The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards Grant for New Regional Journalism Collaboration for Sustainability to Include PBS SoCal KOCE

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Five public media organizations receive funds for news collaboration on sustainability.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has awarded five public media stations, including PBS SoCal KOCE, the flagship PBS station in Greater Los Angeles and Southern California, a grant to establish a regional news collaboration that will enhance and expand coverage of sustainability issues.

The partnership, comprised of public television and radio stations in key western cities, will produce multimedia reports on four important sustainability issues: water, energy, climate change and urbanization. Joining PBS SoCal and KPCC in the reporting partnership are Arizona PBS, KJZZ radio in Phoenix and Denver’s Rocky Mountain PBS, which includes five TV stations and KUVO radio.

“Southern California – and California – are global centers for sustainability efforts,” said Andrew Russell, President and CEO of PBS SoCal. “We believe we have many stories to tell about the work that’s being done locally by industry, non-profits, government organizations and citizens. And we are pleased to be partnering with KPCC, as well as our colleagues in Phoenix and Denver, to tell those stories.”

Arizona PBS, a member-supported community service of Arizona State University based at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will serve as the lead station of the Regional Journalism Collaboration for Sustainability. The RJC for Sustainability will be a single news entity comprised of 20 journalism professionals. This includes the hiring of a full-time executive editor who will lead the RJC from Arizona PBS. Each of the stations also will provide one journalist dedicated to sustainability coverage.

“Collaboration is a force multiplier; together stations can do more and innovate faster to provide the local journalism that is part of the bedrock of public media’s valued service to our country,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president, journalism and radio. “We’ve seen the importance of our investments in collaboration when, for example, stations in the Texas Station Collaborative were better prepared to serve their communities throughout the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.”

The RJC for Sustainability will produce broadcast and digital news content that helps the public better understand the complexities of water, energy, climate and urbanization issues.

The group will report for partner stations and collaborate with national programs, including “PBS NewsHour,” “Marketplace,” “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” and other public media programs. The collaboration will provide audio, video, and web reporting, and will experiment with new forms of digital video to provide better coverage of sustainability issues.

The RJC for Sustainability includes an oversight committee charged with setting the strategic vision for the collaborative. Joining Andrew Russell of PBS SoCal are KPCC President and CEO Bill Davis, Arizona PBS CEO Christopher Callahan, KJZZ Vice President Jim Paluzzi, and Laura Frank, president and general manager of news at Rocky Mountain PBS.

Since 2009, CPB has invested more than $32 million to help launch 29 local and regional news collaborations, creating 127 newsroom positions supporting the collaborations. This included the funding of Local Journalism Collaborations, multimedia centers that cover particular issues such as energy. CPB-funded LJCs include EarthFix based in the Northwest and Fronteras in the Southwest.
Regional Journalism Collaborations were established by the CPB to increase high-quality original and enterprise journalism through reporting partnerships between multiple station newsrooms in a state or region. The RJC for Sustainability received a 27-month CPB startup grant of $699,847.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

PBS SoCal KOCE is the home to PBS for Greater Los Angeles and Southern California. We deliver the full schedule of PBS programs plus content that is for, about and by the people of Southern California. Our content is available free through four broadcast channels, at pbssocal.org, on our mobile apps, and via connected TV services. And we provide the community with early education resources and cultural and educational experiences through partnerships, events and grassroots outreach. PBS SoCal has offices in Century City, Costa Mesa, and Los Angeles. Connect with us at pbssocal.org, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

KPCC Southern California Public Radio is the most listened-to public radio consortium in Southern California. KPCC reaches from Santa Barbara down to Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and out to the Coachella Valley. Its mission is to strengthen the civic and cultural bonds that unite Southern California's diverse communities by providing the highest quality news and information service through radio and other interactive media.

Arizona PBS is one of the country’s largest public television stations, reaching 1.9 million households each week on four digital channels and a website. The station has focused on fostering lifelong learning through quality programming, in-depth news and public affairs and critical educational outreach services. Arizona PBS is a member-supported community service of Arizona State University, based at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

KJZZ is the main NPR station for Arizona. Based in Phoenix, it has 280,000 listeners each week and covers the state’s two biggest media markets. With 35 reporters, producers and editors, KJZZ is a major new force in the region. Started in 1956, KJZZ is a regularly contributor to NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College, and Maricopa Community Colleges.

Rocky Mountain Public Media, Inc. is the parent company of Rocky Mountain PBS (KRMA, KTSC, KRMJ, KRMU, KRMZ), Rocky Mountain PBS News, and KUVO Jazz. Rocky Mountain PBS’ mission is to enrich the lives of Coloradans through engaging and essential programs, services and community partnerships that inform, enlighten and entertain. The network began in Denver in 1956 as Colorado's first public television station. It is now Colorado's only statewide television network, with stations in Denver (KRMA), Pueblo/Colorado Springs (KTSC), Steamboat Springs (KRMZ), Grand Junction (KRMJ) and Durango (KRMU).

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Tracy Smith
PBS SoCal
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