NPR Receives $17M in Grants to Expand Coverage, Create New Mobile and Web Platforms

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation got in on the donating action

NPR has received nearly $17 million in grants with the intent of increasing coverage of education, global health and development, race, ethnicity and culture.

The public radio platform will also use the money to create a new mobile and web platform in hopes of reaching more listeners and seamlessly maintaining their connection on various devices, the company said.

The grants, from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, Ford Foundation and individual donors, will fund NPR and six member stations: KPCC, KQED, MPR, WBUR, WHYY and WNYC.

“This support will allow NPR to build transformative platforms that secure the future of public media journalism, and represents a powerful vote of confidence for that vision,” said Kinsey Wilson, NPR’s chief content officer who leads its news, programming, music and digital teams. “We’ll be able to dive deep into issues that are at the center of people’s lives, and drive tremendous innovation in how we engage people with those issues.”

Also read: Media, Stop Trying to Make Michael Bay Apologize for ‘Transformers’

NPR boasts a local footprint in communities across the U.S. and 34 bureaus across the country and world. NPR expects to launch its expanded education and global health and development reporting in spring 2014.

Today, NPR and Member Stations reach a weekly audience of 35 million people on radio and tens of millions monthly online and on mobile.

“NPR is responding to the increased demand by audiences for flexibility in consuming content seamlessly across various digital platforms,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president, Journalism and Media Innovation. “The platform will allow listeners to engage in new ways with NPR and its member station partners, making the quality journalism that is so important in a democracy more accessible, especially for a new generation.”