Central Current is establishing its newsroom at the broadcast headquarters of WCNY in Syracuse’s near west side neighborhood.

The newsroom will be in a dynamic community space that will also serve as a café and venue for engaging public officials and other news figures.

WCNY is a public media enterprise serving Central New York by broadcasting PBS, NPR news, music and public affairs programming. In 2013, WCNY opened its new headquarters at 415 West Fayette Street after converting an old warehouse and industrial site. The redevelopment includes a ground-floor space that will become the Central Current newsroom, which was designed to include a community café and events space with easy parking and access for the public.

Central Current’s newsroom will also include office space and an environment for Central Current’s journalists and staff to work when not covering news and events in the community. In addition, colocating at WCNY’s broadcast studios will allow opportunities to collaborate with WCNY’s producers and journalists. Central Current plans to launch its online publication in 2022.

“Utilizing the space designed for the public will be key to fulfilling Central Current’s commitment to community engagement in its editorial process,” said Julie McMahon, Central Current’s editor-in-chief. “It provides a unique opportunity for the public to meet journalists and news makers and talk to them about the issues that impact our region.” 

“WCNY is proud to colocate with Central Current because of the access this will provide for the community and ability to support local and community journalism,” said WCNY President and CEO Mitch Gelman. “Public media was designed to help provide accurate information to our citizens and we wish Central Current great success in this effort.”

While remaining independent organizations, WCNY and Central Current will partner to create multimedia news content that will be distributed across Central Current’s digital platforms and WCNY’s broadcast channels. The newsroom and café are located adjacent to WCNY’s radio studios, and those who visit the space will be able to watch and participate in broadcast productions.

“We are very grateful for the support that Central Current has been shown by our local public broadcaster, WCNY, and its President and CEO, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mitch Gelman,” says Central Current board member and cofounder Larry Bousquet. “This is the kind of partnership that can demonstrate the impact journalism can have on a local community.”

In a collaboration already underway, Central Current board member and Newhouse School professor emeritus Capt. Roosevelt “Rick” Wright, Ph.D. is working with WCNY to redevelop its HD radio channels into news and public affairs programming.

 “The potential for collaborating on broadcasts, podcasts, and multimedia presentation of the issues that matter to Central New York are endless,” said Wright.

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Eric Persons is an independent consultant. He helped the Central Current, Inc. founders launch the nonprofit.

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