NPR To Launch State Government Reporting Initiative
October 18, 2010 at 4:08 AM (PT)
NPR is launching a new local-national journalism initiative, "Impact of Government," that aims to examine the impact of state government action on communities. The program, which will add resources and news staff to stations in every state, begins its pilot phase in MARCH with a $1.8 million grant from the OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS to develop projects at affiliates in eight states over the first year, with stations invited to apply now to be among the initial grant recipients selected in DECEMBER. Seventeen states will be added after the first year.
"NPR and our member stations are better positioned than any other news network to look at the effect that state government has on local communities," NPR Pres./CEO VIVIAN SCHILLER. "This initiative will provide the public not just with information, but with the context they need to hold local governments to a higher level of accountability. Our network provides a perfect vehicle for cross-state, cross-region and national analysis of the most critical issues facing our country."
"A strong democracy requires a diverse, independent, and highly functioning watchdog press to help people hold the government and private sector accountable," said OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION Exec. Director of U.S. Programs ANN BEESON. "The dramatic decline in news coverage at the state level has left millions of people significantly less informed about what is happening in their own backyards. We are confident that NPR, its member stations and partners can help fill that void with much needed in-depth and analytical reporting for communities of every size in every corner of the country."