'Frontline' Receives $6 Million in Federal Funds

AUSTIN, TEXAS: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is investing $6 million in “Frontline,” the 27-years-running investigative journalism series aired on PBS stations. The series will be produced year round.

The $6 million, two-year grant will allow “Frontline” producers to add “new multi-story magazine-format programs” and shorter, fast-turnaround pieces on timely issues, CPB said. The series also will build up partnerships with j-schools and public media institutions, including UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, ProPublica, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, among others.

“At a time when journalism is facing widespread cutbacks and reductions, when network news divisions are laying off hundreds of broadcast journalists and producers, when fewer significant news programs are being produced, we’re extremely grateful to CPB for its support of ‘Frontline’s’ expansion plans,” said David Fanning, the show’s executive producer.

The announcement was made at the annual PBS membership meeting in Austin, where Fanning received the Ralph Lowell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Television. The award was named for the late Boston philanthropist and founder of WGBH-TV, where “Frontline” is produced. Earlier recipients include Ken Burns, Julia Child, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alistair Cooke, and Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer.

The “Frontline” grant marks CPB’s second major journalism investment this year. A $10.5 million, two-year initiative was launched in March to increase local news coverage at certain PBS member stations.

“Frontline” has aired on PBS member stations since 1983. It’s received 42 Emmy Awards, 25 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Awards, 13 George Foster Peabody Awards, 11 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, eight Television Critics Association Awards, seven Banff Television Festival Awards and two Edward R. Murrow Awards.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

March 25, 2010
: Public Broadcasters Put $10.5 million into Local News
The CPB grant will focus on five regions where 37 PBS and NPR member stations will collaborate on local issues. As many as 50 journalists will be hired.