For Immediate Release
CPB AWARDS GRANT TO WXXI, WSKG, WRVO, WMHT, AND WBFO FOR THE CREATION OF A SINGLE MULTI-MEDIA NEWSROOM
Washington, DC and Rochester, New York (June 17, 2014) – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) today announced that it is awarding WXXI, along with principal partner stations WSKG Binghamton, WRVO Oswego/Syracuse, and WMHT Schenectady/Albany and associate partner station WBFO Buffalo, a two-year, $375,000 grant that will allow the five stations to create a single multi-media regional newsroom, which will be known as Upstate Insight.
When complete, Upstate Insight will be an innovative model for covering news across a large geographic area. Through increased collaboration on enterprise reporting, an emphasis on multi-reporter stories and coordinated deployment of reporters around significant stories, Upstate Insight will be able to provide more comprehensive coverage to their communities. The five stations will develop news data capability and adopt content sharing and communications systems to support connectivity between organizations.
CPB’s Senior Vice President, Radio, Bruce Theriault said, “The evolving media environment has opened doors to a host of collaborative opportunities across public media. We’re now seeing stations develop greater journalism capacity through partnerships, resource sharing and multi-platform production. Upstate Insight will follow this model and will provide the high-quality news and information needed by their communities.”
“Upstate Insight is a new and innovative model for covering regional news,” explains WXXI President Norm Silverstein. “It is part of an on-going effort in public media to improve newsrooms, encourage sustainability, and support the production of stories that inform and engage our communities.”
Upstate Insight will incorporate stories from the Innovation Trail Local Journalism Center as well as resources in the Southern Tier, Central and Western New York and the Capitol District, including the Capitol Bureau in Albany, NY. An executive editor will coordinate – in collaboration with reporters and news directors at each station– the production of news stories that focus on issues relevant to Upstate New Yorkers, including education, health, energy and the environment.
“Many news organizations are pursuing collaborative partnerships and strategies in response to the contraction of resources for journalism,” explains WXXI’s Matthew Leonard, who will serve as the project’s executive editor. “It’s evident that multi-reporter, multi-station coverage of topics produces high-value content, and that’s what this collaborationwill help us achieve.”
Upstate Insight is part of a CPB initiative to support multi-station alliances with the goal of increasing public media’s capacity to produce relevant, in-depth, multi-platform stories that inform and engage our communities.
AM 1370, WXXI's trusted news and talk radio, includes offerings from NPR as well a local programs like Connections with Evan Dawson, a live weekday call-in show on a broad range of topics. Classical 91.5 has popular local hosts throughout the week, as well as an array symphonic and opera offerings. WRUR-FM 88.5, WXXY-FM 90.3 (Houghton), WEOS-FM 89.5 (Geneva) and WITH-FM 90.1 (Ithaca) all provided a mixture of news and eclectic music which help strengthen public radio in the Finger Lakes region.
WXXI provides a strong mixture of national programming and original productions across its three services (WXXI-TV, CREATE, and WORLD), plus safe, non-commercial children's shows throughout the day along with a varied PBS schedule rich in history, science, nature and arts and culture. WXXI-TV productions include: Second Opinion, a national health care series, Homework Hotline, a statewide program that helps kids with their homework; Need to Know, a weekly news and public affairs program; as well as award-winning documentaries such as 2013's Paley on Park Avenue: New York City and A Walk Through History in Mount Hope Cemetery.
The mission of WSKG is to inspire with the highest quality educational programming, explore the arts, culture and heritage of the region and beyond, engage in thoughtful consideration of news and issues of importance, and entertain with the very best in multimedia programming. WSKG strives to be a trusted partner enriching the lives of the children, families and communities they serve. Diversity, creativity, integrity, courage, transparency, accountability, open-mindedness and responsiveness are the values at the heart of the station's work. WSKG is dedicated to working with community partners to develop content and services designed to meet current community needs and interests. WSKG believes strongly in delivering relevant content that encourages thoughtful and respectful dialogue across and within the communities served.
In addition to regional news and public affairs, WRVO programming features news and analysis from NPR, American Public Media (APM), Public Radio International (PRI), BBC, Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW), Deutsche Welle, and other networks. In 2011, 2012 and 2014 the New York State Associated Press awarded WRVO its highest honor, the Steve Flanders Award, for earning the most first-place news awards in competition with radio stations throughout New York State. WRVO is consistently recognized for outstanding news coverage by the Associated Press and the Syracuse Press Club. For more information, call (315) 312-3690 or visit WRVO.org.
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