Research and reports about collaborative journalism

U.S. Democracy Day impact report: What does it mean for newsrooms to defend democracy?

In 2022, a coalition of journalism organizations set out to answer that question. Our curiosity sparked a call to action and became the first U.S. Democracy Day collaboration. On September 15, nearly 200 newsrooms and journalism organizations from across the United States rallied together for Democracy Day 2022. In 2023, 163 newsrooms stepped up to participate. Across these two milestone days, the newsrooms collectively published more than 380 stories, editorials, and posts about the democratic process.

Cross-field collaboration: How and why journalists and civil society organizations around the world are working together

We define cross-field collaboration as a partnership involving at least one journalism organization and one civil society organization (usually an advocacy organization but not always) in which they work together to produce content in the service of an explicit ideal or outcome. Civil society organizations include NGOs, universities, civic tech and arts organizations, among others.

Developing journalism collaborations for local impact: The role of collaborative scaffolding and solutions journalism in changing local media ecosystems

In this report, Caroline Porter and Elizabeth Hanson Shapiro summarize findings from a yearlong Solutions Journalism Network research project in 2020-2021 in which we studied a cohort of six solutions journalism collaboratives based in different parts of the United States. Our research included baseline case studies; interviews with journalists, editors and non-news partners, as well as audience members; meeting observations; and surveys among collaborative members and audience members. Our interest was in understanding what outcomes these collaboratives were generating for themselves, their ecosystems and their communities.

Collaborating for change: Approaches to measuring the impact of collaborative journalism

Impact Architects, together with the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, conducted a research project (which you can read and download in full here) over the last three years to understand what type of impact collaborative journalism initiatives aimed for, and how they knew if they succeeded. This research was funded in part by Rita Allen Foundation and published in August 2020.

Adapting to the changing climate: How collaboration addresses unique challenges in climate-change and environmental reporting

Climate-reporting collaborations, in which a news organization or journalist joins forces with other news organizations or affiliated groups to cover climate change and the environment, have rapidly expanded over the past decade. This report provides an overview of this trend; it establishes reasons why collaboration is well-suited to address the unique challenges of reporting on climate change and the environment; and finally, this research outlines potential opportunities and needs within this subfield for journalists and funders to consider.

Seeking a Cure: Accomplishments, impact and areas for improvement

The Seeking a Cure collaboration examined challenges facing community hospitals in rural areas across the Midwest in the face of financial and regulatory pressure and changing patterns of health care delivery. It was also the first editorial collaboration from Amplify, which is focused on improving editorial collaboration and content distribution to advance the nonprofit news field.

From Rust to Resilience: Accomplishments, impact and areas for improvement

Climate change affects every person on this planet. In the Midwest and beyond, our members provide strong environmental coverage. Based on a conversation with the editor of a member newsroom about potential collaborations, we decided to pursue a project about the Great Lakes. As with any collaboration, we wanted to help facilitate reporting that told a broader story than any individual outlet could provide.

Impact Report: N.J. Voting Block

Over the course of 12 months, the Center for Cooperative Media, together with The Center for Investigative Reporting, coordinated what came to be called Voting Block, a collaborative reporting initiative with 30 partners that included text, audio, and video stories, community events, and even a comedy show.

Comparing models of collaborative journalism

In her fall 2017 report “Comparing Models of Collaborative Journalism,” Center for Cooperative Media research director Sarah Stonbely, Ph.D., examines dozens of collaborative journalism projects and categorizes them into six models, a matrix based on project duration and level of integration. The report also includes tip sheets for organizations considering a collaborative effort.

Cross-border journalism: an exercise in international team-working

The book, “Cross-Border Collaborative Journalism,” is a detailed guide to transnational reporting, a cutting-edge journalistic strategy. In the twenty-first century, the most pressing political and social issues, such as financial crises, wealth inequality, migration flows and environmental collapse, transcend national borders. In reaction, journalists are increasingly collaborating across the globe to produce impactful and in-depth reporting. Recent agenda-setting cross-border collaborations include LuxLeaks, Panama Papers and Football Leaks.

Brigitte Alfter takes the reader, step-by-step, through the history of cross-border collaborative journalism and the current working practices behind it. The book draws from the author’s own experience, as well as exclusive interviews with other pioneers of cross-border journalism, and notable case studies are integrated throughout.

Case Studies in collaborative local journalism

In this report, Dr. Joy Jenkins and Dr. Lucas Graves analyze the potential for collaborative journalism initiatives to address the challenges facing local news. Although collaboration has been examined in the context of national and international partnerships, often among larger news organizations, few studies investigate these efforts at the local level, particularly in Europe. As local media around the world continue to face declining revenues and shrinking newsroom staffs, collaborative approaches may offer a vehicle for producing high-quality accountability journalism at the local level.


CrossCheck was a collaborative effort among journalists in France working together to debunk misinformation during the country’s 2017 presidential election. A total of 37 newsrooms, universities, nonprofits and tech companies worked cooperatively on CrossCheck.


Electionland was a collaborative journalism project that covered voting during the 2016 United States presidential election, across the country and in real time. It employed technology and data to track problems at the polls.

How news partnerships work between commercial and nonprofit newsrooms

In the last decade, nonprofit news organizations have emerged with a model that depends on creative partnerships. At the same time, most commercial newsrooms have seen deep cuts to staffing and resources, leaving them in search of ways to sustain the quality and depth of their journalism. This report commissioned by the American Press Institute examines how collaborations between commercial and nonprofit news entities work.

Collaboration and the creation of a new journalism commons

This report from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School builds on the recent research on collaboration from the Center of Cooperative Media at Montclair State University and the American Press Institute, and the seminal work on the commons developed by Elinor Ostrom, Charlotte Hess, Carol M. Rose, Yochai Benkler, Lawrence Lessig, and others.

Beyond Borders: The collaborative newsrooms of the future

This report by University of Canterbury fellow Talia Shadwell examines different collaborations around the world, and puts them in context for fellow New Zealand journalists.

Let us know about other research reports that we should add to this page; email us at [email protected]