On the beat in Juárez, you listen with your gut

As a reporter for the multistation “local journalism center” Fronteras: The Changing America Desk, I am surrounded by borders. I live in Texas, work in New Mexico and regularly report in Mexico. In a 15-minute drive, I can be in a different state or a different country. It’s a tricky but fascinating work environment that’s further complicated by the drug war next door. The toughest but most compelling stories that we cover come from Mexico.

Life without CPB aid scary to LJC startups

The seven Local Journalism Centers that launched with major support from CPB have suddenly found themselves on a short timeline to find ways to earn more of their keep. So far, CPB has committed only the two-year sums announced at the initiative’s launch last year and has told some grantees to expect smaller amounts for 2012. Uncertainties over future CPB aid — as well as problems with the diffuse management structures that cloud decision-making and fiscal accountability for at least one LJC — have complicated plans to keep the regional news collaborations going, according to news directors who participated in a June 24 panel at the Public Radio News Directors conference in Arlington, Va. Station execs behind Changing Gears, the LJC that staffed up last August to cover efforts to revive manufacturing in the Upper Midwest, have begun making contingency plans to continue the work if CPB aid ends, said Torey Malatia of Chicago’s WBEZ, one of three stations behind the center. “We’re committed to keeping it going in some form,” he said.

Life without CPB aid scary to Local Journalism Center startups

The seven Local Journalism Centers that launched with major support from CPB have suddenly found themselves on a short timeline to find ways to earn more of their keep. So far, CPB has committed only the two-year sums announced at the initiative’s launch last year and has told some grantees to expect smaller amounts for 2012. Uncertainties over future CPB aid — as well as problems with the diffuse management structures that cloud decision-making and fiscal accountability for at least one LJC — have complicated plans to keep the regional news collaborations going, according to news directors who participated in a June 24 panel at the Public Radio News Directors conference in Arlington, Va. Station execs behind Changing Gears, the LJC that staffed up last August to cover efforts to revive manufacturing in the Upper Midwest, have begun making contingency plans to continue the work if CPB aid ends, said Torey Malatia of Chicago’s WBEZ, one of three stations behind the center. “We’re committed to keeping it going in some form,” he said.