WJCT, the local public media organization serving the Jacksonville, Florida, region, will launch Phase II of its project to create a sustainable digital-first local journalism service with funding from AVDF.
The need for robust non-partisan local news continues to grow, evidenced by the success of WJCT 89.9 FM transitioning to an all-news/talk format during 2020, with an accompanying investment in local newscasts and news programming. These changes, (along with a national election and the events of January 6, 2021), resulted in WJCT News 89.9 attracting its largest audience in the station’s history earlier this year.
Meanwhile, trends related to the decline of local news, both across the country and in Jacksonville, continue their worrisome trajectory unabated, with profound negative consequences for our civic life.
Phase II of WJCT’s Local Journalism Initiative will see the organization accelerate its response to these trends by creating a new local journalism service. WJCT will do this in the digital media the audiences are using in ever-greater numbers, and focus on community engagement as a central tenet of the work as WJCT seeks to combat both the decline of accessible, in-depth local journalism in our region and a decline in dialog and civic participation.