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Press Release

KPBS-FM and NPR Receive $1 Million Gift To Strengthen Local Public Radio Journalism

NPR and NPR Member station KPBS-FM San Diego have received a $1 million gift for a multi-year project designed to strengthen the station’s local journalism and its news collaboration with NPR.

The gift will be used to create the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Fund for Reporting Excellence, in recognition of the longtime KPBS donors. It will fund an innovative project that will build on KPBS’ longstanding commitment to public service through news and information in the community, both on-air and online, and reinforce its contribution to NPR News programming. Additionally it will address the declining availability of local journalism due to commercial media consolidation. The project will utilize the resources of KPBS, a leader in local public radio journalism, and NPR, the primary news provider. Its goals are to identify and train new journalists for public radio and develop new methods of sharing and distributing digital editorial content.

”Public radio, particularly the excellent journalism of KPBS and NPR, has been a part of our family’s lives for many years,” said Joan and Irwin Jacobs. “News and information are vital elements in our society, and we are pleased to support this partnership that will extend them.”

The multi-year project will identify and train journalists through 18-month fellowships; half of the Fellows will be chosen from the station’s staff and the others will be recruited externally by KPBS and NPR. They will work primarily from KPBS’ news department with station and NPR news management, producers, reporters and editors from both radio and digital media areas.

“It’s an honor to have the support of the Jacobs family and the recognition from NPR that KPBS is a leader for public radio news, content and integrity,” said Doug Myrland, General Manager of KPBS. “We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with NPR and using this gift to enhance the service KPBS provides to both the San Diego community and to public radio listeners nationwide.”

Local news and information programming has been a cornerstone of public radio since its inception; the majority of NPR member stations independently produce newscasts and other news programs that air locally and regionally. In the last 12 months, public radio station journalists have contributed more than 6000 reports to NPR national news programs and newscasts.

“This important, visionary gift from the Jacobs family could not come at a more relevant moment in broadcasting,” said Kevin Klose, President, NPR. “As the FCC and the media conglomerates debate the impact of consolidation on community programming, public radio is actively growing its historic mission to provide the public with independently produced local news and information.”

Joan and Irwin Jacobs have been donors to KPBS since 1970. Their gifts have included funds to build Jacobs Studio B in the KPBS Copley Telecommunications Center and the KPBS/FM radio studio. Qualcomm, which Irwin Jacobs founded, has also supported KPBS for decades. The Jacobs are noted for their philanthropy in San Diego.

About KPBS
KPBS is a public service of San Diego State University, serving the region with TV, radio and Internet content that is educational as well as entertaining – and free of commercial interruption.

About NPR
Since its launch in 1970, NPR has evolved into a leading media company, primary news provider and dominant force in American life. In partnership with more than 850 public radio stations, it attracts 26 million listeners to the nearly 150 hours of broadcast programming it produces and distributes weekly. A privately-supported, non-profit membership organization, NPR produces and/or distributes more than 1300 hours of programming weekly, including two 24/7 channels on Sirius satellite radio, five 24/7 HD Radio multicast music channels and its successful NPR Podcasts. NPR Worldwide serves 150 countries with a full schedule of programming offered through terrestrial, satellite and digital radio; national cable, and American Forces Network.