CPB Awards $3.3 Million to Five New Journalism Collaborations

News Services Increase Coverage on Underreported Areas and Issues

Sep 13, 2017

Washington, D.C. (September 13, 2017) — The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is awarding $3.3 million to five regional journalism collaborations to promote local news coverage and newsgathering efficiency. The grants will help a total of 23 public media stations coordinate news services as well as produce more community-based, multiplatform coverage of local and regional issues.

The collaborations will increase local news coverage at a time when the full-time newspaper jobs that drive local reporting have dramatically declined, as documented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics (OES).

In addition to news from underreported rural areas, small towns and urban centers, public media stations play a vital role serving as the backbone of the Emergency Alert System.

“Collaboration is a force multiplier; together stations can do more and innovate faster to provide the local journalism that is part of the bedrock of public media’s valued service to our country," said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president, journalism and radio. “We’ve seen the importance of our investments in collaboration when, for example, stations in the Texas Station Collaborative were better prepared to serve their communities throughout the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.”

Great Lakes Today journalism collaboration
The CPB-funded Great Lakes Today journalism collaboration reports on farming issues affecting the Great Lakes. CPB is funding more collaborations to build public media journalism capacity. Photo by Elizabeth Miller, ideastream.   

The two-year grants will create 33 newsroom positions, including five editors. They will increase local journalism capacity through better coordination and sharing of reporting expertise and resources. This includes ambitious journalism projects in multimedia formats. The collaborations are also expected to contribute stories to national public media programs such as NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Marketplace and PBS NewsHour. 

The collaboration grants include:

  • Kansas Regional Journalism Collaboration, $502,327. Lead station KCUR (Kansas City) will collaborate with KMUW (Wichita), Kansas Public Radio (Lawrence) and High Plains Public Radio (Garden City) on a statewide news service focusing on statehouse politics, health, education, natural resources, rural life, and agriculture.
  • Collaboration in the Mountain West, $475,000. Lead station Boise State Public Radio (Boise, Idaho) will collaborate with KUNC (Greeley, Colo.), Yellowstone Public Radio (Billings, Mont.), Wyoming Public Media (Laramie), KRCC (Colorado Springs) and KUER (Salt Lake City) on a news service focusing on land and water resource management, regional growth, issues in the rural West, and Western culture.
  • StateImpact Pennsylvania, $652,902. Lead station WITF (Harrisburg) will work with WHYY (Philadelphia), WESA (Pittsburgh) and the public radio program Allegheny Front on a statewide news service focusing on the energy industry, the economic and environmental impact of energy choices, and how energy production affects the health of citizens and communities.
  • California Counts, $994,909. Lead station Southern California Public Radio (KPCC) will work with KQED (San Francisco), KPBS (San Diego), Capital Public Radio (Sacramento) and the non-profit Sacramento-based newsroom CALmatters.org on a statewide, multi-platform news service focusing on statehouse issues, economic opportunity, safety and quality of life, and the next California Dream.
  • Sustainability Regional Journalism Collaboration, $699,847. Lead station Arizona PBS, at the Arizona State Cronkite School of Journalism, will collaborate with KJZZ (Phoenix), Rocky Mountain PBS, KPCC (Los Angeles) and PBS SoCal on a news service focusing on emerging solutions to water resources, renewable energy, climate change and urbanization.

Through years of strategic investments, CPB has laid the groundwork for a network of local and regional public media news organizations that, in partnership with national producers, strengthens public media’s role as a trusted news source. The nationwide collaboration leverages local station ownership and operations. CPB has invested more than $32 million since 2009 to help launch 29 local, regional and single-topic collaborations as well as joint regional newsroom operations. These partnerships connect 139 public media stations in rural and urban areas in 42 states, providing the basis for a vibrant multimedia network of high-quality journalism.

To learn more, go to http://www.cpb.org/journalism.

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 nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org, follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe for email updates.


Categories: CPB Funding, Journalism