Illinois Newsroom launches with the appointment of a new leader

October 18, 2016

Illinois Newsroom—the statewide, seven-station journalism collaborative, spearheaded by Illinois Public Media and funded through a $715,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as well as support from the public media partner newsrooms—launches with the appointment of a new leader.

Scott Cameron, former senior editor of NPR’s Talk of the Nation and current director of news and public affairs at Illinois Public Media, has accepted the Executive Editor position to lead the regional news collaborative. 

“This is a strong group of partners that's come together with an ambitious goal: Transform the way public media journalism informs and engages our communities. I’m excited to help build the team and infrastructure that will serve Illinois audiences with the best news and information available on any platform,” said Cameron.

Cameron will lead a team of seven journalists, headquartered across Illinois, and will be responsible for executing the overall editorial strategy of this news collaboration, established to expand the partner stations’ ability to provide comprehensive reports, series, investigations and video programs across all platforms.

“By leveraging the skills, resources and strengths of each of the partners, we will serve local, regional and national audiences in ways we never could individually as stations,” continued Cameron. “Each newsroom already produces strong, community-focused journalism; Illinois Newsroom will increase our capacities to provide national-quality, in-depth, multi-platform enterprise and investigative reporting as well as community engagement.”

Under his leadership, Illinois Newsroom reporters and editors will deliver in-depth coverage around three key topics—education, health and environment, and state politics and policy—to those regional and national audiences.

“NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS is looking forward to being a partner station in the Illinois regional journalism collaborative led by Scott Cameron as Executive Editor. Scott’s experience at NPR with Talk of the Nation, at WGN, and WILL will lead the collaborative to inform Illinoisans further on the state of our state,” said Randy Eccles, general manager of NPR Illinois.

Additionally, Illinois Public Media was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation through the Democracy Program to support Illinois Newsroom earlier this year, with the objective of strengthening the digital-first journalism model and regional engagement. 

For Illinois Newsroom this means starting by equipping reporters and editors with the proper tools to create the right content, at the right time, for the right audiences, on the right platforms.

“I’m thrilled to have Scott—someone who is so clearly committed to thoughtful journalism, engagement, innovation and public service through public media—lead Illinois Newsroom,” said Moss Bresnahan, CEO and president of Illinois Public Media. “With his veteran years of experience, both here and at NPR, I know Scott will lead this team in producing stories that are relevant, informative and innovative with a digital-first journalism approach”

Illinois Newsroom collaborating public media stations are Illinois Public Media (WILL-Urbana); WTVP-TV (Peoria); NPR | Illinois Public Radio (WUIS-Springfield and Pittsfield); WSIU (Carbondale, Mt. Vernon and Olney); Tri-States Public Radio (Macomb and Galesburg, Ill., Keokuk and Burlington, Iowa); WVIK Quad Cities (radio, Rock Island); and WEIU-TV (Charleston). They will work with the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting (Champaign-Urbana) and with Brant Houston, Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Media, opening up opportunities to students and faculty across the state. The collaboration will produce journalism for partner stations and work with national programs, including PBS NewsHour and NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.