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Collaborative Journalism Network: NPR and Member Stations Working Together

There are over 1000 NPR Member Station signals broadcasting across the United States
There are over 1000 NPR Member Station signals broadcasting across the United States

Every day, NPR and its Member stations are working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.

Why Journalism Matters. Good information about where you live — your town, your region, your country — is a foundation of our democracy. It helps create a more civil, connected society. But it's harder to get that information as local newspapers and broadcast outlets consolidate or fold.

Why NPR and local stations. No other news organization has the same on-the-ground reach as public radio. More than 95 percent of Americans live within range of a public radio signal. So we are positioned to deliver. The public radio network includes 2,900 journalists at more than 200 member stations across the country, plus another 570 reporters and editors at NPR. As a result, public radio is already an essential part of people's lives.

Why a Collaborative Network. The opportunity now is to reach new audiences and dig deeper into the issues of the day – at the local, regional and national levels. We are doing this by collaborating more closely inside the public radio network. We are building partnerships among groups of stations, in close coordination with NPR, to strengthen their local and regional impact and help bring more of their reporting to a national audience. We're planning coverage together, sharing technology that improves efficiency and honing best practices for engaging, insightful reporting.

By collaborating in new ways, NPR and Member Stations can:

  • Expand coverage to underserved parts of the country by hiring reporters in regions that need them
  • Increase ambitious investigative reporting projects
  • Bring more local and regional stories by station reporters to NPR's national programs
  • Enrich national programming with voices and perspectives from communities across America

The work of the Collaborative Journalism Network has never been more critical, as NPR and Member stations work together to support the overall NPR Network. At NPR Bruce Auster is Managing Editor for Collaborative Journalism. Auster has worked tirelessly to get the CJN work underway since 2015 to where we are now with the four regional newsrooms, topic teams and investigative work with Member station newsrooms.

Topic Teams

Topic teams are truly collaborative journalism in action. Station reporters are working with each other, NPR reporters, and NPR editors to connect dots between local communities and unearth stories that resonate with people around the country. One hundred stations are already participating in at least one of the 11 topic groups:

  • Climate Collaborative
  • Criminal Justice Topic Team
  • Disinformation Topic Team
  • Education Topic Team
  • Health Partnership
  • Military and Veterans: The American Homefront Project 
  • National Politics Topic Team
  • NPR States Team
  • Race and Identity Topic Team
  • Visuals Topic Team
  • Voting Topic Team

Station Investigations Team

Led by Cheryl W. Thompson, an award-winning investigative reporter and 22-year veteran of The Washington Post who joined NPR in 2019, the Station Investigations Team works with Member stations to report ambitious investigative projects. The team, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, includes a producer and a data editor who will advise reporters who'd like technical help with skills such as data collection and analysis and freedom of information requests. The team also helps facilitate stations' opportunities to localize NPR investigations through webinars and open-source data.

Regional Newsrooms


NPR joined the New England News Collaborative to establish a regional newsroom that boosts their joint ability to deliver multimedia journalism that helps people engage more meaningfully in their communities. The NENC is composed of 10 stations in six states from Connecticut to Maine: Connecticut Public, New Hampshire Public Radio, Vermont Public, Maine Public, GBH, WBUR, CAI Cape and Islands, New England Public Media in western Massachusetts, Rhode Island PBS & The Public’s Radio, and WSHU in southern Connecticut.


Public radio stations in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska have access to content produced by the Midwest Newsroom, which is led by managing editor Holly Edgell. The newsroom partners include the largest public media stations in the region--KCUR in Kansas City, St. Louis Public Radio, Iowa Public Radio and Nebraska Public Media--with NPR as the national partner. The Midwest Newsroom has an investigative editor and reporter and a data journalist who work closely with the partner stations to deliver accountability journalism in the heart of the country.


Public media stations WBHM in Birmingham, Ala., WWNO in New Orleans and Mississippi Public Broadcasting in Jackson plan coverage together and share content produced by the six-person Gulf States Newsroom reporting team. Under the leadership of Managing Editor Priska Neely, the team delivers in-depth reporting on region-wide beats that include economic mobility, justice, incarceration and gun violence, health equity, environmental justice and sports and culture.


Public radio stations across California have teamed up with NPR on a regional newsroom to increase coverage of statewide issues and boost reporting from and for underserved regions across the state.

Led by KQED in San Francisco, the collaboration partners includeKPBS,CapRadio,KPCC/LAist andKCRW, along with NPR. The California Newsroom serves all 17 public radio stations across the state that broadcast in 50 cities.


The Texas Newsroom brings together stations across the state to plan coverage together and share stories produced by the stations and by the newsroom's investigations team, state capital reporter, digital breaking news reporter and audience editor. Managing Editor Corrie MacLaggan leads the collaboration, whose partners include the state's four largest public radio stations — KERA in Dallas, KUT in Austin, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio, and Houston Public Media. The stations plan coverage together, share resources, and produce six live statewide newscasts every weekday. Smaller Texas stations also contribute reporting and air the statewide newscasts.

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