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Vol. 23, No.1/Fall 2000

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Debra BadeNotes from the Chair
By Debra Bade

Creating Partnerships and Cross-Promoting our Expertise

Another convergence of ideas happened for me today. I received an email from SLA headquarters inquiring about partnerships the News Division has with other organizations and companies. I also received an email newsletter talking about cross-promotion from Kare Anderson ( -- you may remember hearing Kare speak at our Philadelphia conference.

Kare mentioned the movie "Pay it Forward" (Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey) in her newsletter. While looking for an idea to help the world a young boy suggests people perform three good deeds and ask recipients of these good deeds to "pay it forward" by helping three more people instead of expecting a payback. It's a good example of how partnering or helping to create a winning situation for another person, organization or company can create a winning situation for us as individuals, in our organizations and in our companies.

I thought about how partnering and cross-promotion works at CNN. One very visible example: interactive staff working on our web site ( are constantly putting together partnership deals for content. Internally all kinds of partnerships are in motion. A cross-departmental team, for example, is working to design a new archive system. And I started thinking more about how we as information professionals utilize cross-promotion and partnerships within our jobs and how the News Division might benefit from partnering with other organizations and companies as well.

Partnering with Interactive units and Technology departments to create web sites for our companies or to launch end-user access to research tools over a network is something many of us have done and we'll all need to enhance these relationships in the future. We can partner with Advertising or Marketing units in the re-purposing of content that happens in many of our organizations. We can work with education units to package educational content for schools. And of course we partner everyday with individual reporters and units in investigating news stories and creating research tools and databases with a specific focus.

The News Division has enjoyed partnerships with the Freedom Forum, Lexis-Nexis and many other corporate sponsors over the years. These partnerships have helped the Division put together successful regional events and conferences, both in terms of programming and activities. We have also partnered with other divisions of SLA in creating programming - most recently the Legal Division co-sponsored a session on ethics and the Social Sciences Division partnered with us to bring Jim Lehrer to Philadelphia. These joint efforts can yield extremely positive results, bringing a new energy to the creation as well as a new perspective.

Natural ways for the News Division to expand cross-promotion and partnering and to take on leadership roles include reaching out to graduate programs in the library and journalism fields. You wonder what those library students are learning? Well, go teach that special libraries course, offer a seminar on news libraries, take on an intern, sponsor a tour of your news library or teach a class on online research. Get out to your local high school on career day and tell students what a cool thing it is to be a news librarian. Encourage diversity in our profession by encouraging diverse young people to consider news librarianship as a career. We can reach out to journalism organizations and offer programming at conferences targeted at reporters, editors and producers. And we can bring journalists onboard during our own conferences and seminars as we have done with our CE courses.

I'll be asking many of our committees to partner on projects this year. If there is an upcoming event in your area with partnership potential or if you have ideas on how the News Division can cross-promote and share our expertise please let me know.

Global 2000

The News Division and the UK Media Librarians sponsored a program during SLA's Global 2000 conference in Brighton, England in October. "The Impact of News in a Changing Global Climate" was moderated by Annabel Colley of the BBC and included presentations by Kate Arnold, also of the BBC; Mihaela Danga from the Freedom Forum Journalism Library in Bucharest, Romania; and Christopher Hamilton from the Freedom Forum News Library in St. Petersburg, Russia.

A Personal Note

Those of you who saw me during our annual conference in Philadelphia know that at the time I was very pregnant. My son Peter Wyatt was born on July 31st, a big and happy change in my life. Peter is looking forward to accompanying me to other SLA conferences.

Debra Bade is the Director of Online Training and Development for CNN. You can contact her at

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