NPR grants will ‘reimagine the public radio experience for digital listening’

The New York Times | NPR

NPR will use close to $17 million in grants to increase coverage and help build a mobile platform, Elizabeth Jensen reported Sunday in The New York Times.

The grants come from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Wallace Foundation as well as three individual donors, Jensen reported.

The grants, Jensen wrote, “come just three months after NPR, which is facing a $6 million deficit in its budget of $183 million for the 2014 fiscal year, said it would cut 10 percent of its staff. An NPR spokeswoman said the new funding, because it is dedicated to projects, would not reduce the deficit.”

On Sunday evening, NPR announced the grants on its website and detailed where the money would go:

The grants, totaling $17 million, will both deepen and extend NPR’s coverage of key issues – education, global health and development, and race, ethnicity and culture – and fund NPR and six Member Stations – KPCC, KQED, MPR, WBUR, WHYY and WNYC – in the creation of a seamless local-national listening platform, helping deliver the work of NPR and stations to tens of millions of Americans everywhere they want it, in words, images and sound.

Those six member stations will also get matching grants from the Knight Foundation.

“NPR is responding to the increased demand by audiences for flexibility in consuming content seamlessly across various digital platforms,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation VP/Journalism and Media Innovation. “The platform will allow listeners to engage in new ways with NPR and its member station partners, making the quality journalism that is so important in a democracy more accessible, especially for a new generation.”

The grant money will also continue the work of Code Switch, a program launched six months ago that covers race and ethnicity, and widen NPR’s coverage of education, global health and the economy, the press release reported.

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