Building diverse teams is foundational to serving audiences better

When Maiken Scott interned at a public radio station in the late 1990s, she was told by several staff members she probably would never do on-air work, since English was her second language. Her accent would get in the way. She felt discouraged, but started working as a producer, behind the scenes, with a commitment to making public radio a place where all kinds of different voices could be heard. 

Today, Maiken hosts The Pulse, a weekly health and science show distributed by PRX to 80+ stations across the country, including New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Boston, Houston and soon, Washington, D.C. And her dedication to featuring a diverse range of voices and perspectives has stayed the same. 

For Maiken, it starts with a diverse team that reflects the community of listeners

The Pulse team includes reporters and producers whose varied backgrounds create stimulating discussions about topics and stories. The show’s perspectives emanate from lived experiences among the team — combat deployment, growing up in crammed multi-generational households, racism and immigration, just to mention a few. 

The team’s diversity has led to rich insights and stories featured on the show, and the commitment to inclusivity is also reflected in the choice of guests and experts. Having strong connections to many different communities proved especially important during the pandemic, when existing health disparities became so much more apparent. 

In the health space, The Pulse has covered fairness in vaccine rollouts, diversity in med schools, and how institutions could attract and retain more students of color. The show has explored the lack of health data when it comes to Asian Americans, and how a kidney function measurement affects Black patients’ chances of getting a kidney transplant. 

In the science realm, the show recently explored how scientists are dealing with an increasingly crowded radio spectrum; who has access to high-speed internet, and who doesn’t; our efforts to listen to space to get a better understanding of our universe; and why working with your hands seems to deliver a sense of calm. 

The show tracks source diversity in terms of race, ethnicity and gender on a weekly basis — and the numbers reflect the makeup of the U.S. population.

The Pulse resonates with listeners, and is uniquely prepared to cover topics that matter, with a goal of ensuring listeners feel informed, empowered and engaged.

“The Pulse is fascinating. Their approaches to health, science and innovation reporting really add to what you think you already know. The interview and reporting segments are intelligent and top-notch, and our listeners value the new things they learn whenever they tune-in.”

-Jeff Ramirez, Vice President, KERA, Dallas

Find answers to questions you never knew you had. Expand your health and science coverage by adding The Pulse to your schedule.  The program is available via PRX. Contact Steve Martin [email protected] 703.715.0827.