An innovative partnership between The World Company and four independent, online local news providers has been awarded a grant by J-Lab at American University in Washington, D.C.,, and have all agreed to participate in a cooperative with The World Company that allows each partner to use content from one another. The partners, known as the Northeast Kansas News Network, will also explore collaborative marketing, linking and will investigate whether the partnership could form the basis of a regional advertising network.

The grant, which is part of J-Lab’s Networked Journalism project, provides $50,000 to be split between The World Company and the partners. That money is expected to be spent on equipment, promotion, marketing and staff time to develop the partnership and also to help improve the quality and amount of content being generated by the independent partners. Jonathan Kealing, assistant director of media strategy at The World Company, is coordinating the project.

“For us, this is a chance to help really develop the regional news ecosystem,” Kealing said. “These partners represent a wide variety of communities and all have as a goal to better inform their communities.”

Kealing said he hoped the grant and the partnerships that come out of it will enable these independent news sites to grow and thrive. is run by John Schulz, is operated by Jay Senter, is owned by Nick Sloan and is run by Joel Johns.

The partners are using StoryMarket, a new content syndication platform developed at The World Company, to share their content with each other, as well as to make it available to other publishers.Other news companies that have been awarded J-Lab Networked Journalism grants include the Miami Herald, The (Portland) Oregonian and

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