WNIJ to add water desk with focus on area rivers, groundwater

DEKALB — WNIJ (89.5 FM) is increasing coverage of agriculture, water, and environmental issues with its new Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk.

Officially starting this summer, the project is part of a collaborative network of 10 stations, with support from Report for America, the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Together, these stations will provide in-depth stories about one of the world’s major river systems.

WNIJ’s expanded coverage of the environment includes a sharp focus on water including the quality of rivers and groundwater, and how climate-driven rain and flooding are fundamentally changing the course of life in the region.

“Nutrient pollution in the state’s precious waterways only continues to increase. Residents are demanding to know more about what is in their drinking water after high profile chemical spills near the Rock and Mississippi Rivers,” said WNIJ News Director Jenna Dooley.

“We’re excited about the chance to collaborate with other stations to provide more intentional coverage of environmental issues that affect everyone in our region. Community responsive and community funded journalism are what makes public radio uniquely positioned to cover this topic,” WNIJ General Manager Staci Hoste said,

WNIJ ReporterJuanpablo Ramirez-Franco will be taking responsibility for the increased environmental reporting.

Learn more about the Mississippi Basin Ag and Water Desk athttps://agwaterdesk.org.

WNIJ 89.5 FM is one of two non-commercial public broadcasting radio stations managed by Northern Public Radio, the broadcast arm of Northern Illinois University, and provides independent, local, national, and international news. The mission of Northern Public Radio is to enrich, inspire, and inform adults in northern Illinois through programs and services that share ideas, encourage thought, give pleasure, and create community.