Jason Elias/Ericka Kreutz Photography
Jason Elias/Ericka Kreutz Photography
SAN FRANCISCO, CA and WASHINGTON, D.C., September 21, 2021 — Adriene Hill, longtime and pioneering public radio journalist, has been hired to lead the California Regional Newsroom, a public radio collaboration among KQED, KPBS, CapRadio, KPCC/LAist, KCRW, along with NPR as the statewide newsroom's national partner. Hill will be based in Los Angeles and serve as the managing editor of the regional newsroom.
The hire represents a critical moment for the collaborative as it shifts from its startup mode, working to better coordinate statewide coverage and bolster investigative journalism in California, to a more sustainable and ongoing stage providing essential content sharing and partnerships between some of the state's largest news operations.
Hill is a natural fit for the job having served as the interim managing editor of the collaborative for the past six months. She also served in a coordinating role as the senior editor of the California Dream project, a collaboration made up of four of the anchor stations of this new effort.
"It's been an amazing opportunity to work with talented journalists across California and to share stories that reflect the immense diversity of the state," says Hill. "Working together, our public media organizations can achieve so much more than they could on their own. This regional collaboration gives us the opportunity to combine our resources, pursue innovation and ultimately discover better ways to serve our audiences."
The California Regional Newsroom is one of several such collaborations in the country, along with The Texas Newsroom, the Midwest Newsroom and the Gulf Coast Newsroom. Aside from regional collaboration, there are also topic teams with focused reporting on education, politics, health policy, energy/environment and more. So far, one hundred stations are involved with one or more topic teams.
"I am truly delighted to have such a seasoned journalist at the helm of the California newsroom collaborative," says NPR Managing Editor of Collaborative Journalism Kenya Young. "Adriene Hill is a remarkable leader and has transformed our approach to impactful storytelling and accountability journalism. This addition to the managing editors leading our regional newsrooms elevates our ability to share resources and content and to bolster local journalism and reach communities that are often left out of the story."
Already, Hill has led critical efforts to better collaborate on covering the state's recall election as well as historic wildfires and she has used some of the insights from her previous collaborative position to work with Senior Investigative Editor Aaron Glantz to bring significant accountability reporting to publication, including several momentous reports on PG&E and public utilities in the state.
Previously, Hill was the managing editor of KPCC/LAist, and also served as a correspondent and fill-in host for the public radio business program Marketplace. Hill will work out of Los Angeles, but will be leading daily collaboration and coordination between news outlets across California, including public media affiliates in Fresno, Chico, San Luis Obispo and beyond.
"As the media industry faces increasing economic pressures, working together collaboratively to deliver and share public interest journalism is a smart strategy," says Holly Kernan, chief content officer at KQED and a key champion of this initiative. "This collaboration will ensure California citizens have accurate and independent news from across the state so they can be active participants in our democracy and we can reach and serve new audiences."
NPR, The Schmidt Family Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have made significant investments in the national collaborative journalism initiative, which will help reshape the way public media stations engage their audiences. Both organizations have identified this collaboration as a prototype for the way stations throughout the country can share resources to produce more of the journalism their communities need.
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS member station based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source, leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas. www.kqed.org
NPR, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is widely known for its rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling that connects with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (npr.org/stations), and now it's easy to listen to our stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, "Play NPR," and you'll be tuned into your local Member station's live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, NPR One, NPR News Now, and the Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at npr.org/about and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Peter Cavagnaro, KQED, firstname.lastname@example.org
Isabel Lara, NPR, email@example.com