Indianapolis station expands health reporting

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WFYI in Indianapolis will expand its CPB-funded health reporting project with the addition of four staffers.

Side Effects, a collaborative with KBIA in Columbia, Mo., and WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., started in February 2015 with a $300,000 commitment from CPB. That grant comes up for renewal this year, while a two-year, $600,000 grant from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation provides support to expand in-depth health reporting focused on Indiana. The station will also make the reporting available for other outlets to republish or broadcast. With the additional news staffers signing on by April, WFYI’s newsroom will grow from 11 staff to 15.

“With this generous support from the Fairbanks Foundation, we can now establish a local health news bureau and ultimately reach a larger audience to educate even more people on these important issues,” WFYI President Lloyd Wright said in a press release.

WFYI ended the 15-year run of Sound Medicine Radio, its weekly radio program focused on health reporting, in April 2015 as it shifted its attention to Side Effects.

WFYI will also receive a two-year, $100,000 grant from the Glick Fund to jumpstart a new beat focused on poverty, wealth and equity, according to the press release announcing the Side Effects grant. Drew Daudelin, who joined WFYI in November, is assigned to the beat.