Apr 28, 2020 - Economy

Local newsrooms unite to cover coronavirus pandemic

Illustration of someone reading a newspaper.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Consortium coverage" is becoming a bigger trend as news companies experience dramatic businesses losses and join forces on complicated topics like coronavirus.

Driving the news: Colorado newsrooms are uniting to cover COVID-19. The Associated Press says it's worked with nearly two dozen Colorado news organizations to cover the state's response to the pandemic using a tool launched by the AP called "StoryShare," which allows newsrooms to share content and coverage plans.

  • In Oregon, more than a dozen news outlets, including the Salem Reporter, The Oregonian, and Eugene Weekly, have agreed to share and cross-promote COVID-19 coverage, per Nieman Lab.
  • In New Hampshire, a group of media outlets in a pre-existing group called the Granite State News consortium is working together to elevate COVID-19 coverage.

Other states that have been using local teamwork to conquer tough beats.

  • In Florida, six newsrooms, including the Tampa Bay Times, Palm Beach Post and the Orlando Sentinel, teamed up to cover climate change last year.
  • In California, Bay Area News Group, which includes newspapers like Mercury News, the Los Angeles Times and KQED, an NPR-member radio station in San Francisco, worked together last year to cover a police misconduct records dump, per CJR.
  • In Pennsylvania, newsrooms like the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette teamed up in 2018 to cover the state government.

Our thought bubble: Expect to see more local partnerships develop between newsrooms as news companies experience more economic fallout from the coronavirus.

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