The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has announced a new program today, aimed at funding original, local reporting projects. The plan includes opening seven regional “Local Journalism Centers,” which will hire teams of reporters, community outreach managers, and editors to produce locally-relevant news items for public television, radio and digital platforms. The centers will be funded by the CPB and local stations, with the CPB investing an estimated $7.5 million over two years and an additional $3 million coming from local stations.
Additionally, CPB will provide funding for the Public Media Platform, a project combing the efforts of NPR, PBS, APM, PRI and PRX to develop a “prototype for a flexible common platform to support public media innovation and collaboration.” According to a press release by the CPB, the Public Media Platform’s 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.”
As Patricia Harrison, CEO and President of CPB, explains, both projects are meant to fill a gap left by a decline in quality reporting and a dwindling number of news sources:
In a time when newspapers and other media organizations are cutting back or disappearing altogether, public media is strengthening its commitment to journalism. 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.