More than four years after founder Andrew Jaspan left The Conversation for the Global Academy, the project has launched as 360info.
After what is described as “extensive development” at Monash University, the project is underway as a month-long “closed trial” and will launch officially in January.
Described as “an independent information resource operating as a wire agency” available to publishing and broadcasting “content partners” across the Asia-Pacific region, 360info is apparently neither a consumer-facing website, nor a provider of breaking news and/or opinion and commentary. “Instead, it is a media resource providing contextual, explanatory and, at times, corrective information,” a statement says.
“Professional curators will bring in the thinking, knowledge and research from universities across the region.”
Content – “driven by evidence-based research” – will be freely available under Creative Commons 4.0 International.
Jaspan, a former editor-in-chief of The Age and The Sunday Age, as well as of newspapers in the UK, is described as the leader of the 360info project, while its Asia-Pacific hub – a “small team of professional editors and producers” based at Monash University’s Caulfield campus – is led by former chief of staff of The Conversation Charis Palmer.
The group claims international publishing partners representing more than 750 outlets, using a registration-only platform based on the open-source SourceFabric wire service CMS.
President and vice-chancellor of Monash University Margaret Gardner said the aim was to provide “multi-faceted and research-based source material” to news and media outlets. She said the project “closely aligns” with Monash’s commitment to address key global challenges including climate change, geopolitical security and fostering thriving communities.
Andrew Jaspan joined the Global Academy in 2017 after what The Guardian described as “months of turmoil” including extended leave at The Conversation, which he had founded, and requests by staff, despite tributes to the contribution he had made to it.