Four foundations and three families have jointly donated $17 million to National Public Radio earmarked to develop a digital platform for listeners who want to aggregate NPR content.
The money will also be used to expand coverage of education, global health, and development, The New York Times
that it wants to "re-imagine the public radio experience for digital listening."
The new monies will allow it to cover beats other media outlets tend to shun, NPR said.
The grants cannot be used save the station from having to cut 10 percent of its staff in the face of a $6 million hole in its $183 million 2014 budget. Roughly 16 percent of NPR's funding
comes from government sources.
The new money will come from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and from three families — Haaga, Poorvu, and Stevenson — who have longstanding ties to NPR.
NPR listeners who want to aggregate — or collect, customize, and bundle for future use — its content now turn to commercial applications like TuneIn or Stitcher.
The planned new platform would make it easier to pull together audio, visual, and written content from the national network and its local affiliates into one digital "seemless" package.
It would also bring up to date the role of local stations in providing content to be aggregated.
NPR claims a weekly audience of 35 million people on radio millions and more monthly online.
The station has long battled complaints that it is biased against conservative values and that it is anti-Israel.
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