Slack has become the go-to communication channel for many newsrooms of all sizes – at Journalism.co.uk, our small team shares an office, but we still managed to log an impressive amount of Slack messages to date.
But aside from facilitating internal communication in an organisation, Slack also provides a useful way of bringing together journalists and other media practitioners from all over the world in one place, where they can discuss industry developments, niche topics or ask for help with their work.
Here are five Slack communities journalists should consider joining, to collaborate on projects, troubleshoot ideas, or catch up on events coverage.
Make sure to also check out our piece on online communities about journalism groups of interest on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, and tell us if you know of any additional ones and we will update the list.
Digital Journalism Rocks
This new Slack community is only one month old and it was created by Lina Timm, programme manager and founder of the Media Lab Bayern in München.
Timm wanted to have a place where people passionate about digital journalism could share their projects, collaborate on ideas and talk openly about their successes and failures.
The Slack group now has 361 members from more than 15 countries and includes a variety of tailored channels on topics such as audio, data journalism, messaging bots and monetisation.
The community also started a weekly newsletter this week that summarises the key points discussed in the individual channels, as a round-up for members who might have missed part of the conversations during the week.
Request to join here – Timm approves every request manually, so there might be a slight delay in obtaining approval due to the volume of sign-ups.
Modern Journalist was set up last year and is moderated by Nathan Gibbs, assistant professor at Abilene Christian University in Texas.
It has since grown to 585 members and, like Digital Journalism Rocks, the conversations are split between specific channels, covering topics such as engagement and journalism education.
This community also has a jobs channel and a freelancing one, which are regularly updated by members who need technical help or advice with projects, or who know about jobs and internships available in the industry.
Nieman Lab Lounge
Nieman Lab also started a Slack group in April, to cover the 2016 International Symposium on Online Journalism held in Austin.
It was aimed both at participants to the event and those who were looking for way to catch up from home.
The team wants to figure out a way to keep the channel (and its 273 members) active, and not just for events coverage – so if you have any ideas, get in touch with them to request an invitation.
Members initially had a dedicated Github repository too, for discussing ideas and suggesting channels for the community, but the conversation has largely moved to Slack in the last year.
You can contact Daniel Bachhuber to request an invitation.
Hat tip to Melody Kramer for this one, who mentioned it last year in her Poynter piece on journalism-related social media groups.
We included this Slack group in our online communities piece last year, and its member count has more than doubled since, now at 1,391.
The channels featured in the group cover tips and advice for finding open data sources online, as well as mapping techniques and suggestions for useful tools.
Bonus channel: Pay Up
It was created to provide a safe space – conversations are confidential and off the record – for women to discuss money in their professional lives and share career advice on how to negotiate a salary, for example.
There are regular Medium posts summarising discussion from the Slack channel. At the moment, Pay Up is only open to women working in technology, although the organisers are hoping to open it up to women in other industries (including media) soon, so stay tuned.
Are you a member of any other Slack communities for journalists? What have we missed? Let us know on Twitter at @journalismnews and we'll update this list.
Note: The author of this article oversees the Digital Journalism Rocks channel on audience development and its corresponding section of the newsletter.
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