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Leaderboard for week of 6-1-2006: Collaborative podcast edition

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 15:59 - by

This week’s leaderboard focuses on collaboration between news organizations to create new products.

Podcasting is becoming a more popular medium, and more news organizations are partaking in it. Podcasts are often recorded live with a live user chat along side them. Podcasts make both good live interactive events for journalists and users, while also making good mobile content later on.

Collaboration is helping to make podcasts and journalism better. Sometimes one news organization or reporter is not enough to properly cover a story or produce a feature. That’s where collaboration comes in.

We are looking at a few podcasts that would not have been possible if news organizations weren’t willing to collaborate.

Politics As Usual | The Morning Call

  • While this politics podcast is officially hosted by The Morning Call, it is actually a collaboration between three journalists from three different news organizations, from three different mediums. The Morning Call’s John Micek brings the print prospective, while Politics PA’s Alex Roarty brings the Web perspective and Scott Detrow of Public Radio Capital News brings the broadcast perspective.
  • What makes this podcast special? It features three different political reporters from three different news organizations getting together to discuss local Pennsylvanian politics. This is the kind of mash up of news organizations and mediums that we didn’t see a few  years ago. Thankfully this kind of collaboration is becoming more common.
  • This is a lively, fun and informative podcast that helps make local politics more accessible to the average Pa. resident. The three discuss recent political news and what they have been hearing behind the scenes, while also giving their expert opinions on a variety of topics.
  • None of these organizations could do a podcast like this themselves. They simply don’t have enough knowledgeable employees on hand to have a politics round table. By collaborating with other news organizations, they have been able to create a new product that helps serve users.
  • I asked Roarty if he or his bosses were concerned about working with the “competition” and he said the old ways of thinking of other news organizations as competitors no longer apply. “I think the idea is, on the Web, there’s room enough for all of us,” he said.

Previewing Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals |

  • had a podcast with a beat writers covering the Cavs and Magic for game five of the Eastern Conference Finals. In order to make this happen, got beat reporters Brian Windhorst from The Plain Dealer and Brian Schmitz from the Orlando Sentinel on the phone together.
  •’s host asked their opinions on the series up to that point, their opinions on certain calls and situations in the series and their thoughts on the series moving forward. Schmitz and Windhorst are two the most knowledgeable people around about these two teams. does weekly chats with Windhorst, and he frequently puts his knowledge of the Cavs on display and helps answer reader questions, but adding in an expert on the Orlando Magic took this podcast to a higher level.
  • Not only is this kind of collaboration rare, but getting together around an event like a playoff series is even rarer. But it just makes sense. By working together, they were able to create a better product.
  • Combine this concept with’s chat room that allows fans to ask questions, and I think you have an absolute winner. normally has a live chat room during its podcasts where users can ask questions. Since this wasn’t a regularly scheduled podcast there was no chat room.

Why did DISD’s ratings go sky high? | Tawnell Hobbs

  • Hobbs is asking her readers to help her get to the bottom of a story. She is wondering why the DISD is projecting a record number of exemplary and recognized schools. Her readers are helping to get to the bottom of this story. Did students really improve that much or is something else at work here?
  • Users are chiming in, helping to clarify the situation. Some are posting links to district documents as well.
  • The DISD Blog has a lot of district insider’s reading it. They have been a big help to the bloggers covering the beat because they are often able to clarify district policies and provide documents.
  • Not only are a lot of facts, figures and information being posted on this blog post, but there is also a healthy discussion about the standardized tests in question. Are they any good? Is what the state considers “acceptable” really acceptable? This is the kind of thoughtful debate that is possible with a good beatblog and a blogger who is willing to take ownership of the comments on her blog.
About BeatBlogging.Org was a grant-funded journalism project that studied how journalists used social media and other Web tools to improve beat reporting. It ran for about two years, ending in the fall of 2009.

New content is occasionally produced here by the this project's former editor Patrick Thornton. The site is still up and will remain so because many journalists and professors still use and link to the content. offers a fascinating glimpse into the former stages of journalism and social media. Today it's expected that journalists and journalism organization use social media, but just a few years ago that wasn't the case.