Five New York pubcasters team up for CPB-backed regional newsroom

By Dru Sefton

Five public media stations in New York will create a regional newsroom with a $375,000 grant from CPB, announced today.

The two-year backing will support Upstate Insight, which CPB called “an innovative model for covering news across a large geographic area.” Principal partners are WXXI, Rochester; WSKG, Binghamton; WRVO, Oswego; and WMHT, Troy. WBFO in Buffalo is an associate partner.

In the announcement, CPB said the stations “will develop news data capability and adopt content sharing and communications systems to support connectivity between organizations.”

Leonard

Leonard

Upstate Insight differs from the Local Journalism Centers previously funded by CPB, which focused on particular subjects rather than geographical regions. The new effort will incorporate stories produced by the Innovation Trail Local Journalism Center, which focuses on the impact of technology in rebuilding upstate New York’s economy.

Matthew Leonard, editor of Innovation Trail, will serve as executive editor of Upstate Insight. Leonard will coordinate coverage with reporters and news directors at each station to produce stories on issues of education, health, energy and the environment.

“Many news organizations are pursuing collaborative partnerships and strategies in response to the contraction of resources for journalism,” Leonard said in the announcement. “It’s evident that multi-reporter, multi-station coverage of topics produces high-value content, and that’s what this collaboration will help us achieve.”

“The evolving media environment has opened doors to a host of collaborative opportunities across public media,” said Bruce Theriault, CPB s.v.p., radio.  “We’re now seeing stations develop greater journalism capacity through partnerships, resource sharing and multi-platform production. Upstate Insight will follow this model and will provide the high-quality news and information needed by their communities.”

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