A new home for NPR’s Local News Initiative

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Public Radio Program Directors will take over the NPR-backed Local News Initiative (LNI) and Morning Edition Grad School (MEGS) projects, a four-year national effort to provide training, conduct research and promote best practices in public radio newsrooms. Research and information resources developed through the projects since 2006 will be integrated into PRPD.org, and PRPD is planning a series of webinars based on the MEGS workshop findings.

LNI began with the 2006 PRPD study, “A Sense of Place,” focus group research that examined how listeners valued the local news produced by their public radio stations. Morning Edition Grad School, a series of workshops and toolkits for enhancing local presentation of public radio’s most important national program, was the biggest of several projects aimed at improving local news. PRPD plans to create new workshops that will serve the needs of more stations; it’s also exploring how to adapt MEGS principles for music-formatted stations.

“PRPD embraces this opportunity to extend the system’s knowledge resources and work to continue advancing skills and audience understanding at the station level,” said Arthur Cohen, PRPD president. NPR continues to provide financial backing to LNI, but its commitment wasn’t specified in this morning’s news release.