Affiliates of National Public Radio in all 50 states will be stepping up their coverage of state government, using a three-year, $1.8M grant from the Open Society Foundations. The program is being called Impact of Government.
NPR President &: CEO Vivian Schiller commented, “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. 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 analyses of the most critical issues facing our country.”
According to NPR, almost 800 NPR-affiliated stations will be involved in the project, which will provide funding for reporters, editors and analysts, building on the best of that which is already in place.
“It significantly augments the work of existing public radio reporters that cover the statehouse and related issues – ultimately adding at least 100 journalists to strengthen public radio’s service to local communities with reporting on-air and online,” explained NPR in a release.
To get a handle on how to operate the program, NPR will spend the first year operating a pilot version of Impact of Government, focusing on just eight stations. It is taking applications now for stations interested in being part of this phase of the project, and it.
According to NPR, the OSF funding builds on earlier funding provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.