State Capitol News Survey


Open to all applicants.


February 1, 2021

Request for Proposals

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is seeking a qualified entity or individual to conduct a survey of state capitol news and legislative affairs coverage by public media radio and television stations. CPB’s objective in commissioning this Survey is to inform its strategic investments in local journalism, particularly accountability reporting and government transparency, which are vital to a democracy. In consultation with CPB, the selected Contractor will identify up to 150 stations to participate in the Survey and design a Survey tool that captures the capacity of public television, public radio, and joint public television/radio licensees to cover state capitol news and legislative proceedings. The resulting dataset must provide an overview of public media newsrooms that cover state capitols as well as public media stations that livestream statehouse proceedings on broadcast and/or digital platforms. Working with CPB to solicit station participation, the Contractor will manage the process of data collection and provide a complete, 50-state dataset to CPB in an electronic format. The Contractor will present the Survey findings to CPB as a publication-quality report, with a state-by-state compilation of the survey data as well as an analytical narrative that summarizes the survey findings.

Please download the Request for Proposals below for detailed information, including application requirements.
PDF icon Request for Proposals144.78 KB

Application Procedure and General Questions:

Applicants must submit their technical and cost proposals through CPB's Grants Management System.

To gain access to this State Capitol News Survey RFP via the Grants Management System, please send an email request to Joy Lin, VP, Journalism at no later than Friday, January 22, 2021 at 5:00pm ET. CPB will provide access to eligible applicants within two business days. Include “State Capitol News Survey” in the subject line. In your request, please provide your name, title, phone number, organization name, address and organization web address. (Please note: even if you already have an account in the CPB Grants Management System, you will still need to contact [name] to request access to this specific RFP.)

All questions concerning the RFP must be submitted via email to Joy Lin, VP, Journalism at the e-mail address above, with “State Capitol News Survey” in the subject line. The questions and CPB’s responses will be posted on the CPB’s Website without attribution. The deadline for submitting questions is Monday, January 11, 2021 at 5:00pm ET.

Submissions are due no later than 5:00pm ET on Monday, February 1, 2021.

Budget and Proposal submission requirements:
• The Budget file must be submitted in excel format
• The Proposal file submitted in PDF format
• Each uploaded file must be less than 10Mb in size (10000Kb)
• File names may not contain any of the following special characters:
~ " # % & * : < > ? / \ { | }
• CPB requests that only one file be submitted in each upload area (budget, proposal). If
needed, CPB will accept 2 submissions in each area

Deadline summary:
January 11, 2021 – Submit questions
January 22, 2021 – Request access to the Grants Management System
February 1, 2021 – Submit proposal

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 

Does CPB have any leverage over station participation in this survey? Will it be required or encouraged? Answers to these questions influence the extent to which any type of incentive is built into participant recruitment, and therefore, project budget.

CPB will encourage stations to participate in the survey and based on our past experience, anticipates they will be supportive, but we will not offer financial incentives for participation.

What are the reasons for limiting the sample 150 stations, rather than all stations with news staff? Is CPB open to sampling more than 150 stations? Relatedly, what is CPB’s preferred 'floor’ on the sample size—115? 125?

In the interest of optimizing the timeliness and quality of the survey data, CPB would like the Contractor to focus on stations that are most likely to deliver significant state capitol coverage.

Sampling more than 150 stations would require CPB approval. There is no floor, provided that the Contractor provides a reasonable justification for the survey scope during the design process.

Has CPB already identified its sample frame (the approximately 200 stations with at least five journalists on staff), or will it be left to the contractor to construct a sample frame from the total population of 1,400 stations?

CPB has not identified a definitive sample frame, but we can offer guidance on which stations are more likely to provide state capitol coverage.

Would CPB be able to share a list of the approximately 1,400 stations it sponsors with known attributes about those stations (e.g., state, station type, known programs, contact information)?

Yes, CPB will work with the contractor to share station attributes that are relevant to the research.

Do you have any preference for the contractor – a research firm? A university? An individual?

No. Proposals will be evaluated on the factors specified in the RFP: approach, examples, skills, and price.