KQED, the nation’s most listened-to public radio station, today launched an innovative partnership with Berkeleyside and three other local online news sites. KQED is working with Berkeleyside, Oakland Local, NeighborWebSJ and SF Public Press to bring both more depth and greater coverage of local stories to the station and its website. The local sites, in turn, benefit from greater exposure of their work.

“Emerging news organizations such as Berkeleyside are vital to the information needs of the Bay Area,” said Bruce Koon, News Director, KQED Public Radio. “It’s important for KQED News to support pioneering journalism efforts. Equally as important is what they can teach us about different communities and their issues and new approaches to news reporting.”

Readers may have already heard some Berkeleyside stories on KQED, including interviews with Berkeleyside reporters. The station’s main focus is news that has wide regional implications, and this, of course, could have its origins in Berkeley. There will be some Berkeley-specific stories that will also interest KQED.

“We are a leading news source for Berkeley and the partnership with KQED gives us an opportunity to reach an even larger audience for some stories,” said Frances Dinkelspiel, co-founder of Berkeleyside.

In addition to using stories from the local partners, KQED is doing training in radio production and encouraging collaboration between the sites.

“That will mean that our partners can do even more effective reporting in their communities, and be able to sustain themselves, despite a tough economy and limited resources,” said Molly Samuel, KQED Community News Coordinator. “More and better journalism can only be a good thing, not just for KQED News listeners and readers, but for the Bay Area in general.”

The collaboration is the latest result of Networked Journalism, a national project founded by J Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Networked Journalism aims to establish relationships between online-only media and more traditional news organizations. Other Networked Journalism projects are led by The Oregonian, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and The Seattle Times newspapers.

“We are enthusiastic about working with the Networked Journalism initiative,” said Jo Anne Wallace, Vice President and General Manager, KQED Public Radio.  “And we’re excited about this opportunity to work with local news groups and organizations across the Bay Area to present a more diverse, more in-depth news service for our respective online news readers and radio listeners.”

Berkeleyside has existing content partnerships with the San Francisco Chronicle and The Bay Citizen.

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Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...