An Indiana public radio news station will be doubling down its efforts to reach even more listeners thanks to a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
The $983,000 grant to Indianapolis-based WFYI will allow its radio and TV stations to continue leading the America Amplified 2.0 public media program that is designed to meaningfully address local news and information needs through solid journalism practices. The initiative builds on the success of the first America Amplified, a CPB-supported partnership with public media outlets across the country.
Launched in 2019 to help strengthen public media’s ability to better incorporate community and citizen perspectives into the nation’s election coverage, the partnership also helped shape public media coverage of the coronavirus. One such venture under the previous grant was the establishment of weekly call-in radio shows co-hosted by public radio stations in different parts of the U.S.
With this current round of funding, WFYI plans to establish a team that will develop community engagement journalism practices at 20 public media stations around the country, with a particular focus on those parts of the nation that are often underserved by media.
“At WFYI, we believe engagement is the key to expanding audiences and deepening impact through all our public media platforms,” said WFYI President and CEO Greg Petrowich. “We’re pleased to have this opportunity to work with our colleagues at other stations to strengthen the role public media plays in their communities and learn from our shared experiences.”
As part of the 18-month grant, a four-person team hosted by WFYI will develop and implement community engagement journalism strategies alongside participating public media stations. According to WFYI, stations will be grouped in peer learning groups based on their shared interests. Subgrants will be distributed directly to those stations to fund their engagement initiatives.
“America Amplified demonstrated that community engagement is vital to public media journalism and a key to the trust that people place in their local public media stations,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president, journalism, radio and community service grant services. “CPB is proud to support this initiative, which will extend engaged journalism across the system, enable stations to be more responsive to their audiences and foster public trust.”