Nonprofit news heads pleased with Comcast-NBC deal to provide partnerships; PEG channels also spared

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It’s official: As part of the Comcast-NBC merger approved yesterday (Jan. 18), some NBC stations will enter into cooperative arrangements with locally focused nonprofit news organizations, as Comcast had promised in December. By next January, at least five of the 10 owned-and-operated NBC stations will have inked cooperative arrangements with locally focused nonprofit news orgs, to be known as Online News Partners, that will provide reporting on issues of concern to each station’s market or region . On Jim Romenesko’s Poynter blog today, several heads of nonprof journalism ventures say this will validate their efforts, and, they hope, prompt more funding. The FCC said in a release that Comcast has voluntarily agreed to “safeguard the continued accessibility and signal quality of PEG [public, educational and governmental] channels on its cable television systems and introduce new on demand and online platforms for PEG content.” That’s a big victory for public access channels, which have been struggling to remain operating in recent years as local cable funding contracts expired.