In just a few weeks, reporters from the Macon Telegraph and Georgia Public Broadcasting will move into a new newsroom, bringing the medical school model of journalism to Central Georgia. And shortly after that, the first students from Mercer University will join them at the university’s Center for Collaborative Journalism, reporting alongside and learning the latest in digital storytelling from professional journalists from the two organizations.
Their newsroom will be named for Peyton Anderson, the former owner of the Telegraph, whose foundation today announced a $1 million gift to the effort. The new support means the center has met its five-year funding goal.
The center launched in December with more than $4 million in support from Knight Foundation, which was founded by Jack and Jim Knight, also one-time Telegraph owners.
As the Telegraph reported today, the combined support ‘‘sends an incredibly powerful message about how vitally important it is that our community continues to receive the same high level of public service journalism that we have delivered for 185 years,” Telegraph Publisher George McCanless said.
And as Macon Program Director Beverly Blake told the Telegraph: “This is the first time our two foundations have jointly funded a Central Georgia initiative...and it underscores the commitment of both foundations to seeing this important project succeed.”
In coming years, in addition to daily journalism, the center will launch community engagement projects that will involve Macon residents in choosing important issues to cover, reporting the facts and debating and creating solutions. GPB Macon Radio also will expand its staff in Central Georgia and increase its coverage of news, business, arts, sports and culture.
Recently, GPB hired Adam Ragusea, formerly of Boston public radio station WBUR, as new host of Morning Edition and supervisor. The center is led by Tim Regan-Porter, who co-founded Paste magazine in 2002, and helped it become the third-largest popular music title in the English-speaking world. Regan-Porter recently provided a first look at the center, including its plan to embed students in newsrooms, form media partnerships and collaborate with residents.