Philly-based journo helper DocumentCloud is merging with MuckRock - Technical.ly Philly

Media

Jun. 12, 2018 8:08 am

Philly-based journo helper DocumentCloud is merging with MuckRock

The two nonprofits have already been working together since January. “This builds a foundation from which to launch many wonderful journalism tools,” said DocumentCloud founder and Temple University professor Aron Pilhofer.
The merger aims to make several services available under one platform.

The merger aims to make several services available under one platform.

(Photo by Flickr user Isaac Bowen, used under a Creative Commons license)

Philly-based DocumentCloud, makers of a document-hosting and annotating tool for reporters, announced Monday its merger with Cambridge, Mass.-based MuckRock, creators of a tool to file and track public records requests.

Both journalism-focused 501 (c)3 nonprofits have been working together since January, though for the time being they will each retain their own name and branding. The goal of the merger is to provide both entities with a path towards joint financial sustainability, DocumentCloud founder Aron Pilhofer told Technical.ly.

“Both organizations got recent infusions of support through grants and fundraising,” Pilhofer said. “That in part is why we’re doing this now, when both organizations have maximum runway and flexibility and not when either organization is in a state of desperation.”

Sustainability, the Temple University professor said, has been elusive for DocumentCloud, as it strives to provide its services to an increasingly cash-strapped industry. MuckRock, itself on the search for sustainability since becoming a nonprofit in 2016, has a revenue strategy in place which will make it easier and faster for DocumentCloud to deploy a business model that ensures its long-term survival.

(Note: Don’t confuse MuckRock with Muck Rack, the New York-based PR software company.)

Conversations are still ongoing, but the team is leaning towards offering a one-price, one-product platform that lets reporters and teams at media outlets have access to a suite of services that includes FOIA Machine, Quackbot, MuckRock and DocumentCloud, the latter of which hosts over 3.6 million documents by some 8,400 reporters from 1,600 news outlets.

Advertisement

Philly-based DocumentCloud’s staff of two part-timers plus Pilhofer (who said he doesn’t take any salary) and MuckRock’s team of five in Massachusetts will stay put, with a full-time developer joining DocumentCloud in July as director of technology.

Pilhofer, who cofounded DocumentCloud with ProPublica’s Eric Umansky and Scott Klein, said he’s most excited about the technical potential of the combined organizations.

“This builds a foundation from which to launch many wonderful journalism tools,” Pilhofer said. “Over time, this will become one of many tools we can offer in the transparency space. It puts us both in the best position to succeed and it’s where the industry has to go.”

-30-
BECOME A CONTRIBUTOR TO THE JOURNALISM FUND TO COMMENT
Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Nonprofits, need an app? MilkCrate is building 3 for free, thanks to this partnership

Why this dev planted roots at The Philadelphia Inquirer after starting her career abroad

SPONSORED

Philly

7 biz resources we learned about at Super Meetup Philly 2019

Philadelphia, PA

PromptWorks

Senior Software Engineer

Apply Now

Chesterrbrook, PA

Deacom

Software Quality Analyst

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Inspire

Manager, People Operations

Apply Now

Exton-based insurance software firm iPipeline purchased for $1.6B

Aramark just bought an on-demand food delivery service app

Help crack journalism’s digital code at The Philadelphia Inquirer

SPONSORED

Philly

Paid family leave adds to the perks at Chariot Solutions

Philadelphia, PA - Center City

Odessa

Sr. Project Manager

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Vistar Media

Sr. Software Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Vistar Media

Front End Engineer

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!