American Public Media is receiving a $1.5 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to lead a new investigative journalism initiative with Southern California Public Radio (KPCC), Kansas City Public Media (KCUR), New York Public Radio (WNYC), and Public Broadcasting Atlanta (WABE).
APM’s Peabody award-winning investigative and documentary group APM Reports will partner with the four regional public radio stations to produce a stream of investigative stories over the next two years. The initiative aims to fill gaps left by newspapers that in recent years have cut their reporting ranks. The stations will build on their demonstrated strength and accomplishments in investigative journalism, and together represent a broad geographic sweep of the country.
APM Reports will complement the stations’ journalism with research, data, and reporting support. APM will also organize ongoing training for journalists at the partner stations. Each partner station will devote current or newly hired journalists to pursue investigations that will resonate regionally or nationally. Chris Worthington, managing director and editor-in-chief at APM Reports, will serve as editor-in-chief of the project.
“A healthy democracy needs investigative journalism,” said Worthington. “Without it, the powerful go unchecked and the voiceless have no voice. The initiative strengthens public media’s role in the Fourth Estate at a time when trusted, fact-based news is more important than ever.”
Funding will support the initiative’s journalism, capacity building, training, and collaborations with respect to investigative reporting across the public media system.
“CPB funds journalism to help ensure that the American public has access to high-quality reporting, as our legislated mission recognizes that educated and informed citizens are the basis of our civil society,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president, journalism and radio. “We are making investments to build the capacity of public media to produce all kinds of journalism, including analysis and accountability journalism, on the local, regional, and national level.”
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 nearly 1,500 locally owned 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 www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and subscribe for email updates.
American Public Media (APM) is the second-largest producer of public radio programming in the U.S., and has earned 1,000 broadcasting and journalism awards, including seven George Foster Peabody Awards and a Grammy Award. Today, nearly 1,000 stations throughout the U.S. carry APM’s award-winning programs. APM reaches 20 million weekly listeners around the world. In November 2015, APM launched APM Reports, a long-form reporting group aimed at creating distinct, high-impact journalism in the form of investigations and documentaries. APM Reports’ groundbreaking investigative podcast, In the Dark, which examined the 27-year-old cold case of the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling in central Minnesota, recently won a George Foster Peabody Award, the highest honor in broadcasting. APM Reports has teamed with Reveal and is developing additional collaborations.
Southern California Public Radio (KPCC) is one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the country, serving the region’s diverse communities on the air, online, and in person. KPCC’s 2015 multimedia investigative series, Officer Involved, which explored the data and stories behind police shootings in Los Angeles County, won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award. The series was recently extended into San Bernardino County. In 2016, KPCC helped launch the California Counts Collaborative, an election-year partnership with KQED, Capital Public Radio, and KPBS San Diego, supported by CPB and the James Irvine Foundation. KPCC also hosts a veterans and military issues reporter as part of the three-station American Homefront Project, and has collaborated with the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, Kaiser Health News/California HealthLine, NPR, and Marketplace, among others.
New York Public Radio (WNYC) is the largest public radio station group in the nation and a major producer of audio content for radio and on-demand audiences, including the groundbreaking Radiolab, On the Media, and Freakonomics. Founded in 1924 as the municipal station of New York City, NYPR currently reaches more than 26 million listeners each month nationwide, including a terrestrial audience of more than 3 million in the New York metropolitan region. WNYC’s newsroom of more than 70 journalists produces award-winning enterprise and investigative journalism for regional and national audiences, and has collaborated with many organizations including WHYY, NJ Spotlight, The Marshall Project, ProPublica, The Guardian, The New York Times, and more. WNYC’s investigative journalism has been recognized with Peabody, DuPont, and George Polk Awards, among other accolades.
Public Broadcasting Atlanta (WABE) is Atlanta’s #1 NPR station, and has served our community for nearly 70 years. In operation since 1948, WABE continues to be Atlanta’s top-rated broadcast outlet for NPR News and arts programming. PBA was the first public television station in Georgia to partner with Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), followed by the first to partner with National Public Radio (NPR), and the first to pilot StoryCorps in Atlanta. For the last two years, WABE has been honored as the top news radio station in Georgia, winning the Associated Press’ prestigious “Pacemaker Award” in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2016, WABE won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigating Reporting for the series on “HIV Prevention Dollars Lost”. WABE currently reaches over 1 million households a month in Metro Atlanta — over 500,000 each week on the radio. WABE’s signal broadcasts to 23 of Georgia’s most populated counties, reaching more than half of the population in the state.
Kansas City Public Media (KCUR 89.3) which is Kansas City’s public radio station, first broadcast in 1957. A charter member of NPR, KCUR holds itself to the highest journalistic standards in service to the citizens of Kansas, Missouri, the broader Midwest, and the nation. Content encompasses music and talk programs; feature and breaking news reporting; a daily newsletter; podcasts; and numerous community events. The station is part of multiple reporting collaborations with other public media outlets around the country. KCUR launched and leads two of these collaborative efforts: Harvest Public Media and the new Kansas News Service. With 30+ journalists on its staff, the station’s signal reaches a 90-mile radius around the Kansas City metropolitan area and has 175,000 listeners weekly.