For a few years now, our Community Advisory Board has been working with our staff on an initiative to bring community organizations into the station to teach us about their work. The initiative, called Ascertainment, brings the story to the reporter instead of the reporter to the story. Each month, the CAB will invite 2-4 organizations – usually non-profits – to come into the station and present to our producers and reporters. The reporters and producers then have contacts they can use when working on stories and ideas for future stories based on what is happening in the surrounding communities.
We’ve also expanded the program recently to include Outreach, which brings the presentations back to the organizations and visiting, touring, learning about other non-profits at their locations. These tours usually include representatives of station leadership, Board members, CAB members, and volunteers. These visits also focus more on how we can collaborate as leaders in the community to solve mutual problems and reach common goals.