PRI Receives Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant to Elevate Global Health and Global Development Coverage in Public Media

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Public Radio International (PRI) announces that it has received a three-year, $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to lead an unprecedented effort to produce and distribute global health and development content. By creating an array of penetrating journalism for use on-air and online throughout the 24-hour news cycle, PRI will raise awareness and deepen understanding of pressing global health and development issues among the influential thought-leaders who comprise the public media audience. In addition to fostering active listener engagement with these issues, PRI's enhanced coverage will help elevate global health and development reportage to prominence among national media outlets.

This transformational grant will enable PRI to increase Americans' understanding of the impact that global health and development issues have in today's world

    "This transformational grant will enable PRI to increase Americans' understanding of the impact that global health and development issues have in today's world," says PRI President and CEO Alisa Miller. "People and nations of the world are more interdependent than ever before, yet many media outlets continue to withdraw from international news. PRI is uniquely capable of aggressively developing compelling content, global reporting and interactive strategies to fill this urgent need."

PRI will use its original productions to provide in-depth reporting and analysis of global health and development issues throughout the broadcast day. These programs include the PRI and WNYC Radio co-production "The Morning Show" (w.t.), a live, conversational news program that is poised to transform morning drive-time listening when it launches in 2008 with editorial partners BBC World Service, the "New York Times" and WGBH Radio Boston; PRI's "The World," an award-winning, weekday global news program; as well as collaborations with other producers.

Global health coverage might, for example, focus on increasingly drug-resistant forms of TB and staph infections, the search for HIV/AIDS vaccines, the bureaucratic obstacles to fighting such preventable diseases as malaria and polio, as well as the personal stories of those involved with each of these subjects. Stories on global development might examine the process and cost of getting food to Americans' tables, ways of measuring the effectiveness of relief work and foreign aid around the world, or the intersection of globalization and agriculture, including how trade policy affects the availability of food in the developing world.

PRI will stimulate listener engagement with its global health and development programming through online discussions and other resources, including customized social networking and civic engagement tools, blogs, podcasts, mobile phone segments and searchable transcripts. These will be available on PRI.org and PRI partner Web sites.

These efforts are part of PRI's Our World Initiative, an innovative programming and online engagement undertaking that seeks, in part, to invest in journalistic capacity in critical content areas across PRI programs. PRI will announce additional Our World Initiative content tracks in the coming months.

About Public Radio International(R)

Founded in 1983, Public Radio International has distinguished itself by producing, acquiring and distributing innovative content that enables U.S. audiences to "hear a different voice," bringing new voices and global perspectives to the public airwaves. Through partnerships with BBC World Service and station-based and independent producers, the Minneapolis-based network provides over 400 hours of programming each week, content that is broadcast and streamed online by 827 PRI affiliates nationwide, whose radio broadcasts reach over 29 million listeners each week. Podcasts of PRI programs consistently rank in the top U.S. 100. PRI owns Public Interactive LLC, public broadcasting's leading Web services company. PRI is also the managing partner of the satellite radio company American Public Radio LLC, established with Chicago Public Radio(R), WGBH Radio Boston and WNYC, New York Public Radio(R). PRI programming is available via XM Public Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

PRI is known for driving innovation in public radio through partnerships with stations, independent producers and other organizations, and for working collaboratively to pool resources, share risk and cultivate new talent. Its best known offerings include "The Tavis Smiley Show," produced by Smiley Radio Properties Inc.; "This American Life," produced by Chicago Public Radio(R); PRI's "The World," a co-production of BBC World Service, PRI, and WGBH Radio Boston; "Living on Earth," produced by World Media Foundation Inc.; "Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?(R)," produced by Wisconsin Public Radio; and PRI's "Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen," produced by PRI and WNYC, New York Public Radio(R); as well as 24-hour program services -- "Classical 24(R)," produced by American Public Media(TM); and BBC World Service, produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation. For more information on PRI and its programs and services, visit http://www.pri.org.

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