CPB Seeks to Support Local Reporting Through Local Journalism Centers

The “major” announcement was made this morning. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) today announced funding for what its calling its “major journalism initiative” that aims to increase original local reporting in seven regions around the country.

CPB is funding the creation of seven Local Journalism Centers combining CPB and participating stations’ resources for a “new approach to news gathering”. As explained in a release, Centers will form teams of multimedia journalists, who will focus on issues of relevance to each region; their reports will be presented regionally and nationally “through digital platforms, community engagement programs and radio and TV broadcasts”.

Patricia Harrison, the CEO and President of CPB said: “…We have a responsibility to ensure that journalism can continue to thrive and serve the needs of our democracy.”

Said PBS President and CEO Paula A. Kerger: “In a time when newspapers and other media organizations are cutting back or disappearing altogether, public media is strengthening its commitment to journalism.”

Read more about the Local Journalism Centers after the jump…

Southwest – KJZZ (Phoenix, AZ), KPBS (San Diego, CA), Nevada Public Radio, KRWG (southwest New Mexico and far-west Texas), Texas Public Radio, KUAZ (Tucson, AZ), KNAU (Flagstaff, AZ). The LJC is called “Fronteras: The Changing America Desk.” A bi-lingual reporting team will focus on cultural shifts that are transforming the southwest, including Latino, Native American and border issues. The partner organizations will hire seven reporters, two editors and a social media editor.

The Plains – KCUR (Kansas City, MO), Iowa Public Radio, Nebraska Educational Television, KBIA (Columbia, MO), High Plains Public Radio (Garden City, KS), Kansas Public Radio. The LJC will focus on agribusiness, including farming practices, food and fuel production, looking both at local and national issues. News and information will be fed throughout the public media network, via radio, television production and online. The partner organizations will hire three full-time and one part-time journalist, an editor and an outreach coordinator.

Upstate New York – WXXI (Rochester), WMHT (Schenectady), WNED (Buffalo), WRVO (Oswego), WSKG (Binghamton). The LJC will focus on the push to remake the regional economy in upstate New York by focusing on innovation technology to stimulate development. Partner stations will hire a total of five reporters, an editor and a managing facilitator to develop feature reports and news spots as well as an interactive web portal.

Upper Mid-West – Michigan Radio, WBEZ (Chicago), ideastream® (Cleveland). The LJC will focus on reinventing the industrial heartland and in particular the economy in the upper Midwest. Partner stations will create multi-media content on the regionÂ’s changing economy and report out via radio, television, digital and community programs. The partnering organizations will hire three new reporters, a senior editor and a senior producer.

Central Florida – WUSF (Tampa, Fl), WEDU (Tampa, Fl), WGCU (Fort Meyers), WMFE (Orlando, Fl), WMNF (Tampa, Fl), WUFT (Gainesville, Fl). The LJC will focus on creating multi-media content related to healthcare issues in central Florida. The goal is to create a platform for community discussion through generating new content and events, including online. The partner organizations will hire five reporters, an executive editor, a senior multimedia manager and a community engagement specialist.