JTMPNW Collaboratory

The JTMPNW “Collaboratory” is a collaborative learning laboratory that cultivates a healthy news and information ecosystem in the Puget Sound region by supporting the people who are shaping it.  The Collaboratory is a bold experiment that works across sectors, fostering a network that learns from and evolves as an interactive system.  Given changing technological and societal conditions, by working across the range of competition, cooperation, collaboration, and co-creation, such a network can grow faster and be more resilient than any single sector can on its own.

Using innovative conversational practices and technologies, the collaboratory provides the connective tissue for participants to generate and incubate real-world activities. It is a model for understanding how to influence a complex social system so that we develop civic and media leaders who shape healthy community. It does its work by:

  • Convening the “whole system” of journalism – print, broadcast, new media, civic activists, technologists, academics and others including a broad mix of ages, race, gender, and ethnicity – to identify regional news and information needs and opportunities.
  • Incubating projects that respond to regional needs and opportunities, with an emphasis on sustainability.
  • Communicating its methods and findings to amplify collective learning, providing models that can be replicated here and elsewhere to build journalistic capacity.

The JTMPNW Collaboratory continues to interact with the creators of initiatives that emerged from the Journalism That Matters unconference held in January 2010.  They positively influence almost every civic issue identified in the 2009 report of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy.

The JTMPNW Collaboratory is uniquely situated to foster healthy competition and productive cooperation that responds to regional challenges and opportunities. It is an adaptive, trusted agent of change, innovation and collaboration. It has developed effective processes for engaging communities, identifying promising initiatives, making high-synergy connections, and conducting pilot programs. It builds on the ten-year experience of Journalism That Matters which has convened more than 1,200 journalists, media and community activists, educators, technologists and others in 14 “unconferences” that have stimulated numerous experiments in community storytelling across the country.

The philosophy that guides the Collaboratory’s work:

  • Support self-organization and self-authorship through network-based organizing strategies.
  • Emphasize peer-to-peer learning and development.
  • Use collaborative tools and participative approaches to convening.
  • Provide interactive online and in-person activities.
  • Focus on applied innovation.
  • Cultivate a community of on-going learners and innovators.

Among the Collaboratory “Stewards Council” – advisors guiding the work:

  • Mike Fancher, Seattle Times Executive Editor (retired)
  • John Hamer, President and Executive Director, Washington News Council
  • Matt Rosenberg, Public Eye Northwest Founder and Executive Director
  • Peggy Holman, co-founder Journalism That Matters and co-author, The Change Handbook and author, Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity

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