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Sarasota Monday, Sep. 12, 2022 1 week ago

WUSF, Barancik Foundation roll out collaborative news operation

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The Sarasota-based team will provide content on a variety of topics to media organizations in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

A collaborative enterprise between the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation and WUSF Public Media is expected to begin producing news and feature stories by the end of the year with a team of Sarasota-based journalists.

Content created by the Community News Collaborative will be made available to participating local media sites including Observer Media Group, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Venice Gondolier/The Daily Sun, The Bradenton Herald, Tempo News, ABC-7 WWSB, WSLR, Solmart Media, Sarasota Magazine, Sarasota Scene Magazine and West Coast Woman.    

Recruiting is underway for four reporters and an editor with an eye toward producing multimedia content on such topics as grassroots school coverage, the environment, social justice, underrepresented communities, housing and nonprofits.

In announcing the project’s launch on Monday morning, Matthew Sauer, the collaboration and impact officer for the Barancik Foundation, said the news team will operate independently under the auspices of WUSF. A board of three advisers is also being sought. The Observer Media Group participated in discussions with the Foundation and other news sites on the formation of the project. 

According to a news release, the project will be financed by a donation of nearly $600,000 from the foundation.

“Journalism is the lifeblood of a functioning democracy and a civic-minded population,” said Barancik Foundation President and CEO Teri A Hansen. “Yet the economic environment faced by today’s local media is challenging their ability every day to report on community stories. We aim to address that problem head on by adding new resources to cover important topics that affect our communities.”

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