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The AP is doubling down on its local news experiment called StoryShare, which helped newsrooms quickly share information around COVID, AP deputy managing editor for U.S. News Noreen Gillespie tells Axios.

The big picture: There are now more than 130 newsrooms participating in the program across geographic networks in Colorado, Upstate New York, Oregon, New England, West Virginia, Illinois, and more.

  • The AP hopes to have 20 of these "networks up and running by the end of 2021," Gillespie says.

In coming months, the network will expand from geographic networks to topical ones.

  • Newsrooms will be able to create networks where they can share stories, photos, videos, etc. around topics as specific as a single storm or as broad as something like gun control or climate change.
  • The program, initially funded via a grant from the Google News Initiative, is facilitated by the AP, but the participating newsrooms in the networks decide how much they want to share.

What's next: The networks are available for free for local newsrooms that are AP clients or non-profits. Non-AP customers can access the networks through grants or a fee.

  • "Down the road, we could address monetization, but right now this is about giving customers the capability to launch networks and improve coverage."

The bottom line: "There are moments when we need to prioritize collaboration over competition," Gillespie says.

Go deeper: Local news moves to the inbox

Go deeper

37 mins ago - World

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.

Airlines call for Biden admin's "immediate intervention" in 5G deployment

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The CEOs of leading U.S. air cargo and passenger carriers on Monday warned the Biden administration there could be "catastrophic disruption" after AT&T and Verizon deploy a new 5G service this week.

Driving the news: They said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other top federal officials ahead of the C-Band 5G service's deployment Wednesday that "the nation's commerce will grind to a halt" and "could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas."

Updated 4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

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