CPB Invests $2.25 Million in State Government Coverage
Funding strengthens coverage in 7 states and provides more editorial support for public media statehouse reporters
September 20, 2023
PHILADELPHIA (September 20, 2023) – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is investing $2.25 million to increase and strengthen state government coverage provided by public media station newsrooms. The grants were announced today at the Public Media Content Conference in Philadelphia.
Amid an industry drop in the overall number of full-time statehouse reporters across the country, CPB funds will support seven stations as they add statehouse reporting capacity. The coverage must be shared with public media stations across the state, as well as other media organizations. CPB funds will also support NPR’s ability to provide editorial and training support for station-based reporters covering state government.
“The American people look to public media to provide high quality journalism in the form of factual, trusted news and information,” said Patricia Harrison, CPB President and CEO. “A strong civil society and democracy requires its citizens be informed with the facts. This is especially important when it comes to state government reporting. Unfortunately, today there are far fewer full-time journalists covering our nation’s statehouses than just a decade ago. These CPB grants will address an urgent need as we increase the number of journalists at public media stations reporting statehouse news and policy decisions. Their coverage will be made available to all citizens in those seven states.”
The grant recipients were selected from 20 proposals submitted from public media organizations in 19 states. Many will fill gaps identified in the State Government Coverage in Public Media survey commissioned by CPB and published in 2022. The survey found that while public media stations in all 50 states provide original state government reporting at least weekly when their legislatures are in session, five states lacked a full-time state government beat reporter based at a public media station.
The states, grant amounts, and lead stations are:
- Alaska, $196,588 to Alaska Public Media, to provide a year-round full-time journalist reporting on the state legislature and state government. Reporting will be shared and used by the 26 public broadcasting stations in the Alaska Public Media statewide network.
- Connecticut, $217,775 to Connecticut Public, to support a year-round, full-time reporter covering state government at Connecticut’s only statewide, community-supported public media service. Coverage will be made available to WSHU in Fairfield, as well as the eight public media stations in the New England News Collaborative, Spanish-language news outlets, and the nonprofit digital news organization Connecticut Mirror.
- Delaware, $300,000 to Philadelphia-based WHYY, whose signal reaches all of Delaware, to provide multimedia, enterprise, and investigative journalism about state government to audiences throughout Delaware. Content will be made available to news organizations across the state, including to Delaware Public Media and the News Journal.
- Kentucky, $294,727 to Louisville Public Media to expand the station’s state government news team to four journalists. The coverage will be shared and used by Kentucky Public Radio Network partners, which includes WKMS (Murray), WEKU (Richmond), and WKYU (Bowling Green), in addition to sharing content with other small stations with coverage over the state’s 120 counties.
- Oklahoma, $250,000 to KOSU, Stillwater, to add a full-time journalist dedicated to providing data-driven investigative and enterprise reporting and digital content on the state legislature, government representatives, and public policy issues. KOSU will partner with Oklahoma public radio stations KCCU (Lawton); KGOU (Oklahoma City); KWGS (Tulsa); and High Plains Public Radio in Amarillo, Texas to distribute content to 65 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties via radio broadcast and digital channels and share with other public media and news organizations throughout the state.
- Wyoming, $360,999 to Wyoming Public Media to partner with Jackson Hole Community Radio to add a multi-platform journalist covering state government and a full-time digital content coordinator, to ensure the coverage reaches the broadest audience possible.
- Texas, $250,000 to KERA in Dallas to support the Texas Newsroom with the addition of one editor and one reporter to deepen state government coverage with investigative reporting. The Texas Newsroom is a public radio journalism collaboration involving KERA in North Texas, Houston Public Media, KUT in Austin, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio, NPR, and other stations across the state.
In addition to the two-year grants to stations, CPB is providing $380,577 to NPR, which will enable the organization to hire a second state government editor to work with station reporters to identify trends across states, as well as provide training for state government reporters.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for other updates.