Political news from Michigan’s WKAR goes mobile with new app

WKAR-TV in East Lansing, Mich., will make content from a weekly state politics and public affairs show available via a mobile app funded by a grant from the Investigative News Network. The scope of WKAR’s proposed app helped it stand out among a pool of 48 applicants, said Kevin Davis, c.e.o. and executive director of INN. “What made it unique was that the app was focused more on a program rather than on general content,” Davis said. “It was quite niche.” (Disclosure: Current is contracting with INN for web development services.)

The weekly show, Off the Record, has provided coverage of Michigan affairs for 43 years, aided in part by WKAR’s location near the state capital. The half-hour broadcast is supplemented by OTR Extra, a live webcast featuring additional discussions among the show’s guests.

Pubcasters win four UNITY Awards for commitment to cultural diversity

Over half of this year’s RTDNA/UNITY Awards went to pubcasters, including a public TV station. WKAR-TV in East Lansing, Mich., won the award for small-market television for a documentary about racial tensions surrounding the 1975 trials of two Filipina Veterans Administration Hospital nurses. In the radio division, Seattle’s KUOW won among large-market entries with its report “Black in Seattle,” while Alabama Public Radio won the award for small-market stations with the  story “Remembering 1963,” produced as part of a civil rights radio project. Public Radio International picked up the award for network radio for its series Global Nation: Stories of a Changing America. The UNITY awards are sponsored by UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, a coalition comprising the Asian American Journalism Association, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association. Awardees are recognized for demonstrating an ongoing commitment to covering cultural diversity in their communities.