Why we matter

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2020 ain’t over yet, but I suspect we’re all counting down the days. There’s been so much uncertainty and anxiety in our lives. COVID-19. Lockdowns. Job losses. Furloughs. Pay cuts. Elections.

But in the midst of the chaos, there have also been signs of hope. Public media is resilient. We’re adapting to a new normal. We’re deepening service to our communities. And we’re supporting one another along the way.

Here’s how Current has supported you. Our small team provided a steady flow of news coverage and commentaries. Many of the stories required weeks of diligent work by our reporters and editors.

Current has covered the impact of the pandemic on our system. How public TV stations are providing access to programming and digital learning resources to homebound students. How station staffers emerged as essential workers sharing critical information and telling stories that kept people connected in a time of isolation. How public media institutions are adjusting to revenue shortfalls and investing coronavirus relief funds to sustain this important work.

We covered the ways public media institutions and staffs are responding to racial justice movements in-house and in the streets. Some of these stories have delved into workplace climate issues that have led to painful soul-searching, formal investigations and changes in leadership. We’ve chronicled the growing unionization movement at stations and the hirings and promotions of BIPOC employees.

As conferences were canceled or went virtual, Current helped keep our community connected. We partnered on popular webinars to engage you in the pressing issues of 2020 ­— the pandemic and diversity, equity and inclusion, with a focus on what’s working.

Current and Public Media Futures adapted our annual Local that Works contest to produce a virtual gala spotlighting exceptional service and accountability journalism to reach diverse audiences. For the first time, a scrappy nonprofit news organization reporting on immigrants won the grand prize. The takeaway from Sahan Journal’s win is that public media can do more to engage immigrants in our communities.

As your independent, trustworthy trade publication, Current aims to hold a mirror up to the changing field of public media to show us who and where we are, and where we might go to advance our mission. Current’s work supporting this field simply cannot happen without your support, and we are counting on your contribution to propel us into the new year.

Current is fortunate to be included in the annual NewsMatch campaign that doubles your donation to us. This year is especially important. Like you, Current has also seen declines in revenue. Still, we have ambitions for the new year: deeper coverage and online engagement opportunities. When you give to Current, you give back to public media. On behalf of our hardworking team, I thank you in advance for your generosity.

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