NPR is considering three regions for piloting journalism hubs

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NPR has identified possible locations to test a journalism hub model that would coordinate reporting efforts among public radio stations and NPR.  

The network is in talks with stations in five states about forming three pilot hubs, said Michael Oreskes, NPR’s SVP of news and editorial director, addressing the CPB Board in Washington, D.C., Oct. 2. The locations under consideration are Texas, California, and three Southern states: Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. But “nobody’s agreed on anything yet,” Oreskes said.

Oreskes was detailing NPR’s plans for the operation of the nationwide journalism hubs and how they would benefit the public radio system.

The hubs will be structured to create a “very straightforward and coordinated way” to get information “from a station, to a group of stations, to the whole system,” Oreskes said. “That’s the fundamental advantage we’re going to have over everybody else, and frankly the fundamental public mission we can serve.”

NPR would pilot hubs in Texas and California “because there’s a lot going on on the ground, there’s plenty to build on,” said Oreskes, pointing to collaborative efforts already underway among stations in those states. The network is considering a hub in the South “frankly, … because there’s so little,” he said. “There’s lots of good people, but they don’t have enough reporters, they don’t have enough editors, they don’t have producers.”

With the hubs, NPR would aim to learn the “different challenges in different parts of the country and different places, and how do we build a network that addresses everything that’s needed,” he said.

“If all goes right, we would have all three of those pilots up and running over the next few months, into next year at some point,” Oreskes said.