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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

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutor to seek hate crime charges, death penalty in Atlanta shootings

In Hopkinton, Mass., the Rally & Run To Stop Asian Hate is held to show solidarity in the wake of deadly Atlanta shootings and to mourn the loss of eight lives including six Asian women. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Prosecutors unveiled murder charges against the white man accused of shooting and killing eight people, six of whom were Asian women, at Atlanta-area spas, AP reports.

Driving the news: A prosecutor filed notice that she plans to seek hate crime charges and the death penalty in the case. Two separate grand juries have now indicted the suspect on murder charges.

America's pandemic coin crunch returns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An early pandemic problem that plagued businesses is back: not enough change to go around.

Why it matters: The pandemic broke America's coin flow. It has repercussions for millions that rely on it for daily transactions.

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