New Orleans

NewOrleansReporter.org to deliver in-depth local coverage to web, mobile, and radio

Friday, July 27, 2012 - 12:20pm

NPR announced today its involvement with a new University of New Orleans venture to create a "multimedia newsroom" for in-depth local news for the Crescent City.

NewOrleansReporter.org will be a news website and mobile platform, with a presence on WWNO radio, the public station owned and operated by the university. It will reportedly be run by a staff of 10 to 20 producing news for the web, tablet, smart phone, social media, and radio. The site will also feature and link to other local, national and world news.

NPR, which is consulting WWNO on tech infrastructure and online revenue generation, says it hopes to have the new site live by year's end.

As an "open source," operation, all of NewOrleansReporter's content will be available for free to other local and national news outlets. In fact, the operation's success will be measured in part by how much of its content gets "picked up" elsewhere.

New Orleans, no stranger to hardship, will soon be the largest city in the U.S. without a daily print newspaper. The Times-Picayune announced earlier this year that it will print just three days a week beginning in fall.

"What we are seeing play out in New Orleans, with the Times-Picayune, is a scene we have seen repeated over and over in a lot of communities as newspapers have fallen on hard times," NPR EVP/chief content officer Kinsey Wilson told The Wall Street Journal. "[Newspapers'] weakening and sometimes collapse is leaving communities with a real information deficit. In broad terms, we have seen this as being an opportunity for public radio to be one of the emerging players, as the news business is rebuilt." (RAIN readers may remember Wilson as the keynote speaker at RAIN Summit West in 2010.)

NPR's press release explains, "The objective of the University and its partners is to create a strong, sustainable model for nonprofit, multimedia journalism that will serve the greater New Orleans area as an open source of trustworthy news and information for decades to come."

Read Wall Street Journal coverage here.

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