- Chalkbeat’s former Director of Product Becca Aaronson wants to collaborate.
- NPA will offer training, networking and career-development opportunities for news product professionals and product thinkers.
- NPA is actively recruiting members who can increase its diversity.
While news media is struggling with business models to fund the societal necessities of accountability and investigative journalism on local and national scales, product development tends to be a topic of discussion held by very few people in any one organization. Podcasts won’t save the newsroom world but they’re part of a cocktail of media dissemination that may make a reader click, consume, stay engaged and, just maybe … spend a few bucks.
In addition to funding, union, diversity and salary issues, the journalism remedy must include product development, and a barrierless collaboration of people with these skills.
Now, in After Times, comes Becca Aaronson. The first product manager at The Texas Tribune, who left her job as director of product at Chalkbeat to form The News Product Alliance (NPA). In a Medium post, Aaronson explains she formed the alliance:
To offer training, networking and career-development opportunities for news product professionals and product thinkers. You don’t need a product title to be a product thinker. If you apply (or want to learn) product frameworks to create cross-functional strategies within a news organization, this community is for you.
NPA received initial institutional support from The University of Missouri School of Journalism, the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and News Catalyst. A press release notes NPA’s interim steering committee includes product professionals from Gannett, McClatchy, CalMatters, the Bay Area News Group, Google News Initiative and other organizations, and it is actively recruiting members who can increase the diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and nationalities represented.
This former journalist/web producer will keep an eye on the development of NPA.
And offer some thoughts.