As a free-floating incubator that is largely agnostic about who we partner with, and that has actively approached almost all of its projects with collaborative intentions—meaning that we reach out to as many partners as is feasibly possible from early on in the editorial process, as opposed to having the kind of “closed shop” that is so common for investigative outfits—it is right in our mission to “support independent publications in various reportorial and organizational capacities,” and to “collaborate with partners on sustainable journalism and civic engagement initiatives.” As a result, we are able to reach anywhere from tens of thousands of readers with locally distributed stories to hundreds of thousands of people when features catch fire and/or publish through national partners.
Whereas standalone shops often have a limit to the number of new eyeballs they can potentially reach, as an ecosystem booster that produces journalism with a number of partners, we are able to connect with entire new demographics by collaborating with new outlets. Such proactive distribution efforts have enabled our reporters to in some cases reach hundreds of thousands of readers; in one example, a free wire service we ran during the New Hampshire primary race found its way to markets all across the country. In other cases, articles have been syndicated by partners, then aggregated in places as influential as the Washington Post and discussed on television and radio. It’s all the result of collaborating and connecting the resources to which we have access.