NPR Gets $17 Million In Grants For Reporting Initiatives, Mobile/Online App
December 16, 2013 at 4:01 AM (PT)
NPR is getting $17 million in grants from four foundations and three couples to increase its coverage of education and global health and development as well as to develop a new mobile and Internet platform. The money is coming from the JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION, THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION, THE WALLACE FOUNDATION, and the FORD FOUNDATION, as well as Interim CEO PAUL G. HAAGA, JR. and his wife HEATHER, former Vice Chair of the NPR Foundation and Trustee emeritus WILLIAM POORVU and LIA POORVU, and former , and Chair of the NPR Board and NPR Foundation Trustee HOWARD STEVENSON and FREDRICKA STEVENSON..
$10 million of the grants will go to develop a "seamless local-national listening platform" to compete with third-party apps like TUNEIN and STITCHER. Public testing of the app, to be developed with six local affiliates including NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO News-Talk WNYC-A-F/NEW YORK, BOSTON UNIVERSITY News-Talk WBUR/BOSTON, WHYY INC. News-Talk WHYY-F/PHILADELPHIA, MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO, NORTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC BROADCASTING News-Talk KQED/SAN FRANCISCO; and SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RADIO News-Talk KPCC/PASADENA-LOS ANGELES, will start next year. $3 million each will go to the reporting initiatives on education (supported by the GATES FOUNDATION and the WALLACE FOUNDATION) and global health and development (supported by GATES), while a final grant will go to the existing "Code Switch" race, ethnicity and culture reporting track.
NPR Chief Content Officer KINSEY WILSON said, “This support will allow NPR to build transformative platforms that secure the future of public media journalism, and represents a powerful vote of confidence for that vision. We’ll be able to dive deep into issues that are at the center of people’s lives, and drive tremendous innovation in how we engage people with those issues.”
KNIGHT FOUNDATION VP/Journalism and Media Innovation MICHAEL MANESS said, “NPR is responding to the increased demand by audiences for flexibility in consuming content seamlessly across various digital platforms. The platform will allow listeners to engage in new ways with NPR and its member station partners, making the quality journalism that is so important in a democracy more accessible, especially for a new generation.”