CPB to invest in local news collaboratives for pubradio

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CPB is offering grants to public radio stations to expand local news gathering and digital platform reporting capabilities. In a request for proposals issued June 11, CPB solicited proposals from groups of 3-6 stations to collaborate in creating multimedia coverage on a single news topic of strong local interest. The concept is similar to the content verticals proposed for NPR’s Argo Project. Successful proposals for the local journalism centers will describe plans to employ multi-disciplinary teams of journalists, including editors to ensure quality standards, reporters who are comfortable reporting on multiple platforms, and facilitators working with social media and other engagement tools. “We want to make sure that this is not only a conspicuous play on volume of coverage but also quality,” said Bruce Theriault, senior v.p. of radio. “Producers of media today can’t exclusively have a one-platform mentality.” Like NPR’s Argo Project, the CPB initiative provides a mechanism for pubradio to engage audiences looking for new sources of local coverage. The RFP, which has a July 16 submission deadline, also is the first to respond to recommendations of the CPB-backed Grow the Audience project, which called for pubradio to strengthen its news gathering capacity on several fronts.