Northwest Public Radio Local Content and Services 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 quality programs that expand horizons, stimulate thinking and encourage discovery.  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 smart phones.  News stories must be produced for digital as well as broadcast distribution so audiences have access to programming in a variety of methods. In addition to its on-air broadcast, NWPR provides free access to content on digital and social media platforms such as a website, Facebook, twitter, tumblr and smart phone apps.  Listeners have access to provide feedback through these communication channels as well as email and toll free phone lines.  NWPR provides a free online community calendar via its website where the public can advertise and also learn about community and other events in the region. This past year Northwest Public Radio sponsored events all across the region to engage the general public including partnering with The Broadway Center for Performing Arts in Tacoma to bring the NPR program From the Top to the Rialto Theater, highlighting and fostering the talent of youth and bringing great musical performances to the community. Northwest Public Radio continued its support of the annual Murrow Symposium events in Seattle and Pullman

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.

Northwest Public Radio seeks to connect with communities across the region.  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 has partnered 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, and in a similar fashion NWPR has partnered with Yakima School District to manage and program KYVT-FM to bring more local and national news service to residents in central Washington.  NWPR has partnered  with The Yakima Valley Community Foundation, The Knight Foundation and Spanish language public radio station KDNA in a bilingual reporting collaborative to increase access to journalism in the Hispanic communities of central Washington state. NWPR in cooperation with The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at WSU launched a new jazz radio station.  With oversight by NWPR, and run by a student team, KJEM provides a unique  service to the Pullman/Moscow community, and also provides 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.

Northwest Public Radio through its partnerships continues to have measurable impact within the community.  News reporter Anna King continued her award-winning coverage of central Washington, highlighted by dozens of pieces examining the failure of the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River and the impact on the recreational and farming communities that border the river.  She also continues to lead the region in reporting on the continuing cleanup work at the country’s most toxic site, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.   Reporter Courtney Flatt broke new ground with unique reporting on such varied topics as how climate change affects migrant workers and what such change means for ice climbing in the Pacific Northwest.  She also monitored the battle over proposed species protection for the western sage grouse and through her reports, took listeners on a journey to the coulee country of north central Washington to listen for the rare spotted bat.  NWPR helped promote and present music and culture events around the region including the ICCA Chamber Music Festival in Leavenworth, the Yakima Town Hall speaker series, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival on the campus of the University of Idaho, and the Seattle Jewish Chorale’s Season Finale Concert.

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. 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 2013, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2014. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.

Northwest Public Radio partnered with the Yakima Valley Community Foundation and Spanish language public radio station KDNA to identify a need of bilingual reporting and necessary resources in central Washington.  NWPR and its partners were successfully 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 asses and ascertain topics of concern in the region for Latino and other potential audiences and to develop online and smartphone tools to increase the reach and impart of the reporting.  NWPR and its partner 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 have included topics such a rural politics, immigration,  the apple industry and education funding. Northwest Public Radio's listening audience continues to grow indicating increased appeal and need for its programming.  Listener feedback has also guided program changes to be responsive to community needs.  NWPR added Latino USA Our audience increase online also continues to grow at a rapid rate indicating the multiple ways information and services are being consumed by the community.

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.  CPB funding is especially important then to local production of news, music and other cultural programming efforts.  Without CPB funding, our NWPR's service would be significantly limited in the diverse and responsive programming we present.  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.