NPR, WWNO launching new nonprofit newsroom in New Orleans

By Andrew Lapin

NPR is launching a new nonprofit newsroom in New Orleans in conjunction with WWNO, the local public radio station owned by the University of New Orleans, the Wall Street Journal reports. The partners announced the changes today.

The new venture, which will include a revamped, local-news–focused WWNO lineup as well as the website NewOrleansReporter.org, is a response to the declining resources of the city’s daily for-profit newspaper, the Times-Picayune. On June 12 the owners of the T-P announced plans to cut 201 personnel, nearly a third of its staff, and cut back print operations to three days a week beginning in the fall.
“This is an exciting opportunity to converge digital, mobile and broadcast together in a multiplatform newsroom for New Orleans,” Paul Maassen, g.m. of WWNO, said in an accompanying press release. “We are grateful for the support the community has shown for this initiative.”
Maassen will oversee the new shared newsroom and coordinate both digital and broadcast content.According to the release, the content on NewOrleansReporter.org will be “open source” and available free of charge to any local or national news outlet.
The topics reporters will cover will include “public accountability and government, business, education, criminal justice, the environment, and arts and culture”.
The new nonprofit will operate out of UNO’s campus, according to NOLA.com, the online arm of the T-P. The project will be funded annually by upwards of $2 million in memberships, donations and sponsorships, with major support coming from Greater New Orleans Inc., the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, and the Great New Orleans Foundation.

WWNO’s new news-oriented schedule went into effect on Monday.

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