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WWNO announces new local news collaboration

In conjunction with today’s expansion of its radio news programs, WWNO is announcing the creation of a community news-gathering collaboration that will increase local news coverage on both broadcast and digital platforms. The news operation will introduce content from a trio of nonprofit news and information partners, bringing together experienced local journalists at a critical point in the renewal of our city, region and community.

The new collaboration is the fruit of more than eight months of discussion among WWNO and two local digital news and information partner organizations, The Lens and NolaVie. These three groups will share resources, including stories and editorial input for broadcast on WWNO and for distribution on all three websites, making the new consortium the first of its kind in community-based, nonprofit news partnerships.

The Lens, founded in 2009, is the New Orleans area’s first nonprofit public interest newsroom, dedicated to in-depth reporting projects as well as exclusive daily stories. Award-winning writer Karen Gadbois founded the website and continues to lead the organization, along with Steve Beatty and Jed Horne, who direct news coverage. The Lens is a national 2012 Edward R. Murrow Award-winner.

NolaVie was launched in February 2011 as the region’s first nonprofit cultural and community website devoted to covering the lifestyles, people and events of the city and region. Founded by former Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra executive director Sharon Litwin and former Times-Picayune editor and columnist Renee Peck, NolaVie offers curated and edited content from an array of award-winning writers, published local authors, musicians, photographers and essayists.

WWNO and its news partners are joining together to offer broad-based coverage, using community-based organizations with expertise and journalistic talent in core areas to bring authority and experience to on-air and digital content.

“For 40 years WWNO has been ‘the source for NPR news and great classical music,’” said WWNO General Manager Paul Maassen. “WWNO also aims to be a trusted source for local news and cultural information. By partnering with The Lens and NolaVie, WWNO will strengthen its reporting of local news stories, including arts and culture, education, government and other subjects important to our region.”

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