Local newsrooms join forces to launch the Wichita Journalism Collaborative



The official logo of the Wichita Journalism Collaborative, a new project between seven local newsrooms. The project, officially announced Tuesday, is supported by a $100,000 grant.

The Sunflower is one of 10 local newsrooms and community organizations working together to form the new Wichita Journalism Collaborative.

The collaborative project was officially announced on Tuesday. Organizers hope to strengthen and grow journalism in Wichita while providing resources to local journalists, especially as they work “around the clock” to cover the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We’re usually in competition with each other,” said Joe Stumpe, editor of The Active Age. “But in the current environment, anything that helps us do our job of keeping people informed is worth the effort.” 

The collaborative consists of seven local newsrooms and three community partners. Media partners will work together on some coverage, while allowing other newsrooms to publish certain content originally created for their individual publications. 

Media partners

  • The Active Age
  • The Community Voice
  • The Journal (Kansas Leadership Center)
  • KMUW
  • KSN-TV
  • The Sunflower
  • The Wichita Eagle

Community partners

  • AB&C Bilingual Resources
  • The Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State 
  • Wichita Public Library 

Amy DeVault, WJC project manager and journalism instructor at WSU, said she thinks the collaborative has a near perfect set of media partners. With large organizations across all mediums, the project will be able to reach a large audience. 

“But just as important, we have four smaller publications that serve niche audiences,” said DeVault, who also works as The Sunflower’s faculty advisor. “These editors bring perspectives from their readers into every discussion and have important connections among their audiences. It’s exciting to watch all of them begin putting their strengths and ideas together to try to create something better than any one of them could alone.”

The collaborative will launch with support from the Wichita Community Foundation and a $100,000 grant from the Solutions Journalism Network. SJN, based in New York City, encourages in-depth reporting about responses and/or solutions to community challenges. 

WJC’s initial goals include helping partner newsrooms cover the COVID-19 pandemic, combating misinformation and encouraging media literacy, fighting for open government and transparency, and providing important information to those who do not speak English as a first language. 

A release announcing the collaborative says any current and future financial contributors will support the project but have no influence in the editorial decisions of the group or individual newsrooms.