Bay Area journalists reflect on the value and impact of collaboration:
The Bay Area Media Collaborative (BAMC) is a three-year initiative to test an innovative model of collaborative, community-centered journalism. This ambitious effort seeks to inspire and support journalists from diverse news organizations to work collaboratively as they investigate the region’s most pressing problems—and in the process, produce powerful journalism with far-reaching impact.
To begin, the Bay Area Media Collaborative will tackle the complex housing crisis. From the unbridled gentrification of neighborhoods to the displacement of longtime residents and the seemingly intractable problem of homelessness, this issue profoundly affects the health and well-being of many communities throughout the Bay Area. The housing crisis has had a particularly deleterious impact on many communities of color, immigrants, the poor, and, increasingly, on the middle-class.
By working collaboratively, rather than competitively, journalists and their news organizations will be able to leverage their strengths, resources, expertise and community connections. They’ll also be challenged to dig more deeply into the housing crisis, uncovering and examining what is truly driving this issue. To ask: What are the systemic and historic forces behind gentrification, displacement and homelessness? What are some viable solutions for real change? They’ll be able to share data and together, capture the real-life, often compelling, stories of the people affected by this crisis every day.
By way of support, participating journalists will have the opportunity to attend news briefings, conferences and other events where they’ll meet leading experts, community leaders, key policymakers and other reporters working on the housing crisis. Small grants will also be available to news organizations to stimulate compelling collaborative reporting projects.
The journalists will also be invited to venture out of their comfort zone from time to time and participate in unique community engagement activities, designed to help them—and their news organizations—deepen and strengthen their relationship and trust with the communities they serve. For example, a journalist can host a mealtime conversation with local residents or participate in a closed, moderated Facebook dialogue with community folks.
For more details on the Bay Area Media Collaborative, read Executive Director Jon Funabiki’s blog posting.
The Bay Area Media Collaborative is funded by grants from Silicon Valley Community Foundation and The California Endowment, with additional support from The Whitman Institute, Wyncote Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation and Heising-Simons Foundation.