Mission Control: CPB Awards Grant to Launch Illinois Newsroom Collaboration

Dec 14, 2015

Credit CPB.org

NPR | Illinois Public Radio has been fortunate to be supported by listeners over the years enabling us to develop comprehensive converage of state government and politics.  Now NPR Illinois will grow further with the launch of a collaboration with other Illinois public media to increase coverage of education,  health/environment, and government. 

We've been working on this for several months and now its official.  Detailed planning has begun and the reports should begin in the next few months.  The official press release follows:

Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards Grant to Launch Illinois Newsroom Collaboration

NPR Illinois Among Public Media Groups to Receive Funding

Seven public media stations in Illinois are partners in a $715,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to launch a journalism collaboration, led by Illinois Public Media (WILL-AM-FM-TV).

The grant will expand the partner stations’ in-depth reports, series, investigations and video programs for all platforms. It will also bring together community members, civic leaders, students, and journalists through events, discussions and workshops around issues of importance to them.  With funding from CPB and the public media partner newsrooms, eight journalists will focus on reporting across three key topic areas: political issues, education, and health and environment.

Collaboration is a multiplier and a game-changer. By working together, these stations can ensure that important stories from across Illinois are told locally, regionally -- and nationally.

“CPB is pleased to support this historic collaboration among Illinois public media stations,” said Bruce Theriault, CPB senior vice president of journalism and radio. “Collaboration is a multiplier and a game-changer. By working together, these stations can ensure that important stories from across Illinois are told locally, regionally — and nationally.”

The collaborating public media stations are Illinois Public Media (WILL-Urbana); WTVP-TV (Peoria); NPR | Illinois Public Radio (WUIS-Springfield and Pittsfield); WSIU (Carbondale, Mt. Vernon and Olney); Tri-States Public Radio (Macomb and Galesburg, Ill., Keokuk and Burlington, Iowa); WVIK Quad Cities (radio, Rock Island); and WEIU-TV (Charleston). They will work with the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting (Champaign-Urbana) and with Brant Houston, Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Media, opening up opportunities to students and faculty across the state.

This collaboration will explain more of what is happening in Illinois and there couldn't be a better time to make sure we have the facts.

"For over 40 years, Illinois public radio stations have collaborated to report on statehouse developments," said Randy Eccles, NPR Illinois GM/Publisher.  "This collaboration will explain more of what is happening in Illinois and there couldn't be a better time to make sure we have the facts."

The collaboration will be led by an executive editor and digital editor based at Illinois Public Media (IPM) in Urbana. Two reporters will cover education across the state, one based at IPM and the other at NPR Illinois in Springfield. A political impact reporter will also be based in Springfield, reporting on how statewide issues and policy affect people's lives.  In addition, two reporters will cover topics related to health and environment, one based at Tri-States Public Radio in Macomb and the other at WSIU in Carbondale. A video producer will be based at WTVP-TV in Peoria. The collaboration will produce journalism for partner stations and collaborate with national programs, including PBS NewsHour and NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.