WUSF partnering with foundation to launch a multi-newsroom collaboration to cover the Gulf Coast
Through a donation from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, the Community News Collaborative will operate as a separate newsroom that will cover topics including the environment and communities underserved by traditional media.
WUSF Public Media is partnering with a Sarasota foundation to launch a journalism collaboration that will expand news coverage in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties.
The Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation provided a donation of nearly $600,000 to form the Community News Collaborative — or CNC— which will be based in Sarasota.
The CNC will consist of an editor and four multimedia reporters who will produce print, video, and audio content for more than a dozen news outlets and media organizations across the Gulf Coast — including the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Bradenton Herald, SolMart Media, ABC affiliate WWSB in Sarasota, and several other publications.
“We’re grateful for the tremendous commitment the Barancik Foundation is making in the future of journalism,” WUSF general manager JoAnn Urofsky said. “We look forward to creating more capacity at other local news organizations in service of creating a stronger, more informed community.
"The WUSF 89.7 newsroom has a long history of collaborating with public radio and TV stations across the state and the country, and we look forward to this new chapter.”
The journalists who will be part of the CNC will report on a variety of topics, including education, the environment, social justice, and affordable housing. They will also focus on communities that have been under-represented by traditional media.
Members of the news team will be employees of WUSF and they will operate in a separate newsroom in order to provide all partners with a variety of content.
“Journalism is the lifeblood of a functioning democracy and a civic-minded population,” said Teri A. Hansen, Barancik Foundation president and CEO. “Yet the economic environment faced by today’s local media is challenging their ability every day to report on community stories. We aim to address that problem head on by adding new resources to cover important topics that affect our communities.”
The CNC is WUSF's latest collaboration in providing news and information on topics of interest across the greater Tampa Bay region and statewide.
WUSF is part of Florida Public Media, a collaboration of 24 public radio and television stations across the state that work together to share and produce content on topics including health, politics, education and the environment.
Last year, WUSF Public Media journalists were part of "Class of COVID-19: An Education Crisis for Florida’s Vulnerable Students," a statewide project that won a national Edward R. Murrow Award in the digital category for large radio markets. The project investigated how the pandemic affected children and young adults.
WUSF is also a member of the Florida Climate Reporting Network, a multi-newsroom initiative formed to cover the impacts of climate change in the state.
And this summer, WUSF partnered with local Black-owned media outlets The Florida Courier, The Weekly Challenger and RoyalTee Magazine on a series reporting on the challenges Black Americans face as they try to maintain their mental health.