How a California Watch story gets out

Editorial Director Mark Katches explains in a blog post how a recent California Watch project on the shrinking school day came to appear in newspapers, on the air and on websites around the state. "If we had one word to describe our distribution model it would be this: flexible," he says. "We craft a new distribution strategy for each story we produce, depending on the topic and the intensity of local interest." It's a model worth watching.

The story went live on our website July 15. So far, nearly 20 media partners have published or broadcast versions of the story. It aired on TV. It played on public radio. And with the help of New America Media, it appeared in five languages, including Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese.

This broad distribution strategy helped California Watch reach well over 1 million readers, viewers and listeners – considerably more than we would have reached if we had partnered with any single news organization, even the largest in the state.

Different versions of our story ran across an 11-day period on the front pages of the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Riverside Press Enterprise. Broadcast partner KGO-TV aired a story on July 15. Our primary collaborator, KQED-Public Radio, broadcast the story in different venues. The California Report aired a segment, as did KQED-FM's "Forum" talk show. The issue also received attention on KQED's news round-up "This Week In Northern California."

The non-profit California Watch "believes strongly in making sure our stories reach new audiences," Katches posts.

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