Gates Foundation Awards Public Radio International $5 Million to Distribute Global Health Content

Minneapolis-based Public Radio International has announced a three-year, $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to lead an effort to produce and distribute global health and development content.

PRI will use the grant to create radio and Internet news programs in partnership with WNYC Radio, BBC World Service, the New York Times, and WGBH Radio in Boston. Planned projects include a new live conversational news program called "The Morning Show" that will debut in 2008 on WNYC, and enhanced coverage of global health and development on PRI's existing "The World," a weekday global news program.

The enhanced coverage will focus, among other things, on such topics as increasingly drug-resistant forms of TB and staph infections, the search for HIV/AIDS vaccines, the process and cost of getting food to American tables, and the intersection of globalization and agriculture. PRI will stimulate listener engagement through a variety of means, including online discussions, customized social networking and civic engagement tools, blogs, podcasts, mobile phone segments, and searchable transcripts — all available on PRI's Web site and those of its partners.

"People and nations of the world are more interdependent than ever before, yet many media outlets continue to withdraw from international news," said PRI president and CEO Alisa Miller. "PRI is uniquely capable of aggressively developing compelling content, global reporting and interactive strategies to fill this urgent need."