KCUR and Kansas City public television station KCPT announced a news collaboration on Thursday.
The collaboration is not a merger, the two public media stations said in a statement, but rather a pooling of resources and a commitment to partner on reporting and engagement projects.
The initial focus will be on health and agriculture reporting, along with a Kansas City launch of the Public Insight Network (PIN), a nationwide database that helps connect journalists to sources.
The regional health reporting collaboration, which is expected to move forward this spring, also will include Topeka-based Kansas Health Institute News Service. On the agriculture front, KCUR-based Harvest Public Media now counts KCPT among its regional public media partners.
KCUR General Manager Nico Leone and KCPT CEO Kliff Kuehl said working together will enhance the public service mission of both outlets.
“Both organizations have similar missions focused on public service and both have similar audiences of people who are active and engaged in the community," Kuehl said in a statement. "KCPT and KCUR have unique assets that are additive, rather than competitive, and therefore work together exceedingly well.”
Leone said in many communities, the not-for-profit sector is moving in to fill coverage gaps.
“For generations, American journalism has been dominated by the for-profit sector, but dramatic changes in the economics of that industry has led to coverage gaps – gaps that are of increasing concern to the public," Leone said.