Exploring a New Model to Serve St. Louis
Response from the St. Louis community and beyond has been very positive in the aftermath of announcement that St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon are exploring an alliance to better serve the community through journalism.
The non-binding letter of intent signed last week expresses a shared belief that the Beacon and St. Louis Public Radio can serve St. Louisans better together than they can separately. As a result of this action the two news organizations will begin exploring options for strengthening regional news reporting by using their individual assets in combination.
It is the perfect time for us to be embarking on this expedition seeking a new model for public service journalism. Both organizations have established reputations for delivering exceptional journalism to its audiences and, with the digital revolution transforming media, there is a historic opportunity to further establish St. Louis as a leader in journalism innovation.
We have been “test driving” some joint news reporting utilizing Rob Koenig, the Beacon’s Washington D.C. reporter, regularly sharing his observations on politics and issues with St. Louis Public Radio listeners on St. Louis on the Air, our daily local program. In the last few months, Beyond November, a comprehensive, in-depth election-coverage project that also includes collaboration with the Nine Network of Public Media, has increased the level of collaboration between our organizations.
In the announcement, we specified that the alliance discussions will be dedicated to improving the St. Louis region by:
- Advancing regional news reporting at a time when many news organizations around the nation are shrinking;
- Engaging people throughout the region and sharing reporting on air, online and in person;
- Encouraging vibrant dialogue and driving innovation with new tools in the digital age.
We also intend to continue to work in partnership with the Nine Network of Public Media and with other regional and national organizations.
While the letter of intent is non-binding, it authorizes the two organizations to share expertise with each other and develop options for a formal arrangement. We expect to conclude exploratory discussions by the beginning of 2013.
It’s an exciting time for us to begin this journey and we’ll keep you up-to-date as we progress down the road.