Revson Foundation Pledges $1 Million to WNYC for Digital Journalism Initiative

The New York City-based Charles H. Revson Foundation has announced a two-year, $1 million pledge to WNYC Radio to support the public radio station's new digital journalism initiative, which aims to use radio, digital, and broadband technologies to build greater capacity for the coverage and discussion of issues that affect residents of the greater New York area.

The grant will help the station achieve the main goals of the three-year, $6 million initiative: invest in robust on-air and online content in categories such as New York and New Jersey politics, business and economics, and culture; foster conversations around these and other issue areas; and create sustainable editorial partnerships and open-source applications that serve as models for collaboration and sharing across the public media system.

In the short term, the grant will bolster some efforts that are already under way, including the station's It's a Free Country Web site and the Big Fix, a year-long investigation, in partnership with of three New York City public schools. According to the Wall Street Journal, the initiative also will include the expansion of the WNYC newsroom by a third, or thirty-five people.

"With local news coverage shrinking and aggressive reporting being replaced by opinion, we see a gap that WNYC, as a mission-driven organization, not only can fulfill but is mandated to do so," said Laura Walker, president and CEO of New York Public Radio, which operates WNYC. "We are deeply grateful to the Revson Foundation for giving us this significant gift as we embark on this ambitious initiative to deepen and innovate upon the ways in which we serve our audience."

Shelly Banjo. "Revson Foundation Targets Public Radio Coverage." Wall Street Journal 11/15/2010.