NPR says it will form a six-person team for the initiative and expects the first platform with the new content to launch this fall.
With the two-year grant funding the effort, NPR hopes to reach younger listeners that are more racially and ethnically diverse than traditional listeners, through websites and mobile devices.
NPR president/CEO Gary Knell says the new team and defined coverage area will enable the broadcaster to cover issues more fully, “delivering on our promise for NPR to look and sound like America,” both on-air and online.
CPB’s “forward-thinking” commitment to diversity challenges public media to do more, and to do better, according to Knell.
The broadcaster and distributor has been criticized in recent years for a lack of diversity of its staff and coverage. NPR has improved it staff profile over the past two years, making it now one of the most diverse in American media, according to CPB President/CEO Pat Harrison. The broadcaster has also expanded its journalism to include more diverse sources, experts and story ideas, she added.
Reporting from the new team will magnify existing efforts across NPR and its member stations to cover and discuss race, ethnicity and culture, according to the broadcaster, which will also create branded space within NPR.org. A senior online journalist will oversee the creation and curation of original content each day.