WSIU & Illinois Public Media Partners Awarded Grant for Newsroom Collaboration

Dec 16, 2015

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Contact: Greg Petrowich, Executive Director, WSIU Public Broadcasting, (618) 453-6181, greg.petrowich@wsiu.org@wsiu.org

Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards Grant to Launch Illinois Newsroom Collaboration

WSIU Among Public Media Stations to Receive Funding

Carbondale, Ill.WSIU Public Broadcasting, a service of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and six Illinois public media station partners, have been awarded a $715,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to launch a journalism collaboration led by Illinois Public Media (WILL-AM-FM-TV).

Illinois Newsroom (working title) will produce in-depth reports, series, investigations, and video programs for all platforms. It will also bring together community members, civic leaders, students, and journalists through public events, discussions, and workshops around important issues in the state. With funding from CPB and the partner newsrooms, eight journalists will focus on reporting across three key topic areas: political issues, education, and health and environment.

CPB is pleased to support this historic collaboration among Illinois public media stations,” said Bruce Theriault, CPB senior vice president of journalism and radio. “Collaboration is a multiplier and a game-changer. By working together, these stations can ensure that important stories from across Illinois are told locally, regionally – and nationally.”

“Audiences already depend on WSIU as an essential source for reporting on Illinois issues,” said Greg Petrowich, Executive Director for WSIU Public Broadcasting in Carbondale, Ill., one of the collaborating stations. “This partnership will allow us to share in the collective depth of multiple stations, bringing new resources to our audience at a time when it’s never been more important.”

In addition to WSIU (Carbondale, Mt. Vernon, and Olney), participating public media stations are Illinois Public Media (WILL-Urbana); WTVP-TV (Peoria); WUIS (radio, Springfield and Pittsfield); Tri-States Public Radio (Macomb and Galesburg, Ill.), Keokuk, and Burlington, Iowa); WVIK Quad Cities (radio, Rock Island); and WEIU (TV, Charleston). They will work with the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting (Champaign-Urbana) and with Brant Houston, Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Media, opening up opportunities to students and faculty across the state.

The collaboration will be led by an executive editor and digital editor based at Illinois Public Media (IPM) in Urbana. Two reporters will cover education across the state, one based at IPM and the other at WUIS in Springfield. A political impact reporter will also be based at WUIS, reporting on how statewide issues and policy affect people's lives. In addition, two reporters will cover topics related to health and environment, one based at WIUM (Tri-States Public Radio) in Macomb and the other at WSIU in Carbondale. A video producer will be based at WTVP-TV in Peoria. The collaboration will produce journalism for partner stations and collaborate with national programs, including PBS NewsHour and NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered

About WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department.

WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at wsiu.org and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services.

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