The Seattle Times has announced a partnership with local news sites as part of a project funded by American Univeristy's J-Lab.
The Times is one of five newspapers participating in the year-long program. The others are The Miami Herald, The Charlotte Observer, the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times and the online-only TucsonCitizen.com.
According to the project's announcement, the goal is "to explore new ways to broaden newsgathering capabilities and further connections within the community."
"We've been moving down this track already, but much too slowly," David Boardman, executive editor of The Seattle Times, said in a statement. "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 Times will parter with four Seattle-area news producers: Tracy Record, of the West Seattle Blog and White Center Now; Kate Bergman of Next Door Media, which includes My Ballard, PhinneyWood, Queen Anne View, Magnolia Voice and Freemont Universe; Justin Carder, of Capitol Hill Seattle and Neighborlogs, itself a platform for several neighborhood sites in Seattle; and Amber Campbell, who runs the Rainier Valley Post.
As part of the project, the Times and its partners will endeavor to enhance communication between each other, including sharing news tips and news gathering information; linking to and promoting stories on partner sites that might fill coverage holes; exploring advertising opportunities across the sites; and learning about how partnerships can benefit the respective sites.
According to a statement from the Times, the five major news outlets will collaborate on a J-Lab report at the end of the project discussing whether networked journalism can work.