WNET Launches Local News Website–MetroFocus

Beginning today, WNET New York Public Media, the parent company of Channel 13 and Channel 21/WLIW, goes live with local news website MetroFocus (www.thirteen.org/metrofocus). Billing itself as news, culture, and life in around New York, this marks the first phase of a mulitplatform initiative for MetroFocus.  

On the home page, visitors can examine top stories and a roundup of local news from other sources.  

In addition to timely news stories, the inaugural content on the MetroFocus website will feature reporting from the investigative journalism nonprofit City Limits about poverty in New York on the 15-year anniversary of welfare reform.

“If we want to stay relevant to the communities where we operate, we need to serve them better,” WNET president and CEO Neal Shapiro said. “That’s why we’re enhancing WNET’s legacy of top-quality national programming with our commitment to coverage of the local issues, tensions and challenges facing people in the tri-state region.”

The foundation of MetroFocus is a staff of multimedia editors and strategic partnerships with a wide spectrum of media and nonprofit organizations.

“MetroFocus will examine the diverse ways in which we each live our lives here and our identity as New Yorkers,” said MetroFocus editor-in-chief and executive producer Laura van Straaten. “We’ll do that both with essays and opinion, but we also want the website and eventually the TV show to quantify that with reporting and comparative policy analysis.  What makes our lives here distinct?  How do we compare to other cities and to the rest of America?”

In late 2011, MetroFocus will evolve into a mobile application and a half-hour local television broadcast on both Channel 13 and Channel 21 to be produced at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City.