Northwest Public Radio Local Content and Services 2015 CPB Report

1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multi platform long and short-form content, digital and in-person engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged.

Northwest Public Radio continually seeks to produce and present well-produced and presented programs which stimulate thinking, encourage discovery and expand horizons. We continue to make strides in local and regional news reporting, most significantly by integrating student journalists into the newsroom. NWPR has also given attention to digital distribution of regional news via internet and mobile devices. News stories are produced with both broadcast and digital sensibilities, to take into account the changing ways our audience access our programming. In addition to its on-air broadcast, NWPR provides free access to content on digital and social media platforms, including our website, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and mobile apps.  Listeners are provided with channels to provide feedback on these platforms, and also through email and a toll-free phone line. NWPR provides a free online community calendar on its website, in which the public can advertise and also learn about arts and community events in the region. Northwest Public Radio continued to support the annual Murrow Symposium events produced by The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.

2. Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, including other public media outlets, community nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you’re connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.

For more than a decade Northwest Public Radio has been a member of the Northwest News Network, sharing news reports with other public media outlets across the region including KUOW, Oregon Public Broadcasting, KPLU, Boise State Radio, KLCC, Jefferson Public Radio and Spokane Public Radio.  NWPR partners with Clover Park Technical College in Tacoma to manage and program KVTI-FM, providing a vital NPR and Classical service in the South Puget Sound region. Similarly, NWPR is in a partnership with the Yakima School District to manage and program KYVT-FM to bring more local and national news coverage to residents in central Washington. NWPR supports bilingual reporting to increase access to journalism in the Hispanic communities of central Washington state, accomplishing it in collaboration with The Yakima Valley Community Foundation, the Knight Foundation and Spanish language public radio station KDNA. In cooperation with The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, NWPR launched jazz station KJEM. Run by a student team under NWPR’s oversight, KJEM provides a unique service to the Pullman/Moscow community, along with learning experiences for journalism and media students.

3. What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase in requests for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served.

Through its partnerships, NWPR continues to have measurable impact within the community. Our reporters were on the front lines as news warranted. Correspondent Anna King’s reports on the police shooting in Pasco and the Washington state wildfires kept listeners informed and up to date not only in the Pacific Northwest, but across the US  as her work was picked up for national distribution by NPR and the BBC.  She also led a major multimedia project “Daughters of Hanford,” which explores through journalism, photography and art, the role women played in the development of the Hanford Nuclear site. The project is on display at THE REACH interpretive center in Richland. NWPR’s bilingual news reporter Rowan Moore Gerety had an extraordinarily productive year. Among his reports: emergency planning regulations that leave farm workers in migrant housing unprotected. He was one of the first to report nationally on the growing practice of paid video visitations in jails. Courtney Flatt continued to break new ground in her environmental reporting, particularly in detailing the intricate efforts by governments, ranchers and scientists to protect the Western Sage Grouse. In another report she detailed the efforts of wildlife detectives to stop illegal and dangerous antler hunting. NWPR reporters provided in-depth analysts of policy, along with breaking news and untold stories throughout the region. In addition to examples like the ones mentioned, Northwest Public Radio continues to be a primary resource for community information about arts and events through our online calendar and the weekly Friday Arts Preview broadcast. NWPR also provides daily information during inclement weather on school closures and delays for the region.

4. Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made to investigate and/or meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2015, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2016. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.

Northwest Public Radio continues its partnership with the Yakima Valley Community Foundation and Spanish language public radio station KDNA to identify the need for bilingual reporting and necessary resources in central Washington. NWPR and its partners were awarded a Knight Foundation grant to hire journalists and develop a bilingual reporting team. The grant and initiative also includes resources to conduct community outreach to assess and ascertain topics of concern in the region for Latino and other potential audiences, and to develop online and mobile device tools to increase the reach and impact of the reporting. NWPR and its partners have created and distributed a survey available in English and Spanish for community members to discover information on topics of greatest interest and need. News reports and stories - produced in English and Spanish - included topics such as rural politics, immigration, the apple industry and education funding. Northwest Public Radio's listening audience continues to grow, indicating the increased appeal of, and need for, its programming. Listener feedback has also guided program changes to be responsive to community needs. Latino USA continues to be a listener favorite, and NWPR added a repeat broadcast this year.  NWPR also added the bilingual music program Concierto. Our online audience also continues to grow rapidly, indicating the multiple ways the community is accessing the information and services we provide.

5. Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn't be able to do if you didn't receive it?

CPB funding through the Community Service Grant is critical for Northwest Public Radio to carry out its public service mission. As is the case with many stations that provide programming to large principally rural areas, NWPR operates on a tight budget.  Serving a vast geography, often times Northwest Public Radio is the only source available for information and emergency notification.  CPB funding assists the station’s ability to provide critical service.  CPB funding is especially important to locally produced news, music and other cultural programming efforts. Without CPB funding, NWPR would be significantly limited in presenting the diverse and responsive programming currently offered. As mentioned earlier, the impact of NWPR’s service and growth of the audience has been noteworthy; meaning the investment of CPB funds continues to have a significant reach to under-served audiences in the region.