Local that Works spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations and nonprofit and digital news organizations in the U.S. LTW includes an annual contest and a database (below). LTW produces webinars that offer insights into projects and organizations that are reshaping local civic journalism.
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“By Every Measure” is an episodic podcast exploring systemic racism, locally. The series examines Milwaukee’s racial inequities through the lenses of data, policy, storytelling and problem-solving.
The Recording Inclusivity Initiative addresses the scarcity of classical music composers from historically excluded communities heard on the radio airwaves across the USA by producing new recordings.
Every weekday morning, Interlochen Public Radio (IPR) presents Kids Commute, an interactive exploration of classical music centered around weekly themes (such as mermaids, opera and elephants) that are designed to educate and entertain the youngest listeners. Kids Commute also explores ballets, their stories, and the music that goes along with them. This interactive radio experience delivers strategies for early childhood artistic development that can be easily replicated in a variety of genres.
Grace Weber’s Music Lab (GWML) is a free monthly music education program and talent accelerator for Milwaukee area high schoolers, providing opportunities to refine performance skills, build connections between engaged and talented young people, expose participants to the multiple career opportunities available in creative industries and to participate in performances and talks. This program is critical to meeting the growing and changing needs of our city and youth. Grace Weber’s Music Lab reaches kids with art forms that are increasingly relevant and central to their lives, including diverse music from hip-hop to alternative to spoken word.
The RadioWest Book Club brings listeners together to read and talk about books and has proven to be a great way to reach new audiences, engage with librarians, scholars and other community partners and create an enduring podcast of the monthly club discussions.
Part performance and part conversation, Songversations feature live music and interviews from the comfort of home. Each Tuesday and Thursday at noon (on Facebook Live and WFAE.org), Joni Deutsch (host of WFAE’s award-winning Amplifier podcast) sits down with some of Charlotte’s brightest music-makers for a transparent conversation about the impact of COVID-19 on the local music community, including the challenges and newfound perspective the pandemic has presented to creatives both personally and professionally.
KBBI AM 890 is hosted an on-air remote ‘Concert on YOUR Lawn’ Fundraiser – a socially distant homage to our Concert On The Lawn days and an opportunity for us to celebrate our amazing listener-supporters. Throughout the two days, listeners heard the regular shows they love as well as live music, KBBI testimonies and giveaways all culminating in the Concert on Your Lawn event with local musicians broadcasting from their homes.
Valley Public Radio launches a new broadcast series and podcast dedicated to rediscovering the short stories of Pulitzer Prize winning author and Fresno native William Saroyan. The program features acclaimed authors reading the works and discussing their relevance to our lives in the COVID-19 era.
“Get Lit with All Of It” is a virtual book club in partnership with the New York Public Library (NYPL) that has become a source of culture, connection and community for New Yorkers even as we remain apart. Participants access each month’s book for free using the NYPL app (with thousands of extra e-copies made available for a free 3-week download) and each month, Alison Stewart hosts a livestream book club event with the featured author, special musical guests and experts who put the themes of the books in a cultural context. “Get Lit” has helped “All of It” reach a larger audience than ever before, and of the top 10 checkouts from the NYPL from March-August 2020, three are are “Get Lit” books.
“By Every Measure”
Our mission is to be a catalyst for a more inclusive and engaged Milwaukee. And Milwaukee cannot be inclusive or fully engaged until the systems of racism that have been built up for centuries are torn down and rebuilt equitably. Milwaukee is known for its historic exclusion of the Black community and was named one of the “worst cities for Black Americans.” For many in Milwaukee, opportunities are lacking while disparities abound.
To double down on our commitment to making a more inclusive Milwaukee, Radio Milwaukee created “By Every Measure”, a six-part podcast exploring systemic racism in various sectors of Milwaukee; host Tarik Moody teamed up with Reggie Jackson, an award-winning data expert and research journalist, for a thorough examination of these disparities. The series explains how certain systems, propelled by racism, laid the foundation for the inequity still seen today.
The premiere episode covered the topic of systemic racism, providing baseline knowledge for listeners and a lens by which to inspect subsequent topics. The remaining five episodes examined: the criminal justice system; housing; the wealth gap; education; and health. Episodes were released weekly and broadcast on 88.9FM. The full-length episodes are also available on all common podcast platforms (Apple, Spotify, NPR, etc.).
Along with each episode, discussion guides and reflection prompts were provided at www.radiomilwaukee.org/measure. These guides encouraged listeners to have both internal and external dialogues, utilizing these conversations as part of their personal action plans for creating a more just and equitable Milwaukee. Based on the reception of and engagement with the podcast, we also hosted two six-week series of conversation clubs that allowed for small-group discussion, utilizing the content of these guides and episodes.
While we hope that “By Every Measure” will inspire immediate action and discussion with listeners, we also supported that work through a series of culminating community events that built on the topics covered in each episode and facilitated dialogue with attendees. We worked with five partners on this event series including the Sentencing Project, the Brookings Institution, the Institute for Policy Studies/Inequality.org, Rush University, and West Side United.
“By Every Measure” recently received the gold medal for Best Podcast from the Milwaukee Press Club. Season two of “By Every Measure” is in production and will be released in early 2022.
The intended impact of “By Every Measure” is to inspire Milwaukeeans to take direct action in the fight against racism. That will happen at many levels: personally through self-reflection and education, socially through dialogues with peers and community-wide through the support of anti-racist organizations, voting habits and participation in larger movements.
To ensure that we achieved this impact, we set concrete goals. Below is a sampling of those goals and results.
Goal: 750 users will download each episode
Introducing: By Every Measure – 1,459 downloads
Systemic Racism – 4,421 downloads
Criminal Justice – 2,898 downloads
Housing – 2,368 downloads
Racial Wealth Gap – 2,045 downloads
Education – 1,929 downloads
Health – 2,895 downloads
Total – 18,015 downloads
Goal: 100 people will engage in meaningful discussion during an event
Given the success of the podcast, we increased our goal from one event to six, plus convened two regular conversation clubs.
Criminal Justice – 1,056 views
Housing – 855 views
Racial Wealth Gap – 1,636 views
Education – 1,727 views
Healthcare – 1,211 views
Your Questions Answered – 79 views
Conversation Clubs – 51 consistent attendees
Said one attendee “I plan to visit more Black-owned businesses/shops/restaurants in person. And now that I’m more informed about MKE’s history, it’s easier for me to broach certain topics with people to ensure they understand why MKE is the way it is and how it’s changing."
“By Every Measure” has helped Radio Milwaukee secure $70,000 in funding from institutional supporters and continues to be an impactful project for funders. We are also working to secure sponsors for season two of the podcast.