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WWNO announces local journalism fund in honor of Louisiana native, NPR reporter Cokie Roberts

Photo credit: Stan Barouh/NPR

A new fund in the Greater New Orleans Foundation will honor the memory of pioneer NPR news reporter and Louisiana native, Cokie Roberts, and will build a permanent funding source for radio station WWNO’s local news reporting. The “Cokie Roberts Fund for WWNO Local Journalism” was created with a leadership gift from Cokie Roberts’ family. WWNO aims to raise $1 million in additional donations for the Fund to augment the listener contributions and other revenues that will continue to be vital for the station’s service to south Louisiana.

“When WWNO began broadcasting fifty years ago, its radio program schedule was almost entirely music,” said WWNO General Manager Paul Maassen. “Over the years, despite her demanding schedule, Cokie Roberts stayed in touch, listening regularly to WWNO and supporting the station as a member. In 2012, when WWNO began to assemble a local news staff, Cokie came to New Orleans to introduce our first news director.“

Today, with grants from local and national funders, and in collaboration with WRKF in Baton Rouge, our news staff has grown to thirteen reporters, producers, editors, and program hosts—all serving listeners in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and surrounding south Louisiana parishes.

“Trustworthy news and information is key to our vision of a vibrant, sustainable, and just regional community here in New Orleans and south Louisiana,” said Greater New Orleans Foundation President and CEO, Andy Kopplin. “We are proud that Cokie Roberts’ family has chosen the Greater New Orleans Foundation as the home of this fund to honor her and support the work of the public radio reporters who keep our residents informed and who tell our region’s stories to the nation and the world.”

More information about the Cokie Roberts Fund is available from Ronald Biava at WWNO (, 504-280-7001) or Holly Robbins Hermes at GNOF (, 504-620-5264). To contribute to the Cokie Roberts Fund by credit card, use the Greater New Orleans Foundation's dedicated donation form here. For information about the Greater New Orleans Foundation go to

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