The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (“CPB”) is accepting proposals to increase and deepen public media’s news and public affairs coverage of state government and policies and their impact on state residents (“State Government Coverage”).
As the decline of commercial newspapers continues to accelerate and statehouse coverage dwindles, CPB seeks to leverage the growth of journalism in public media to boost public knowledge of how government works at the state and local levels. Already, public media stations in all 50 states provide original state government reporting at least weekly when their legislatures are in session, and stations in 31 states have increased this coverage to fill the void left by the decline of local newspapers, according to a CPB-commissioned survey (“Survey”) report published in June 2022. The Survey, involving 175 public radio and television stations, was a first step in CPB’s broader strategy to address urgent civic information needs given the increasing influence of misinformation and disinformation in civil discourse. The Survey identified opportunities to grow State Government Coverage, including increased beat reporting, accountability journalism, digital innovation, and public affairs formats that reach new audiences.
Applications for this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) will be accepted from public media stations (“Station(s)”) and Station collaborations (“Station Collaboration(s)”) that seek to build state government coverage capacity and reach. The goals (“Goals”) of the RFP are to:
1. Increase the number of journalists spending 75% or more of their time producing State Government Coverage (“Dedicated State Government Journalists”), with priority given to states where there currently is no Dedicated State Government Journalist;
2. Increase the number of statewide collaborations among public media stations to produce State Government Coverage;
3. Increase the number of stations providing State Government Coverage throughout the year, not just when state legislatures are in session;
4. Enhance State Government Coverage through investigative reporting, innovative digital content, or content that reaches and serves new audiences; and,
5. Ensure wider distribution of State Government Coverage through sharing of content with public media stations (and other media organizations) across each state.