INN-led “Rust to Resilience” collaboration reaches 13 states and four national outlets

Climate change affects every person on this planet. In the Midwest and beyond, our members provide strong environmental coverage. Based on a conversation with the editor of a member newsroom about potential collaborations, INN decided to pursue a project about the Great Lakes. As with any collaboration, we wanted to help facilitate reporting that told a broader story than any individual outlet could provide.

From Rust to Resilience” was a collaborative reporting project that included six members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (Belt Magazine, The Conversation, Ensia, Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television, MinnPost and Side Effects Public Media at WFYI) as well as WUWM Milwaukee. The Water Main was an engagement partner and Indiana Public Broadcasting collaborated with Side Effects Public Media, a collaborative outlet in itself. Additional grant funding was provided by the Connected Coastlines initiative of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

The collaboration produced 12 stories and reached about 103,272 unique visitors across six outlets participating in the partnership. With the help of the Patch distribution partnership INN previously established, the stories in this series reached more than 30,000 additional unique visitors across the Midwest. We also participated in a special week of collaborative coverage organized by Covering Climate Now, a global journalism partnership that included more than 400 newsrooms.

INN believes that collaboration can help lead to greater attention, reach and impact. Bringing newsrooms together helps create a bigger pool of resources to tell complex stories in a detailed and responsible way.

Read the entire report here, which includes how INN collected this data, a breakdown of individual article performance, feedback on the collaboration from members and more.

This project was started based on suggestions by INN members. If you have an idea for an editorial collaboration or would like to get involved in a future collaboration, please email Collaborations Leader Sharon McGowan.