|The journalists of the Ag & Water Desk are scattered across 10 states in newsrooms of all kinds, yet they constantly find new ways to collaborate.
I'm assistant director Annie Ropeik, and I've worked in collaborative journalism spaces for years. They're challenging – but it's well worth the effort to see journalists who might traditionally compete working together with dedication, humility and humor to produce impactful, wide-reaching stories.
Here's an example: Recently, several of us chipped in on a story from Harvest Public Media's Eva Tesfaye by each calling different state agencies about their toxic algae testing programs
. It helped Eva produce a more regional piece with details she might not have have had time to gather on her own. This kind of simple step that, to me, is what makes collaborative journalism such an ideal way to cover a closely interconnected region like the Mississippi River Basin.
Those interconnections come through when our journalists tackle shared topics from different locales. We just had a print and radio piece on federal environmental justice funding
produced by reporters in three states. Soon, I'll be editing a story by a similar trio about co-locating solar power with active farmland. And nearly the entire team is hard at work on a big upcoming climate change series about increased rainfall.
We'd love your thoughts and questions for that rainfall series – click to take a quick survey
. Thank you, as always, for supporting collaborative journalism!