Public Stations to Launch Statewide News Network
Nearly a dozen public media stations throughout the state are partnering on a new statewide news network. IPB News, which will be led by WFIU-FM and WTIU-TV in Bloomington, is funded by a more than $600,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The CPB says the support will create eight positions at affiliated Hoosier stations. Journalism teacher and former public radio reporter and editor in Alaska, Sarah Neal-Estes will be managing editor. The news operation will be based in Bloomington and partner stations include:
- WFYI-FM and WFYI-TV in Indianapolis
- WVUT/WVUB in Vincennes
- WBAA in West Lafayette
- WBOI in Fort Wayne
- WVPE in South Bend
- WBST in Muncie
- WNIN in Evansville
- WLPR in Merrillville
CPB Senior Vice President of Journalism and Radio Bruce Theriault says the effort will help local stations "scale up" news coverage in their respective communities. "The Indiana public media organizations have a thoughtful, statewide approach and a cost-effective strategy for building their journalistic capacity. These stations are building on an impressive track record of collaboration, and we want to support their efforts. By working together, these stations will be better able to tell important stories in their communities and share them with the country."
Reports from the two-year collaboration are set to hit the air next year.
WFIU/WTIU General Manager Perry Metz says "our partner stations are concerned about the decline in the number of reporters in our state and believe that public broadcasting can help address these changes. These stations have long provided information and context to listeners and viewers around Indiana and this grant will help us increase those efforts in specific content areas."
The CPB says the project will include collaborations with PBS and National Public Radio programs. Multimedia content from IPB News will focus on government and politics, economics, business, environment and energy, health, science, technology and education.