The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is funding the creation of seven local journalism centers around the country to increase original local reporting as well as a project to plan development of an open-information architecture to take advantage of the public media network.
The centers will rely on teams of multimedia journalists who will focus on issues that are relevant to each region. Their reports will be presented regionally and nationally on digital platforms, radio and TV broadcasts and via community engagement programs.
"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," said Patricia Harrison, CEO and president of CPB, in a press statement.
The centers currently being developed include:
- Southwest: KJZZ in Phoenix, AZ; KPBS in San Diego; Nevada Public Radio; KRWG serving southwest New Mexico and far-west Texas; Texas Public Radio; KUAZ in Tucson, AZ; and KNAU in Flagstaff, AZ.
- The Plains: KCUR in Kansas City, MO; Iowa Public Radio; NET Radio and Television in Nebraska; KBIA in Columbia, MO; High Plains Public Radio in Garden City, KS; and Kansas Public Radio.
- Upstate New York: WXXI in Rochester; WMHT in Schenectady; WNED in Buffalo; WRVO in Oswego; and WSKG in Binghamton.
- Upper Midwest: Michigan Radio; WBEZ in Chicago; and Ideastream in Cleveland.
- Central Florida: WUSF in Tampa; WEDU in Tampa; WGCU in Fort Myers; WMFE in Orlando; WMNF in Tampa; and WUFT in Gainesville.
Two more centers, South and Northwest, also will be funded. Initial spending will fund hiring an anticipated 50 new people for positions. Content from the centers also will be distributed via all of the public media system and across the range of media, including radio, TV, online, social media and mobile.
Total CPB and station investment over two years will be about $10.5 million. Each center is expected to be self-sustaining by the end of the two-year funding period.