Who Isn’t Partnering With Philly.com to Cover Mayor’s Race?

Collaboration, not competition, guides coverage this campaign season.

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So maybe this is the future of journalism: Collaboration instead of competition.

We’d already told you that WHYY would be partnering with Philly.com to cover the mayor’s race, with grant support from the Wyncote Foundation. Turns out the partnership is much larger than that: Philly.com on Tuesday unveiled its new “The Next Mayor” website — which, along with the aforementioned organizations, includes support and contributions from the Center for Public Interest Journalism at Temple University, Technically Philly, The Committee of Seventy citizens’ group, 900-AM WURD, and Young Involved Philadelphia.

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Interstate General Media’s partners in covering the 2015 mayor’s race.

It might be easier to name Philly’a journalism and civic groups that are not part of the effort.

The partnerships may be broad in scope, but officials involved with the effort suggest it’s nothing new. Stan Wischnowski, vice president of news operations at Interstate General Media —which owns Philly.com along with the Daily News and Inquirer — pointed out the Daily News, WHYY and Committee of Seventy were backed by the William Penn Foundation to cover the 2007 mayor’s race. A second partnership between the Daily News and WHYY, “It’s Our Money,” followed that project.

“What this grant does is allow us to do more: Primarily in the area of educating and informing voters about the issues the city faces that are likely to take center stage in the race,” Wischnowski said via email. “Also, it allows us to build a big tent and include others who share our interest in informing voters. We would not have had the resources to build that tent without this grant.”

The Wyncote Foundation is contributing $350,000 to the project. Officials with the foundation did not return email and phone inquiries on the topic.

Wischnowski said collaboration will benefit Philly voters. “The public benefits by having a group of organizations partnering to amplify the conversation around the mayor’s race and the important issues in the city,” he wrote. “This project provides a central place to get a range of voices and perspectives … including from the public themselves.”

And yes, it might just be the wave of the future.

“We see grants like this as way to explore new ways of working, and expanding the base of public information beyond standard news coverage,” Wischnowski wrote. “We could imagine partnering with media organizations and others on topics that are similarly critical to the public interest.”

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