11 Public Media Stations Awarded $609,000 CPB Grant to Form Indiana News Collaboration

Indiana Public Media to Lead Network

Dec 21, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Eleven public media stations in Indiana, led by WFIU and WTIU in Bloomington, have received a $609,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to establish a statewide news network.

The Indiana network, titled IPB News, will produce multimedia reports on government and politics; economics and business; environment and energy; health, science, and technology; and education. The CPB grant will support the hiring of eight journalists at the partner media outlets for two years, with station support continuing in outlying years.

“By working together in a statewide news network, public media stations can scale up their coverage of news important to their communities. The Indiana public media organizations have a thoughtful, statewide approach and a cost-effective strategy for building their journalistic capacity,” said Bruce Theriault, CPB senior vice president, journalism and radio. “These stations are building on an impressive track record of collaboration, and we want to support their efforts. By working together, these stations will be better able to tell important stories in their communities and share them with the country.”           

Sarah Neal-Estes, a former public radio reporter and editor in Alaska, has been named managing editor for the project. Neal-Estes spent the last seven years teaching reporting and audio journalism as well as establishing a national online student publication modeled on public media. 

WFIU and WTIU will lead the partnership news operation and house the project’s managing editor and education journalists. Partner stations are WFYI radio and TV in Indianapolis, WVUT/WVUB in Vincennes, WBAA in West Lafayette, WBOI in Ft. Wayne, WVPE in South Bend, WBST in Muncie, WNIN in Evansville, and WLPR in Merrillville.

“Our partner stations are concerned about the decline in the number of reporters in our state and believe that public broadcasting can help address these changes,” said Perry Metz, general manager of WFIU/WTIU. “These stations have long provided information and context to listeners and viewers around Indiana and this grant will help us increase those efforts in specific content areas.” 

The group will report for partner stations and collaborate with national programs, including PBS NewsHour, Marketplace, Morning Edition, and All Things Considered, and other public media programs in Indiana.  The collaboration will provide audio, video, and web reporting.  Hiring is under way, and reports should start hitting the airwaves early in 2016. 

For information about the partner stations, visit their websites: WVUT, WVUB, WFYI, WBAA, WBOI, WVPE, WBST, WNIN.

About WFIU/WTIU

WFIU is licensed to Indiana University and is a member-supported broadcaster serving southern Indiana with a mix of NPR and local news, talk, and music; WTIU Public Television is a PBS member station with local specialties in art, history and culture of Indiana.  The heavily-used Indiana Public Media website (www.indianapublicmedia.org) features original content from both stations as well as archived versions of previously broadcast material.  The stations also produce educational programs and helps IU faculty and staff produce and distribute programs to support their teaching, research, and service.  They offer full remote and studio production.

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

Categories: Grant, Journalism