State Government Coverage

Eligibility:

Open to CSG-qualified TV and Radio Stations.

Deadline:

January 18, 2023

Request for Proposals

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.

Please download the Request for Proposals below for detailed information, including application requirements.
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Request for Proposals263.55 KB

Application Procedure and General Questions:

Questions
All questions concerning the RFP must be submitted in writing to Erin Day at eday@cpb.org by Wednesday, November 30, 2022, with “State Government Coverage RFP” in the subject line. The questions and CPB’s responses will be posted on CPB’s Website without attribution.

CPB will conduct an Applicant webinar (the “Webinar”) on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, at 3 p.m. ET to answer questions submitted to CPB. Potential Applicants must register for the Webinar in advance by emailing Erin Day at eday@cpb.org by November 30, 2022.

Grants Management System Access
Please submit the technical and budget proposals through CPB’s digital grants management system. To gain access, please send an email request to Erin Day at eday@cpb.org no later than Wednesday, December 7, 2022. Access will then be given to the electronic grants management system.

Required Formats: Technical Proposals and Budget Narratives must be in Microsoft Word or PDF. Budget Proposals must be Excel worksheets with calculations. Other formats will not be accepted.

Proposal Due Date: Proposals are due no later than 5:00pm ET on January 18, 2023 through CPB’s grants management system. CPB will not consider proposals submitted after the due date.

CPB may request Applicants with the top scores to virtually present their proposals to CPB. If so, CPB will notify each of the time and date.

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 
General
FAQ: 

I couldn’t find anything in the RFP that discussed the amount of funding. Is that available somewhere?

There is no specific amount.

Am I reading correctly that 3-4 grants will be awarded nationwide?

Yes, that is the expectation.

To apply to this grant, do we need to apply in collaboration with a radio station or group of stations, or could we apply with a national radio distributor, or on our own?

Applications will only be accepted from CSG-qualified public media stations and station collaborations.

The guidelines stress that funding states with no dedicated state government journalists will be a priority. Does this mean that others will be excluded?

No, but CPB is focused on where the coverage is in demand.

We have some questions related to the budget. Is a match required? Are there specific expenses that CPB will cover or not cover?

CPB will not cover indirect expenses. CPB funds are dedicated to the journalism. In addition, salaries, occupation, travel, and related expenses are subject to strict review and oversight. These grants are not intended to offset costs for existing state government reporters. The grants are aimed at building new local capacity for state government coverage. A match is not required but we expect applicants to demonstrate their long-term commitment to this work, which could involve in-kind investment, the pursuit of additional funding sources, and other measures that demonstrate that this is a strategic priority.