority of stories originate from our readers, and now some of the best stories will be linked from Seattle’s largest news site. We’re very pleased that the Times has chosen to work together with organic, neighborhood-grown news sites instead of creating competing efforts designed to draw advertising dollars away from the neighborhood.
And, of course, we’d also like to thank the editors of Next Door Media sites in our nearby neighborhoods: Doree Armstrong and Dale Steinke at PhinneyWood.com, John and Loree Schoonover at MagnoliaVoice.com, and Thea Chard and Judy at QueenAnneView.com.
The press release from the Seattle Times follows below…
The Seattle Times forms partnership with local news Web sites
PRESS RELEASE — The Seattle Times and some of Seattle’s most respected neighborhood news Web sites have struck a unique partnership as part of a nationwide Networked Journalism pilot project. The project, which will last one year, is overseen by American University’s J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism and funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The other national news organizations participating in the pilot program are The Miami Herald, The Charlotte Observer, the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times and TucsonCitizen.com.
The overall goals of the alliance are to explore new ways to broaden newsgathering capabilities and further connections within the community. The Seattle Times will work with community news producers and Web sites that are staffed with professionals who share The Seattle Times’ journalistic values.
“We’ve been moving down this track already, but much too slowly,” said David Boardman, executive editor of The Seattle Times. “This will both kick-start it, give us a better organizing framework and give us a way to share successes and challenges with others. It’s perfect timing.”
The four local producers and Web sites partnering with The Seattle Times are: Tracy Record, who runs West Seattle Blog and White Center Now; Kate Bergman, who runs Next Door Media, which includes My Ballard, PhinneyWood, Queen Anne View, Magnolia Voice and Fremont Universe; Justin Carder, who runs Capitol Hill Seattle and helped create Neighborlogs, which is the platform for several neighborhood sites in Seattle; and Amber Campbell, who runs the Rainier Valley Post.
The goals of the partnership include: enhancing communication between the respective Web sites and The Seattle Times, and discovering ways to share news tips and collaborate on future news gathering; linking to and promoting stories on partner sites when it may help fill coverage holes; exploring tools that could enhance advertising opportunities across the partner sites; and learning about how such partnerships can benefit the respective sites.
At the conclusion of the project, The Seattle Times will meet with the four other nationally participating news organizations and the lessons learned will appear in an overall J-Lab report on how such Networked Journalism collaborations might work.