For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

WXXI UNVEILS INNOVATION TRAIL, A JOURNALISM CENTER DEDICATED TO EXAMINING NEW TECHNOLOGY AND ITS ROLE IN UPSTATE NEW YORK’S ECONOMY

Rochester, New York (September 17, 2010) – WXXI Public Broadcasting is significantly enhancing its regional reporting with the launch of Innovation Trail, a major journalism initiative. WXXI has added a team of journalists to explore innovative technologies and businesses that are helping to rebuild upstate New York’s economy.  Partnering with other upstate public broadcasters – WNED (Buffalo), WRVO (Oswego/Syracuse), WSKG (Binghamton) and WMHT (Albany) – WXXI is leading this effort, which will provide in-depth reports, focused on the impact of investment in research and technology projects across the region.

Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Innovation Trail will strengthen public media’s ability to meet the information needs of upstate New York communities while complementing the watchdog reporting that the media already dedicates to innovation and technology. Reporters will file regular radio, TV and online news stories on emerging fields such as energy, nanotechnology, and photonics. These reports can be heard and seen on WXXI, WNED, WRVO, WSKG and WMHT, and will be available on the Innovation Trail web site at http://www.innovationtrail.org/. The site also provides direct links to each partnering station’s live stream, newsroom and program listings. Citizens can engage with the project through email, Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/InnovationTrail), and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/innovationtrail).

Leading the Innovation Trail is Rachel Ward, who serves as the center’s editor. She trains and mentors reporters at stations across the collaboration, oversees content across the multi-media platforms, finds connections between communities to facilitate conversation, as well as files reports. Juan Vazquez is the center’s managing facilitator, and is responsible for the coordination of marketing, promotions, community engagement, station relations, development, and project sustainability. WXXI’s multi-media reporter Zack Seward is teaming up with four additional multi-media reporters: Daniel Robison of WNED, Ryan Morden of WRVO, Emma Jacobs of WSKG, and Dan Bazile of WMHT, to file regular Innovation Trail reports.

With the loss of its strong industrial manufacturing base, upstate New York’s hope for recovery lies in knowledge, technology and innovation. The state has invested billions in research and technology centers across the region. Innovation Trail will provide reports to help the public gain a better understanding of the ways colleges, universities, medical centers and other businesses are working to create opportunities in emerging technological fields.

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