CPB Awards $4.4 Million to Fund Eight Journalism Collaborations

Partnerships Increase Local Public Media News Coverage

Mar 01, 2016

Washington, D.C. (March 1, 2016) — The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has awarded more than $4.4 million to 46 public media stations in the past six months to support increased news coverage across the country. The grants support eight journalism collaborations focused on innovations for coordinating and planning news coverage as well as producing more in-depth, multiplatform coverage of local and regional issues, including matters of national interest.

The collaborations will increase local news coverage at a time when full-time newspaper jobs, the base of much local coverage, have dramatically declined, as documented by the American Society of Newspaper Editors census.

“Collaboration is a game changer, allowing public media stations to cover the news more effectively together than any one station could do individually,” said Bruce Theriault, CPB senior vice president, journalism and radio. “Through these grants, CPB is investing in the trusted and award-winning journalism that is part of the bedrock of public media’s valued service to our country."

The new collaborations, from Alaska to New England to Arkansas, will create 57 newsroom positions, including 11 editors. They will increase local journalism capacity by allowing public media stations to better coordinate and share their reporting expertise and resources to undertake 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:

  • Ohio River - $445,500 to seven public media stations in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia to cover economy, energy, environment, agriculture, infrastructure and health in the Ohio River region. Lead station: Louisville Public Media.
  • Natural State News - $278,300 to four Arkansas public radio stations to focus on reaching rural areas of the state. Lead station: KUAR, Little Rock.
  • Illinois newsroom - $715,600 to seven public media stations in Illinois to focus on political issues, education, and health and environment. Lead station: Illinois Public Media (WILL-Urbana).
  • Alaska public media network - $775,000 to three Alaska public media organizations to focus on statewide energy issues. Lead station: KTOO Public Media, Juneau. 
  • Indiana Public Broadcasting News - $609,600 to 11 public media stations in Indiana to form a statewide news network to cover government and politics; economics and business; environment and energy; health, science and technology; and education. Lead stations: WFIU and WTIU, Bloomington.
  • Detroit Journalism Cooperative - $659,800 to three public media organizations in Michigan to cover community life and Detroit’s future after bankruptcy. Lead station: Detroit Public Television (DPTV).
  • Great Lakes Regional Journalism Collaborative - $356,500 to three public radio stations to focus on the health and economic importance of the Great Lakes. Lead Station: WNED/WBFO, Buffalo.
  • New England News Collaborative - $625,500 to eight public media stations in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island to focus on energy, climate, transportation, infrastructure and immigration in the six-state region. Lead station: Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN).

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. Leveraging public media stations’ local ownership as a foundation for nationwide collaboration, CPB has invested more than $27 million since 2009 to help launch 22 local, regional and single-topic collaborations as well as joint regional newsroom operations. These partnerships connect 105 public media stations in 37 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 more than 1,400 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 and follow us on Twitter @CPBmediaFacebook, and LinkedIn.