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Enhancing the Notebook-WHYY partnership

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

WHYY/NewsWorks and the Public School Notebook are putting new resources into our two-year-old partnership to provide in-depth coverage of the Philadelphia public schools for print, radio, and the Web.

Education reporter Ben Herold has become a full-time member of the news staff at WHYY/NewsWorks, the public media service for the Philadelphia region. Herold’s position as a reporter following local education news was previously part-time, based at the Notebook — Philadelphia’s nonprofit education news service — and jointly funded by the two organizations.

Herold’s reports will be regularly available on NewsWorks.org, WHYY’s digital news service, and on WHYY-FM, as well as in the Notebook online and in print.

He will be continuing his in-depth, investigative reporting on Philadelphia schools, while providing some general coverage of regional education issues as well.

"When we launched this partnership in 2010, neither organization had the resources on its own to support an additional reporting position, so we pooled our resources," said Notebook editor Paul Socolar. "We’ve gotten huge value from having Ben Herold on the education beat; we’ve broken a bunch of important stories, and so we’re really pleased to be able to have even more resources to devote to reporting under this new arrangement."

The Notebook will continue to provide editorial support for Herold’s education reporting, as well as work collaboratively with Herold and other WHYY news staffers on projects, such as the major story on evidence of cheating in 53 Philadelphia schools that was published and aired last week. Herold teamed with Notebook contributing editor Dale Mezzacappa on that story.

The Notebook also will use resources freed by Herold’s move to extend and deepen its own award-winning coverage of the Philly schools.

The work of the Notebook-WHYY partnership has been profiled in the New York Times and singled out for praise by J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism at American University.

Education Week, the nation’s newspaper of record for K-12 education, regularly picks up stories produced by the partnership. Notebook/NewsWorks reports on issues like school closings, school turnarounds, and cheating on standardized tests have drawn national attention.

WHYY will provide support to the Notebook in producing photos and informational graphics for its print editions.The two news outlets will collaborate on public events to discuss topics in education.

Herold’s position at WHYY is funded in part by grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and in part by WHYY’s general revenues.

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