FRONTLINE Announces 2022-23 Local Journalism Initiative Partners
BOSTON – April 7, 2022 — FRONTLINE, PBS’s flagship investigative documentary series, announced today the selection of the newest class of partners for its Local Journalism Initiative. The initiative, funded with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, supports high-impact local journalism in communities around the country.
For 2022, FRONTLINE will support investigative journalism projects by The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina; The Public’s Radio in Rhode Island; WFAE, a public radio station and NPR affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina; and The Texas Newsroom, which will lead a collaboration of public radio stations across Texas. FRONTLINE helps pay journalists’ salaries, provides newsrooms with editorial guidance, advice about digital or video storytelling, and expertise about how to connect journalism with diverse audiences.
The initiative aims to promote sustainable, public interest journalism in communities where local news organizations have been hit hard by financial pressures.
“We’re so pleased to welcome our third cohort of local journalism partners to FRONTLINE. In the years since this initiative began, it’s been an honor to support and amplify our partners’ enterprise reporting, and to shine a light on the immense value of local journalism,” said Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer of FRONTLINE. “We are grateful to the Knight Foundation and CPB for their steadfast support of our Local Journalism Initiative, and we look forward to bolstering the powerful storytelling emerging from The Post and Courier, The Public’s Radio, WFAE and The Texas Newsroom.”
In collaboration with FRONTLINE, the 2022 partner newsrooms will explore issues such as local corruption and official misconduct, forced labor, and inequities and inefficiencies in energy distribution. FRONTLINE’s support includes helping local newsrooms extend their reach through regional cooperation and by building their audiences.
The initiative also aims to increase diversity representation in newsrooms in underserved communities by working with editorial leadership to think intentionally about their hiring practices, the stories they tell, and how they choose to tell them.
The Local Journalism Initiative is based in FRONTLINE’s newsroom at GBH in Boston, with support from Knight Foundation and Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Knight’s funding is part of a $300 million commitment to build the future of local news and information that was announced in 2019.
Since 2019, FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative partners have included The Tampa Bay Times, Oklahoma Watch, Rocky Mountain PBS, New Mexico PBS (KNME-TV), Milwaukee PBS, The Salt Lake Tribune, and Star Tribune in Minnesota.
The initiative has helped produce major investigations, including a series of stories on police shootings in Utah that featured in the FRONTLINE and Salt Lake Tribune documentary Shots Fired, and stories about a polluting lead smelter in The Tampa Bay Times that won a George Polk Award. This May, FRONTLINE will also air Police on Trial, a documentary investigating the Minneapolis police in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd with local journalism partner Star Tribune.
“We’re excited by the newsrooms chosen by FRONTLINE for this year’s cohort and can’t wait to see the work that comes from these partnerships,” said Jim Brady, the Knight Foundation’s vice president of journalism. “The Local Journalism Initiative has been a winning effort from the start, as local newsrooms have gotten the benefit of FRONTLINE’s legendary expertise and local communities have benefitted from the outstanding stories published by these partnerships.”
“The Local Journalism Initiative demonstrates the power of combining the investigative expertise of FRONTLINE with the on-the-ground knowledge and reporting strength of local newsrooms,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president for radio, journalism and CSG services. “Now more than ever, our nation needs public media’s fact-based journalism. CPB is proud to support FRONTLINE and its new group of partners who are committed to excellent local journalism that serves the American people.”
FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 100 Emmy Awards and 26 Peabody Awards. Visit pbs.org/frontline and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more. FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Park Foundation; the Heising-Simons Foundation; and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
We are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers. Learn more at kf.org and follow @knightfdn on social media.
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