Collaboration in California’s Diverse Journalism Ecosystem

Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program


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Collaboration among media partners has become increasingly common in the news industry. It offers news outlets a way to provide their audiences with important stories that they might otherwise be unable to cover. A collaborative approach also has the potential to deepen the quality of reporting by bringing to bear the different strengths, perspectives, and resources of multiple newsrooms.

In California, the journalism ecosystem is highly diverse, with a mix of large and small legacy print publications, local affiliates of major television networks, public radio and public television stations, and digital-native news outlets and platforms. Within this landscape are at least 300 media outlets produced by and for immigrants; racial, ethnic, and language minorities; and indigenous populations — often referred to as “ethnic media,” which present an opportunity for collaboration among newsrooms to deepen the breadth and depth of reporting on the experiences and perspectives of California’s diverse population.

CHCF commissioned this report to explore examples of collaboration between ethnic media and mainstream media in California. The goal of this research is to gather insights into good practices that support mutually beneficial collaboration, identify key challenges and inhibiting factors, and offer lessons for how to support effective and equitable collaboration. The findings will inform CHCF’s evaluation of opportunities to support partnerships between ethnic media and mainstream media. The findings are also intended to be useful to the broader field of journalism philanthropy.