john oconnor

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Network News: September 10-16

In the Spotlight: Collaboration Increases Reach

We have high hopes for StateImpact Florida's new partnership with the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. Their work has already been featured in outlets across the state.

This week’s top story is part of a hard-hitting series on the country’s largest online education company and was born of a new collaboration between StateImpact Florida and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit, digital bilingual investigative outlet. We’re excited about the work the two teams have already done together and potential the collaboration holds for future endeavors.

FCIR reporter Trevor Aaronson says that the collaboration is part of a growing shift away from a purely competitive to a more collaborative media environment–one that is happening on both the national and the local stage. Larger outlets like ProPublica and NPR have made the shift visible. But the trend is just as salient among smaller, local start-ups like StateImpact and FCIR, which are nimble enough to delve into tips or breaking news with an investigative eye, thereby expanding the breadth and reach of both organizations’ work.

“Between John and me and Scott Finn, we’re able to get the story on WUSF in Tampa, WLRN in Miami and nearly every major newspaper in the state,” he said. “Five years ago that was inconceivable.”

StateImpact Florida’s John O’Connor elaborates:

John O'Connor/ StateImpact Florida

The partnership has two goals: We help bring education expertise to Trevor’s investigative work; and we can get FCIR/StateImpact Florida stories on air across the state in addition to getting stories published by the Miami Herald, the Associated Press, the Lakeland Ledger and the Ocala Star-Banner.

One of the lessons is the value of two small, agile and independent partners. We’ve found newspapers have some institutional inertia against working with us on other stories. They like to have control over the reporting and editing of the story.

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