Local news organizations are always on the lookout for unique data-driven storytelling to help them capture new readers and drive increased audience engagement. However, for many newsrooms there’s simply a lack of resources to produce and distribute authoritative data journalism in their local markets.
To address the problem, TownNews and Stacker have announced a partnership that will give the more than 2,000 local media websites using TownNews' digital publishing platforms seamless access to Stacker's research-based features through story feeds and an evergreen content library.
"We're always looking for distinct content that helps our clients boost their content offering," said Kate Rodenhaus, director of content and data programs at TownNews. "Stacker produces stories that pair authority with engaging storytelling formats, making them a unique resource for publishers looking to expand their audience and page views both on and off their sites."
"Stacker is on a mission to make data journalism engaging and accessible — serving as a newswire for research-driven stories," said Noah Greenberg, CEO of Stacker. "TownNews provides a distributed platform where we can offer a turnkey solution for local media organizations seeking to complement their coverage with compelling, research-based storytelling. We're incredibly excited to have our stories featured in the Content Exchange and the ability to work with local newsrooms doing vital work across the country."
Stacker's team of researchers analyze public and private data sets to identify newsworthy topics and trends that help contextualize current events. Stacker’s editorial team then distills the research into rich insights to create compelling rankings, lists, explainers and other features. Today, Stacker produces more than 100 stories each month and has an evergreen library of over 3,000 stories, all of which will be immediately accessible to TownNews clients.
According to Rodenhaus, recent Stacker stories, like "25 terms you should know to understand the gun control debate" and "Zip codes donating the most money to Joe Biden," show that lists can be informative, powerful formats for storytelling.
"Stacker lists are authoritative features that help illuminate current events," Rodenhaus said. "They're perfect for rounding out special sections and bolstering local, original reporting. Don't get me wrong, Stacker offers tons of great lifestyle and entertainment stories as well, but they also have a strong selection of 'hard' news content.
"Our clients will truly benefit from Stacker. Based on feedback from local newsrooms, we know data journalism is a coverage gap and there's simply a lack of resources to create this type of content in-house. The partnership with Stacker provides a quick, easy, and cost effective solution for our customers."