Lots of hiring is promised at the stations that received this funding. Seems like a step in the right direction for revitalizing local media.
For Immediate Release March 25, 2010
Corporation for Public Broadcasting Launches New Local Journalism Initiative
Regional Collaborations to Counter Decline of Local Journalism
Digital Public Media Platform to Support Innovation
Washington, DC — The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) today announced funding for a major journalism initiative that will increase original local reporting capacity in seven regions around the country, and a planning project to develop an open information architecture to harness the collective power of the public media network.
CPB is funding the creation of seven Local Journalism Centers (LJCs), combining CPB and participating stations’ resources for a ground-breaking new approach to newsgathering and its distribution. The Centers will form teams of multimedia journalists, who will focus on issues of particular relevance to each region; their in-depth reports will be presented regionally and nationally via digital platforms, community engagement programs and radio and television broadcasts.
The LJC initiative builds on CPB’s long-standing commitment to journalism and its ongoing funding of public media news and public affairs content and initiatives, including Project Argo, a pilot effort funded jointly with the Knight Foundation to enable a dozen NPR and PBS stations to expand their reporting and increase their expertise on topics of local relevance.
“The Local Journalism Centers will enhance public media’s ability to meet the information needs of local communities at a time when access to high quality, original reporting is declining,” Patricia Harrison, the CEO and President of CPB said. “Public media has long provided independent and in-depth coverage of local issues and public policy. The need for that coverage is even greater today, and we have a responsibility to ensure that journalism can continue to thrive and serve the needs of our democracy.
“These radio and television stations are locally owned and operated and work in partnership with other community-based organizations,” Ms. Harrison explained. “Working together with stations across a region, along with emerging new digital journalism organizations, they can make a significant contribution to news gathering and distribution, which is critical to the information health of these communities.”
“In a time when newspapers and other media organizations are cutting back or disappearing altogether, public media is strengthening its commitment to journalism,” said PBS President and CEO Paula A. Kerger. “We’re putting our innovative spirit and strong local and national infrastructure to work for the American people in new ways – filling gaps in news coverage and using new platforms to ensure everyone has access to the most trusted source for in-depth reporting, analysis and investigative journalism. PBS is proud to collaborate with CPB, NPR, our member stations and emerging digital journalism organizations across the country to transform community engagement and information.”
In addition, CPB also announced funding for the Public Media Platform, a project administered by NPR, in partnership with PBS, APM, PRI and PRX. This coalition of public media leaders will develop a prototype for a flexible common platform to support public media innovation and collaboration. The ultimate goal is to collect, distribute, present and monetize digital media content efficiently, allowing producers and stations to devote their resources to reporting, content production and community engagement.
Vivian Schiller, President and CEO of NPR, said, “These two initiatives represent the twin paths that public media must travel – expanded original news reporting, and state of the art tools and technology to get that content into the hands of more people. CPB’s investments in these two innovative programs ultimately serve those goals, and the interests of the American people.”