If you like old movies, particularly old movies about newspapers, you know that we are in a competitive industry. There’s nothing a reporter or editor would like more than to get a “scoop” on a rival. Stop the presses!
Getting a big exclusive still makes us feel good. But as newspapers have dwindled, there’s been a lot more emphasis on cooperation and partnerships than beating a rival.
I am not even sure who qualifies as a rival newspaper these days. The Oregonian closed its Clark County bureau years ago. Among weekly newspapers, The Reflector in Battle Ground is still around, but The Columbian purchased the Camas-Washougal Post-Record in 2004, and the Lewis River News in Woodland ceased publication in 1999.
So it is back to the theme of cooperation. We recently joined with a new partner. It’s Crosscut, a Seattle-based online news site with a team of about 30 journalists. You can check out their site at crosscut.com.
Crosscut is one of the pioneers in the world of nonprofit, donor-supported journalism. Unlike a general interest newspaper, its staff focuses on long-form stories in specific categories including politics, culture, equity and the environment. A lot of the content is focused on Seattle and Puget Sound, of course, but there are stories of statewide interest, too, such as a piece on the security of those outdoor ballot boxes being used in several counties, including Clark County.