NET was in various parts of the state routinely doing production work and some community engagement. Like many state networks it is not easy to “be local” – you have to be very intentional or you find that you become a bit insular. Our goals were simple – to cluster many activities within a short period of time in a few areas each spring and fall for maximum impact.
To date, we have visited 22 towns and held 61 screenings, town talks, kids events, radio shows and met face to face with thousands of people across Nebraska. Our social media reach has more than quadrupled as well as stories about NET in newspapers across the state.
NET partnered with libraries to extend our educational reach to parents and children in each community by presenting Ready to Learn activities paired with screenings and character visits. We feature our local programs with live audiences for television shows like Backyard Farmer, the longest running locally produced program (65 +years) as well as Big Red Wrap Up (sports show) and a variety of our local documentaries, the latest being “Follow the Water” about where our water comes from in Nebraska.
There’s also a radio component with our arts/culture local radio program “Friday Live” featuring local musicians.
Lastly, we set up “town talks” to include leaders, businesses and other organizations in every community for an informal discussion around their towns challenges and successes. This has uncovered many topics that our news team has done feature stories on, not only reflecting back to the state at large issues of concern or successes but also giving us a deeper understanding of things that are often just under the radar and might not be discovered were it not for these listening sessions.