Public Media Journalism

With its enduring reputation as a trusted source of high-quality journalism, public media is a major source of fact-based news, meeting the information needs of communities across the country. As steward of the federal appropriation for public media, CPB supports multimedia journalism that is fair, accurate, balanced, objective, and transparent, and created in a manner consistent with local stations' and producers' editorial independence.

In addition to supporting more than 1,500 public media stations across the country, CPB seeks to increase the capacity of public media to create diverse, high-quality and engaging journalism by supporting public media collaborations. CPB supports initiatives such as America Amplified, a public media collaborative network producing innovative journalism from community engagement efforts, and Every 30 Seconds, a public media collaboration among PRX's "The World" and public radio stations to track the young Latino electorate leading up to the 2020 presidential election and beyond. CPB also supports national news organizations including PBS NewsHour, which launched NewsHour West in Phoenix in 2019; FRONTLINE, which is developing investigative journalism projects with local news organizations through the Local Journalism Project; and NPR, which maintains its 17 international bureaus with CPB support.

Map CPB has supported public media journalism collaborations since 2009 to add editorial staff, encourage pooled coverage and other efficiencies, and support enterprise reporting. They have helped develop a collaborative culture to strengthen local journalism across the public media system.  

Journalism Collaborations

Through years of strategic focus on digital innovation, diversity and dialogue, CPB has cultivated a network of local and regional public media news organizations that, in partnership with national producers, strengthens public media's role as a trusted and relevant news source.

Public media stations in the U.S. are locally managed and operated. CPB supports capacity-building by funding station collaborations that add editorial staff, encourage pooled coverage and other efficiencies, and support enterprise reporting.

Since 2009, CPB has invested more than $39 million to help launch 40 local and regional news collaborations, creating 127 newsroom positions. These innovative partnerships have connected 126 public media stations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. The objective is to fill the void in local "news deserts" left by newspaper and other commercial media cutbacks in communities across the country.

These collaborations have fostered a vibrant multimedia network of high-quality local and regional journalism with national reach. The Ohio Valley ReSource and Side Effects Public Media, for example, have provided multi-faceted coverage of the opioid crisis in Appalachia and across the Midwest. Harvest Public Media, based at KCUR in Kansas City, has brought coverage of agricultural issues to national audiences. And the CPB-funded America Amplified has combined community engagement and collaboration to produce innovative, locally based reporting with national appeal on the coronavirus pandemic, racism and the 2020 election.

Integrity and Leadership

CPB is funding the Editorial Integrity and Leadership Project, which provides training to 100 public media newsroom leaders in editorial integrity, utilizing active learning strategies to reinforce public media's unique firewall, statutory obligation to balance, objectivity, accuracy, fairness and transparency. CPB also provides financial support for the Code of Editorial Integrity for Local Public Media Organizations, a station-led effort to renew core principles of editorial integrity amid evolving roles and expectations, new technologies and platforms, and shifting notions of accountability and transparency.

This steadfast commitment to integrity and transparency has positioned public media as America's most trusted entity, according to recent national surveys, including a June 2018 Gallup/Knight Foundation Survey that found that Americans are most likely to rate PBS News and NPR, along with the Associated Press, as being "not biased at all" or "not very biased." An annual Marketing & Research Resources Inc. national online poll conducted in January 2020 found that Americans rated PBS and its member stations No. 1 in public trust among nationally known institutions for the 17th consecutive year.