Seven public media stations in Illinois are partners in a $715,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to launch a journalism collaboration titled the Illinois Newsroom, led by Illinois Public Media (WILL-AM-FM-TV).

Illinois Newsroom (working title) will expand the partner stations’ in-depth reports, series, investigations and video programs for all platforms. It will also bring together community members, civic leaders, students, and journalists through events, discussions and workshops around issues of importance to them. With funding from CPB and the public media partner newsrooms, eight journalists will focus on reporting across three key topic areas: political issues, education, and health and environment.

“CPB is pleased to support this historic journalism partnership among Illinois public media stations,” said Bruce Theriault, CPB senior vice president of journalism and radio. “Collaboration is a multiplier and a game-changer. By working together, these stations can ensure that important stories from across Illinois are told locally, regionally — and nationally.”

The collaborating public media stations are Illinois Public Media (WILL-Urbana); WTVP-TV(Peoria); NPR | Illinois Public Radio (WUIS-Springfield and Pittsfield); WSIU (Carbondale, Mt. Vernon and Olney); Tri-States Public Radio (Macomb and Galesburg, Ill., Keokuk and Burlington, Iowa); WVIK Quad Cities (radio, Rock Island); and WEIU-TV (Charleston). They will work with the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting (Champaign-Urbana) and with Brant Houston, Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Media, opening up opportunities to students and faculty across the state. The collaboration will produce journalism for partner stations and work with national programs, including PBS NewsHour and NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. 

“This downstate regional journalism collaboration will serve as the source for stories, programs and news that reflect our sense of place as well as contribute to the growing number of local programs airing on national platforms,” said Moss Bresnahan, CEO and president of both WILL and WTVP. “I believe we will generate multiplatform content that will be relevant to audiences across the country and will be heard by them, too. We want to be Illinois’ recognized leader in telling the stories that matter.”

The collaboration will be led by an executive editor and digital editor based at Illinois Public Media (IPM) in Urbana. Two reporters will cover education across the state, one based at IPM and the other at NPR | Illinois Public Radio in Springfield. A political impact reporter will also be based in Springfield, reporting on how statewide issues and policy affect people's lives. In addition, two reporters will cover topics related to health and environment, one based at Tri-States Public Radio in Macomb and the other at WSIU in Carbondale. A video producer will be based at WTVP-TV in Peoria.

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