The difference pubcasting makes for a community in crisis

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On a personal visit to the village of Yellow Springs, Ohio, CPB Ombudsman Ken Bode sat in on a live call-in show produced by WYSO-FM, an NPR News and contemporary music station located on the campus of Antioch College. The station broadcasts to a west-central region of Ohio that has been designated by the Treasury Department as among those critically affected by the mortgage crisis, Bode reports, and has received special assistance from CPB and NPR to ramp up its reporting on housing foreclosures. “This is our Katrina,” Neenah Ellis, a veteran pubradio producer who took over as WYSO manager in February, tells Bode. “The problem is larger in this area than elsewhere and larger than generally perceived, she explained, also difficult for both the public and the people trapped in it to understand.” Bode offers a detailed account of WYSO’s coverage as a microcosm of the work that’s being done at pubcasting stations around the country and concludes: “These are remarkable stories reflecting strong reporting, gripping storytelling and a deep sense of community service.” WYSO’s reportage for My House: Facing the Mortgage Crisis, posted here, will be packaged into a one-hour special airing later this month.

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