UNO to create major newsroom, drawing work from The Lens

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Working through WWNO-FM, the University of New Orleans will create a new nonprofit newsroom before the end of the year, the school announced this morning.

As previously announced, The Lens and have been in talks with WWNO since late last year about a collaborative relationship, and both nonprofit operations will be contributing to this new newsroom, to be called

National Public Radio has thrown its support behind the new project.

The multimedia newsroom will produce stories online and for the radio station. Plans call for a staff of up to 20, with fundraising goals reaching to $2 milllion a year.

“This initiative demonstrates the University of New Orleans’ commitment to our community,” said UNO President Peter J. Fos said in a news release. “We are an innovative, engaged and solution-oriented institution, and we are thrilled to be incubating this project. Public universities should be beacons of light in their communities, and we feel will help illuminate the issues that are important to the people of the greater New Orleans area.”

NPR will advise WWNO on technology and online revenue generation, and it will provide training for the newsroom.

Initial community engagement and fundraising support will come from Greater New Orleans, Inc., the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

See the full press release here.

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