NPR host Michel Martin has donated the honorarium from a recent lecture to the Gulf States Newsroom, one of NPR’s collaborative journalism hubs.
Martin, weekend host of All Things Considered and host of the Consider This Saturday podcast, chose the Gulf States Newsroom in “recognition of the outstanding work of Priska Neely, as well as the precarious state of local news in the region she serves,” Martin said in a press release. Neely is the newsroom’s managing editor.
Martin was the guest speaker at the ceremony for the Herblock Prize, an annual award for editorial cartooning. Each year, the Herb Block Foundation, which awards the prize, asks the speaker to select a nonprofit organization to receive their $20,000 honorarium. Martin, who spoke about news deserts at the event Tuesday, said in the release that she hopes Neely “will use the gift to support her reporters’ outstanding work and encourage them to reach even higher.”
The Gulf States Newsroom is a collaboration among NPR, WWNO in New Orleans, Mississippi Public Broadcasting in Jackson and WBHM in Birmingham, Ala. The newsroom has reporters at each station to cover regional topics such as health care and criminal justice. NPR announced the plans for the Gulf States Newsroom in 2020 with $1.2 million in funding from CPB.
The Gulf States Newsroom is part of a broader collaborative regional journalism effort between NPR and stations, which has received major funding from the likes of Eric Schmidt and Wendy Schmidt and Seth MacFarlane.
“This is so meaningful and inspiring! Our collaboration was in its infancy a year and a half ago and it’s incredible to be validated in this way by someone I admire and respect so much,” Neely said in a press release. “When Michel was in Montgomery a couple of months ago, I had the chance to catch up with her and share the journey that the Gulf States Newsroom team has been on and the stories we’ve been able to tell. We are so grateful to now have this huge show of support as we continue covering this vital region. What an amazing way to pay it forward!”