Illinois Public Media’s Democracy Series

Ahead of Illinois’ April 2019 municipal elections WILL worked with three high school classrooms and 80 adult community members to develop local candidate questionnaires that met the specific needs of municipalities in our listening area. IIllinois Public Media (IPM) partnered with community organizations on events that facilitated civil discourse, increased media literacy, democratized editorial decision-making, inspired civic action, and educated young Illinoisans. This “Democracy Series” was designed to demonstrate that public media is uniquely equipped to facilitate dialog about local concerns.

CoastLine – Beneath the Surface

Beneath the Surface is a 12-month series on WHQR’s locally produced program CoastLine focusing on civil discourse. Members of the community engage in a roundtable style conversation, one that is lively and respectful, and explores a range of topics. The program focuses on understanding how lived experiences shape people’s views and, hopefully helps participants become better listeners who are more comfortable spending time with people with different perspectives.

Catalyst Radio

Catalyst Radio is a weekly public affairs program produced by Grand Rapids (MI) Community Media Center. CMC’s Catalyst Radio features interviews with organizations and people working on social change, community support, and media issues. This effort is a partnership between The Rapidian, an online platform for community journalism and WYCE, an independent, community radio station in Grand Rapids.

The Reno Arch was erected in 1926 and remained in place until 1963. KUNR’s segment "Time & Place" has highlighted various topics about the history of Northern Nevada

Time & Place

Time & Place is a regular segment on KUNR in which historian Alicia Barber presents narratives and voices from the past, focusing on the rich and diverse heritage of Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. Alicia has produced roughly 50 segments on a wide range of topics, including Reno’s unique gambling and divorce industries, along with historical examination of how racism and sexism have shaped current civic life. Digital reporters from the University of Nevada’s School of Journalism create audiograms of these stories for social media.

Deep Dive

Maine Public’s Deep Dive is a space for complex, in-depth, high impact reporting. The first edition focused on childcare issues in the state, and utilized the entire 18-member news team to create web, radio and TV stories. Maine Calling, the local talk show, broadcast two editions that opened and closed the series. The station developed a communications plan to inform the audience, politicians and other stakeholders. The capstone moment was a public event at Portland Public Library where reporters discussed their work and took questions from the public.

Youth Reporting Institute

Each summer, WUNC hires a diverse team of high schoolers, gives them microphones and trains them to tell us stories about their community. It’s been a majority-minority reporting team in each of its 8 years. Youth Reporters are paid, and for many, this is their first job that doesn’t involve a deep-fat fryer or manual labor. WUNC staff host weekly career development sessions (with pizza and soda) to talk about working in public media. In 2018, youth produced stories about mass shootings, mental health, housing insecurity and why so many Hispanics in our community drop out of high school.

Shaping Narratives

WGVU’s “Shaping Narratives” partners with community organizations to recruit and engage leaders of color in West Michigan to tell their own stories. The station’s “inclusion reporter” created and led three ten-week training modules on decolonizing media, video and audio production, and reaching target audiences through various media platforms. Each participant crafted a TV episode for broadcast as part of season of local narratives. The net result is that participants now know how to produce a cinematic TV show, create a podcast, mount an influencer campaign, and design events and community structures around their work.

“I just want to testify…”

To celebrate the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, PBS in Topeka created this two-hour community conversation with students and teachers from the segregation era. Shot in a modern-day Cinema Verite’ style on a single day in 2019, students and teachers from the four segregated Black schools in Topeka talked about their lives prior to and after integration. The five-part series included: Growing up in Topeka’s Black Community; Family, Friends, Neighbors; School and You (Segregation); School and You (Integration); and After-effects (outcomes, impact).

Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge is a special, two-part feature series, published by the Highlands Current, focused on people and families living on “survival budgets” in the MidHudson Valley in New York. The series was inspired by the “ALICE Report” (asset-limited, income-restrained, employed), a United Way study that showed many people in thisregion cannot come up with $400 for an emergency expenses. The Highlands Current decided to try to put the story of real people behind those statistics.