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New Publications: Cross-border Journalistic Collaborations Under The Magnifying Glass

News from Mar 22, 2021

In 2016 the ‘Panama Papers’ revelations shocked the world by disclosing confidential information about tax fraud – thanks to a cross-border journalistic collaboration between journalists and media organizations from 76 countries. Beyond such top examples, transnational journalism networks such as those enabled by Hostwriter and networking events like Dataharvest foster productive cross-border journalistic work. Annett Heft, a researcher at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society and Free University Berlin, investigated in “Transnational Journalism Networks ‘From Below’. Cross-Border Journalistic Collaboration in Individualized Newswork” cross-border collaborations beyond large media organizations with a special focus on why journalists choose to collaborate, how they do it and which advantages and challenges they experience. The study concludes that these “bottom-up collaborations contribute to a normalization of the practice” and that pioneering platforms such as Hostwriter and Dataharvest “foster a developing network of open-minded and multicultural practitioners.”
Read more about the research published in the latest edition of Journalism Studies here.


In another case study, Annett Heft and Stephan Baack, associate researcher at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society and Mozilla Foundation, follow up on that topic by investigating one specific collaboration among seven European media in detail. “Europe’s Far Right” is a network of seven newspapers that investigated far-right parties and their activities and strategies ahead of the European parliament election 2019. The study “Cross-bordering journalism: How intermediaries of change drive the adoption of new practices” introduces the concept of ‘intermediaries of change’: individual journalists who drive the adoption and normalization of cross-border practices in their regular work environment. Based on interviews with project members, the authors find that “the network expanded journalists’ research capacity and entails a ‘domino effect’ since journalists gain experience and establish cross-national ties, which enable them to better establish follow-up collaborations.”
You can read the open access publication in full in Journalism here.

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