Collaborative Journalism: NPR and Member Stations Working Together
Every day, NPR and its Member stations are working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.
Why Journalism Matters. Good information about where you live — your town, your region, your country — is a foundation of our democracy. It helps create a more civil, connected society. But it's harder to get that information as local newspapers and broadcast outlets consolidate or fold.
Why NPR and local stations. No other news organization has the same on-the-ground reach as public radio. More than 95 percent of Americans live within range of a public radio signal. So we are positioned to deliver. The public radio network includes 1,800 journalists at more than 200 member stations across the country, plus another 400 reporters and editors at NPR. As a result, public radio is already an essential part of people's lives.
In The News
How NPR and stations are working together to expand regional news via Current
NPR creates investigative unit for station collaborations via Current
Gulf States Newsroom launches to share regional stories nationally via It's All Journalism Podcast
NPR Had The Leaked Trump Tape, Too. Here's What The Newsroom Did With It via NPR Public Editor
NPR says $4.7 million grant boosts local news efforts via Associated Press
Where Do Americans Get Their Radio News? via Jacobs Media
As other local news outlets struggle, NPR affiliates are growing — and quickly via Poynter
Why a Collaborative Network. The opportunity now is to reach new audiences and dig deeper into the issues of the day – at the local, regional and national levels. We are doing this by collaborating more closely inside the public radio network. We are building partnerships among groups of stations, in close coordination with NPR, to strengthen their local and regional impact and help bring more of their reporting to a national audience. We're planning coverage together, sharing technology that improves efficiency and honing best practices for engaging, insightful reporting.
By collaborating in new ways, NPR and Member Stations can:
- Expand coverage to underserved parts of the country by hiring reporters in regions that need them
- Increase ambitious investigative reporting projects
- Bring more local and regional stories by station reporters to NPR's national programs
- Enrich national programming with voices and perspectives from communities across America
The work of the Collaborative Journalism Network has never been more critical, as NPR and Member stations work together to support the overall NPR Network. At NPR Bruce Auster is Managing Editor for Collaborative Journalism. Auster has worked tirelessly to get the CJN work underway since 2015 to where we are now with the four regional newsrooms, topic teams and investigative work with Member station newsrooms.
Topic teams are truly collaborative journalism in action. Station reporters are working with each other, NPR reporters, and NPR editors to connect dots between local communities and unearth stories that resonate with people around the country. One hundred stations are already participating in at least one of the seven topic groups:
- Health Policy (includes NPR's partnership with Kaiser Health News)
- State Governance
- Military/Veterans Affairs
- Criminal Justice
Station Investigations Team
Led by Cheryl W. Thompson, an award-winning investigative reporter and 22-year veteran of The Washington Post who joined NPR in 2019, the Station Investigations Team works with Member stations to report ambitious investigative projects. The team, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, includes a producer and a data editor who will advise reporters who'd like technical help with skills such as data collection and analysis and freedom of information requests. The team also helps facilitate stations' opportunities to localize NPR investigations through webinars and open-source data.
All 25 public radio stations in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska serving some 63 cities will have access to content produced by the Midwest Newsroom, which will be led by managing editor Holly Edgell. The newsroom partners include the largest public media stations in the region--KCUR in Kansas City, St. Louis Public Radio, Iowa Public Radio and Nebraska Public Media--with NPR as the national partner.
Public media stations in Birmingham, Alabama (WBHM); Jackson, Mississippi (Mississippi Public Broadcasting); and New Orleans (WWNO) and Baton Rouge (WRKF), Louisiana, have joined together to launch the Gulf States Newsroom under the leadership of managing editor Priska Neely.
Public radio stations across California have teamed up with NPR on a regional newsroom to increase coverage of statewide issues and boost reporting from and for underserved regions across the state.
Led by KQED in San Francisco, the collaboration partners include KPBS, CapRadio, KPCC/LAist and KCRW, along with NPR. The California Newsroom led by managing editor Adriene Hill serves all 17 public radio stations across the state that broadcast in 50 cities.
Corrie MacLaggan is the statewide managing editor for The Texas Newsroom, a collaboration led by the state's four largest public radio stations — KERA in Dallas, KUT in Austin, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio, and Houston Public Media. The partners plan coverage together, shard resources, and produce six live statewide newscasts every weekday. Smaller Texas stations also contribute reporting and air the statewide newscasts.