Michigan Radio expanding local news coverage
Michigan Radio, the public radio service from the University of Michigan, is announcing several changes which will allow the station to expand its local news coverage, produce more online news content, and devote more resources to investigative and accountability focused journalism. The moves are in response to the changing face of news reporting locally and nationwide, and research about the type of information and news coverage that existing listeners want.
As part of these changes, Lester Graham, formerly the host and Senior Editor for The Environment Report, will be responsible for creating Michigan Radio's new investigative/ accountability reporting unit. His focus will be to research and report on topics that require a more involved examination than is currently available. Among the areas he'll focus on will be state government, education, the environment, jobs and the economy.
In addition, Rebecca Williams will become the new host of The Environment Report. She is currently a reporter/producer for the program. The Environment Report will move from an emphasis on national environmental stories, to a focus on covering issues directly affecting Michigan and the Great Lakes region. The Environment Report is committed to revealing the relationship between the natural world and the everyday lives of people, and will continue to air on Michigan Radio during Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:55 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.
Lastly, Mark Brush will become Michigan Radio's new online news content specialist. In this role, he'll work with the station's news staff to augment the web presentation of stories with additional source materials, slide shows, audio features, side bar stories, and other elements designed to create a rich, multi-faceted news presentation on the station's website (www.michiganradio.org). Michigan Radio was recently selected as one of five pilot public radio stations nationwide to participate in a project called "Core Publisher", which will allow the station to better integrate NPR and local station news content; create more local online initiatives and special project websites; and content optimized for mobile devices.
"The media landscape is changing all across the country and public media has an obligation to respond to help fill in the gaps in news coverage that are forming at the local level," says Michigan Radio Program Director Tamar Charney. "In addition, our listeners have told us that they wanted to see the station focus on more investigative journalism, more local and statewide news coverage, and also to provide them with more online news content. These changes will allow us to do exactly that."
These changes will take effect the week of June 7, 2010.