ideastream Selected for Launch of “Guns & America” Reporting Collaborative
Cleveland (March 29, 2018) — ideastream today announces its selection to participate in Guns & America, a two-year, national reporting collaborative of 10 public media stations, funded by a grant from The Kendeda Fund. The collaboration includes the launch of the first-of-its-kind Audion Fellowship, a program that will train and empower a diverse corps of innovative, cross-platform journalists to cover difficult and divisive topics and lead the public media system.
“ideastream is a powerhouse in public media,” said WAMU General Manager JJ Yore. “Tapping into the station’s expertise will allow this collaboration to feature strong cross-platform reporting from the upper Midwest and to examine the relationship between urban and rural America when it comes to guns.”
“In 2017, Cleveland had one of the highest homicide rates per capita in the U.S., and Akron saw a record year for homicides. Police in Northeast Ohio seized more than 700 illegal handguns. Meanwhile, Ohio lawmakers continue to consider several bills related to firearms in the wake of mass shootings,” added ideastream Chief Content Officer Mark Rosenberger. “By adhering to the highest journalistic standards, multiple media reports on these complex issues will provide depth, nuance and objectivity to this challenging topic. ideastream is gratified to be a part of this relevant and important project.”
The Guns & America national reporting collaborative will be headquartered and supported by a five-person production team at WAMU in Washington, D.C. and 10 Audion Fellowship reporters to be placed in the following public newsrooms across the country: ideastream in Cleveland, Ohio; Boise State Public Radio in Boise, Idaho; KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri; KERA in Dallas, Texas; KUNC in Greeley, Colorado; OPB in Portland, Oregon; WABE in Atlanta, Georgia; WAMU in Washington, D.C.; WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut; and WUNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The national collaborative will report for two years on the many ways that firearms are intertwined in American life, from the cultural role of hunting and sport shooting, to homicides, mass shootings and beyond. The inaugural cohort of Audion Fellows will increase the capacity for in-depth reporting and infuse public media newsrooms across the country with digital and multimedia skills. Reporters at the ten stations will begin filing their first stories in June 2018.
In each market, one fellow will be devoted to providing regional coverage, contributing a local perspective into a national network of reporting that is making a significant investment in this timely topic. In addition, participation in the Guns & America national reporting collaborative allows newsroom expansion through the addition of a new reporting position that will develop significant expertise in collaboration with a diverse group of public media leaders.
Beyond the announced two-year Guns & America reporting collaborative, the Audion Fellowship is expected to be an ongoing program, poised to tackle future endeavors on topics of national interest and critical importance.
For more information on Guns & America, including information about how journalists can apply for the Audion Fellowship, visit www.wamu.org/guns. To follow our reporting, please visit www.gunsandamerica.org beginning in June.
The mission of ideastream is to strengthen our communities. ideastream pursues this mission as a multiple media public service organization by providing distinctive, thought-provoking programs and services that enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain.
About The Kendeda Fund
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, The Kendeda Fund is a private grantmaking foundation that invests in transformative leaders and ideas, empowering communities across the U.S. and around the globe to enhance equity, vibrancy, resourcefulness, and resilience. The Kendeda Fund helps underrepresented but trusted voices build social and community capital by supporting experienced, and emerging, leaders who have the vision to see problems differently and the courage to challenge conventional thinking. Learn more at www.kendedafund.org.