About Great Lakes Today

 A regional journalism collaborative


The Great Lakes are one of the most important bodies of water in the world. They are the largest readily accessible source of freshwater on the planet – roughly one-fifth of the earth’s supply. They contain more than 80 percent of North America’s surface water supply. The Great Lakes region is complex and multifaceted; it incorporates much of the historic, cultural and economic story of North America. Yet it has a distinctive and powerful identity.

Great Lakes Today, a new Regional Journalism Collaborative, increases coverage of the iconic lakes and the people who live in the region. Great Lakes Today develops in-depth reports focused on three areas: use and quality of this freshwater resource; economic importance of the region; and future challenges and opportunities.  The initiative engages audiences through radio reporting and digital platforms.

WNED | WBFO Buffalo-Toronto leads this news operation with partner stations WXXI in Rochester, N.Y. and ideastream in Cleveland, Ohio. The team of journalists, led by a managing editor, produces stories for partner stations, other Great Lakes public media outlets, and national public media partners such as National Public Radio. 

The team generates news spots and interviews, but the focus is on long-form reports and series. Most are timed to fit into news magazine slots; reporters are also available for interviews on local public affairs shows. Reports have been featured on nationally distributed shows such as All Things Considered and Here & Now.

The collaborative will also reach out for reports from the more than 45 public radio and television stations in the Great Lakes region, expand and diversify the stories presented.  Stories are distributed via PRX and aggregated under Great Lakes Today.

Major funding for Great Lakes Today is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.