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WRVO Participating in New Upstate Journalism Center

OSWEGO — WRVO is one of five public broadcasters chosen to take part in a “major journalism initiative” which will establish a new “Local Journalism Center” tasked with documenting technology’s role in “rebuilding Upstate New York’s economy.” The initiative will fund the hiring of new reporters, a manager to coordinate the efforts, and an interactive web portal to accompany the effort.

The effort is being bankrolled by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Other stations involved with the project include Rochester’s WXXI, Albany’s WMHT, Buffalo’s WNED and Binghamton’s WSKG. One reporter will be hired at each station, with the editor/managing facilitator to be based at WXXI.

Below is the full text of a press release issued today by WRVO Assistant General Manager for Content, Fred Vigeant:

WRVO RADIO CHOSEN TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING’S LOCAL JOURNALISM INITIATIVE

(Oswego, NY) March 25, 2010 – WRVO Radio today announced that it will join four other New York public broadcasting stations in a major journalism initiative for the Upstate New York region. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), will support the operation of a Local Journalism Center, which will provide in-depth news reports on innovative technology and its role in rebuilding Upstate New York’s economy.

WRVO will partner with WXXI (Rochester), WMHT (Albany), WNED (Buffalo), and WSKG (Binghamton) to create Upstate New York’s Local Journalism Center. Together the collaboration will hire a total of five additional reporters, one at each station. In addition, the grant will fund an editor and a managing facilitator at WXXI to coordinate feature reports and news spots, as well as an interactive web portal.

“We’re very excited to begin this reporting venture,” said Dave Bullard, WRVO’s Senior News Producer. “Technology is changing every life on earth and is a key to rebuilding our economy. Our listeners will benefit from public radio’s thorough, in-depth journalism. This initiative also allows us to increase our news reporting capacity at a time when most outlets are decreasing theirs.”

The Upstate Local Journalism Center will focus on “The Innovation Trail.” The Center’s extensive multi-media reporting will help the public gain a better understanding of the impact of investment in research and technology projects across the region, the ways that colleges, universities and medical centers are working to create opportunities in emerging technologies, and other industry efforts to transition from a manufacturing base to a knowledge economy. Working across the region, this initiative will allow reporters to move beyond traditional media to provide in-depth coverage with a high-degree of community engagement and involvement.

CPB announced four other Local Journalism Centers, each focused on a particular issue relevant to communities throughout their region. In the Southwest, a bi-lingual reporting team from seven stations will focus on cultural shifts that are transforming the southwest, including Latino, Native American and border issues. In The Plains, six stations across four states will focus on agribusiness, including farming practices, food production and fuel usage, looking both at local and national issues. In the upper Midwest, stations in three states will focus on reinventing the industrial heartland and in particular the economy in the upper Midwest. And in Central Florida, six stations will focus on creating multi-media content related to healthcare issues in their region.

“The Local Journalism Centers will enhance public media’s ability to meet the information needs of local communities at a time when access to high quality, original reporting is declining,” Patricia Harrison, the CEO and President of CPB said. “The need for that coverage is even greater today, and we have a responsibility to ensure that journalism can continue to thrive and serve the needs of our democracy. These radio and television stations are locally owned and operated and work in partnership with other community based organizations,” Ms. Harrison explained. “Working together with stations across a region, along with emerging new digital journalism organizations, they can make a significant contribution to news gathering and distribution, which is critical to the information health of these communities.”

As of yet, that new reporter opening hasn’t been formally posted on the WRVO Jobs Page, but be sure to bookmark that link and check back periodically if you’re interested.

Tribute to John Krauss Next Week

In other news, Vigeant announced today via his latest “Program Points” e-newsletter, that there will be a special tribute to GM John Krauss next Wednesday, March 31, at 9:50am. It’ll be the last day of work for Krauss, who has worked at WRVO since the station launched in 1969. Earlier this month, he announced his retirement.

Got News?

Thanks to Fred Vigeant for sending along that press release… and we’ll also offer our congratulations to Fred on his promotion to Assistant GM for Content, as up until now, we had known him as the PD.

If you’ve got news to send along from your station — whether it’s a formal press release or just a quick informal note — send it to cnyradio@cnyradio.com or use the Contact Form. All requests for anonymity/confidentiality are always honored… and if you use the Contact Form, you don’t even need to provide your name or email address… they’re optional!

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