Eleven public media stations in Indiana plan to establish a statewide news network with a $609,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Indiana Public Media announced last week.
The network, called IPB News, is expected to produce multimedia news reports for the Indiana stations and collaborate on reports for national PBS programs such as “PBS NewsHour,” “Marketplace,” “Morning Edition,” and “All Things Considered.”
The network is expected to hire eight journalists at the partner media outlets over the next two years.
WFIU Public Radio and WTIU Public Television in Bloomington will lead the network and house the managing editor. Partner stations are WFYI radio and TV in Indianapolis; WVUT and WVUB in Vincennes; WBAA in West Lafayette; WBOI in Ft. Wayne; WVPE in South Bend; WBST in Muncie; WNIN in Evansville; and WLPR in Merrillville.
Sarah Neal-Estes, a former public radio reporter and editor in Alaska, has been named managing editor for the project. The network should begin generating news reports in early 2016.
“Our partner stations are concerned about the decline in the number of reporters in our state and believe that public broadcasting can help address these changes,” Perry Metz, general manager of WFIU/WTIU, said in a written statement announcing the grant. “These stations have long provided information and context to listeners and viewers around Indiana and this grant will help us increase those efforts in specific content areas.”