What should news organizations do when an enormous cache of newsworthy information suddenly becomes available to reporters?
In an earlier era, you might have expected newspapers, broadcast outlets, and anyone else with an audience to battle for scoops, trying to get the exclusive angle or the blockbuster document that would sell papers or lead the 11 o’clock news. But today, frankly, not many outlets have the resources — or the economic incentives — to play that game. In a leaner time, the right move might be working together instead of fierce competition.
That’s what’s happening in California, where more than 30 news organizations have decided to work together on one of the state’s biggest opportunities for good journalism: the widespread release of police misconduct records. A bill signed into law last fall, SB 1421, overrode decades of precedent that had made it very difficult to access internal investigations or other evidence