KCUR Announces Creation Of The Kansas News Service

Jan 3, 2017

KCUR comes to you with good news this morning. We’re proud to announce that the KHI News Service, a pioneering not-for-profit journalism startup, is now part of our organization. And it is the cornerstone of a new reporting collaboration called the Kansas News Service.

The Kansas News Service, based in Topeka, will cover news across the state of Kansas with an emphasis on health, education and politics.  The news service will work in close partnership with public radio stations KMUW in Wichita and Kansas Public Radio (KPR) in Lawrence; and will provide news content to newspapers and other media outlets across Kansas.

We’re particularly pleased that the Kansas News Service will be led by Jim McLean, who has been the editor of the KHI News Service since its founding at the Kansas Health Institute in 2006. The rest of the KHI team also is joining KCUR as part of the Kansas News Service: reporter Andy Marso, reporter Meg Wingerter, reporter Bryan Thompson and digital editor Susie Fagan.

But there’s more. Two veteran KCUR journalists will be working closely with the Kansas News Service team: Amy Jeffries, Kansas elections editor; and Sam Zeff, education reporter and host of the Statehouse Blend Kansas podcast. KPR statehouse reporter Stephen Koranda will be extensively involved in the collaboration as well.

The KHI News Service has been participating in the KCUR–based Heartland Health Monitor reporting collaboration for more than two years.  But with the launch of the Kansas News Service, we will set aside Heartland Health Monitor. KCUR’s health team of Dan Margolies and Alex Smith will continue their excellent reporting and sometimes contribute to the Kansas News Service – as will other editors and reporters on KCUR’s staff.

Overall, the Kansas News Service will bring balance to our strong coverage of Missouri, brought to you by local reporters and through a statewide network of public media stations.

And what will we do with this remarkable reporting team? We will emphasize in-depth and enterprise journalism in an attempt to help listeners and readers understand the social, demographic and political forces that are affecting individuals and communities across Kansas. Plus, we’ll apply the same principles to our coverage of Missouri communities.

The Kansas News Service is made possible by a group of funding organizations, led by the Kansas Health Foundation. Other funders include United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Sunflower Foundation, REACH Healthcare Foundation and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

As we get going, we will need your help. Let us know what you want us to explore and why. Help us understand the forces at work and the ongoing concerns of our citizens. Email Jim McLean directly at: jim@kcur.org.