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FRONTLINE selects WFAE for its Local Journalism Initiative

FRONTLINE has selected WFAE as a partner for its 2022-23 Local Journalism Initiative. The yearlong collaboration will allow WFAE to investigate how North Carolina’s mental health and criminal justice systems fail people with mental illness.

Along with WFAE, FRONTLINE will support investigative projects by “The Post and Courier” in Charleston, S.C., The Public’s Radio in Rhode Island, and The Texas Newsroom. FRONTLINE helps pay for journalists’ salaries, provides newsrooms with editorial guidance, advice about digital or video storytelling, and expertise about how to connect journalism with diverse audiences.

“We’re so pleased to welcome our third cohort of Local Journalism partners to FRONTLINE. In the years since this initiative began, it’s been an honor to support and amplify our partners’ enterprise reporting, and to shine a light on the immense value of local journalism,” said Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer of FRONTLINE. “We are grateful to the Knight Foundation and CPB for their steadfast support of our Local Journalism Initiative, and we look forward to bolstering the powerful storytelling emerging from The Post and Courier, The Public’s Radio, WFAE and The Texas Newsroom.”

“This partnership will allow us to take a deep look at what happens when people with mental illness come in contact with the criminal justice system. Too often, it is ill-equipped to provide the intervention or care needed. And without the appropriate interventions, justice is delayed and, in the worst cases, denied,” said Ju-Don Marshall, WFAE’s executive vice president and chief content officer. “This series is long overdue, and it would not be possible without FRONTLINE’s funding support.”

WFAE health care reporter Dana Miller Ervin will be the lead reporter on the project. Ervin is an award-winning journalist who has worked at “60 Minutes,” CNBC, “CBS This Morning” and “Nightline.” Last fall, she produced “The Price We Pay,” an 11-part series that explored why Americans are sicker than people in other wealthy countries even as we pay more for health care.

News director Greg Collard will be the lead editor on the series. Collard has been news director at WFAE for 14 years. Prior to joining WFAE, he was news director and executive producer at West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

“FRONTLINE has long set a high standard on in-depth journalism and storytelling, so it’s exciting to be working with them for the next year on this important topic,” Collard said. “I have no doubt this collaboration will help make WFAE better and be appreciated by the public through the great journalism that will result from it.”