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Crossborder Journalism Campus – a contribution to crossborder journalism education evolving

In the early 2020s, cross-border collaborative journalism is a relatively young practice. Teaching cross-border collaborative journalism in practice is in its earliest stages. However, pilot journalism education models are now under development

But how to teach remote journalism practice and collaboration across cultures while sitting in the same classroom with a homogenous group of students? In one classroom we can teach about cross-border collaborative journalism, we can talk about the definition being that the work is carried out by a team of journalists from different countries, working on a shared topic with coordinated research and publications to the respective target groups. The obvious next step is to move from talking about collaborative journalism to actually doing it.

The Crossborder Journalism Campus brings students together for 4–5 intense working days in the beginning of their academic year to meet in person and agree on story ideas; they then return to their respective universities and remotely collaborate with their peers in the partner universities. At the end of the academic year, they prepare publications for their respective audiences.

In Europe, collaborative education programs in the field of journalism and media are not widespread yet. In 2017, the Newsreel 1 project in a four-country study observed that “none of the educational institutions, we analysed, teaches courses on collaborative journalism” though “some discuss best-practice examples of collaborative journalism”. This was confirmed in a paper presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference. Here, the authors suggested to integrate professional practice and academic analysis to surmount previous schisms, and to particularly address three dimensions—namely how networked journalism is imbedded in networked societies, the cross-border journalism concept, and the notion of nation and culture including journalism cultures and roles.

By 2023, we are aware of three levels of crossborder collaborative journalism education, they include:

  1. Teaching about collaborative journalism in one class room
  2. Connecting two or more classes of journalism students together remotely, teaching them together but without in-person meetings
  3. Bringing two or more classes of journalism students together for an in-person meeting before working remotely.

The three models are – obviously – different when it comes to the level of intensity in the collaborative practice. Also, there are very different demands in terms of coordination and logistics. We locate the Crossborder Journalism Campus in the 3rd level of intensity, where we allow students to meet before they embark on a shared research project.

Read about crossborder collaborative journalism

As crossborder collaborativ journalism is developing, so are practitioners’ reflections on the practice and academics analysis of it, too. In the following is a list of works compiled by the Crossborder Journalism Campus partner Arena.

The encyclopedia

Konow-Lund, M., Gearing, A. & Berglez, P. (2019). Transnational Cooperation in Journalism. In: Nussbaum, J.F. Oxford Research Encyclopedias, Communication.

The practical guides

Alfter, B. (2019). Cross-border Collaborative Journalism. A Step-By-Step Guide. Routledge.

Diseri, D. (ed) et al., (2020). Crossborder Journalism Playbook. An online anthology.

Grzeszyk, T. & Alfter, B. (2018). Cross-border journalism as a mindset / Cross-border journalism as a method. Hostwriter.

Academics’ and practitioners’ reflections on the new method (and mindset) of cross-border collaborative journalism

In reverse chronological order of publication:

Meier K, Schützeneder J, García Avilés JA, Valero-Pastor JM, Kaltenbrunner A, Lugschitz R, Porlezza C, Ferri G, Wyss V, Saner M. (2022): Examining the Most Relevant Journalism Innovations: A Comparative Analysis of Five European Countries from 2010 to 2020. Journalism and Media. 2022; 3(4):698-714.

Heft, Annett & Baack, Stefan (2021): Cross-bordering journalism: How intermediaries of change drive the adoption of new practices. Journalism, Sage Journals.

Heft, Annett (2021): Transnational Journalism Networks “From Below”. Cross-Border Journalistic Collaboration in Individualized Newswork. Journalism Studies, Routledge.

Calatayud, Jose Miguel (2020): Journalists Across Europe Collaborate to Cover Airbnb and Other Housing Issues – The Housing Project is fostering cross-border investigations. Nieman Reports, Harvard University.

Konow-Lund, M. (2019): Negotiating Roles and Routines in Collaborative Investigative Journalism. Media and Communication. Cogitatio.

Krüger, U.; Knorr, C. & Finke, F. (2019): Cross-Border Non-Profit Investigative Journalism Networks: A Structural Analysis of the Field. Conference paper at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Hamburg, p. 404-429.

Lück, J. & Schultz, T. (2019). Investigative Data Journalism in a Globalized World: A Survey Study on ICIJ Journalists. Journalism Research 2(2), 93-114.

Hellmüller, L. & Konow-Lund, M. (2019). Transnational Journalism. The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies. Wiley.

Lee, T. (ed.) (2019). Unbias the News. Hostwriter & Correctiv.

Alfter, B. & Candea, S. (eds.) (2019). Journal for Applied Journalism and Media Studies – special Issue on Cross-border Collaborative Journalism, anthology. Ingenta Publishing.

First international academic conference on cross-border journalism, Ilmenau 2018.

Heft, A., Alfter, B. & Pfetsch, B. (2017). Transnational journalism networks as drivers of Europeanisation. Journalism, Volume: 20 issue: 9, page(s): 1183-1202.

Alfter, B. (2016). Cross-Border Collaborative Journalism: Why Journalists and Scholars Should Talk about an Emerging Method. Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies 5/2: 297–311. (Pre-print version available).

PhD theses about crossborder collaborative journalism

To our best knowledge, at this stage (early 2022) there are two full PhD theses carried out on crossborder journalism. If you are aware of others, please let us know!

Candea, Stefan (2020). Cross-border Investigative Journalism: a critical perspective. PhD thesis University of Westminster Westminster School of Media and Communication.

Demeneck, Ben-Hur (2016). Journalismo transnacional: Prática, métoodo e conceito (Transnational Journalism: Practice, Method and Concept). PhD thesis at the University of Sao Paolo.