100 Best Communities for Young People

Is your community one of the nation’s best places for kids?

America’s Promise Alliance invites you to apply for its 2011 Best Communities for Young People competition, presented by ING. The contest rewards and recognizes communities that make, “…extraordinary efforts to reduce dropout rates and provide outstanding services and support to their youth.”

Winning locations receive special media recognition, support for a local celebration, an online grant search subscription  and more…

Read details about the opportunity and apply here.

Application deadline is May 27, 2011.

Explore an interactive map of the 2010 winning communities:

NCME’s Desire Vincent Attends Launch of UN Women

In February, NCME’s student employee, UW-Madison senior Desire Vincent, was a delegate at the United Nations’ 55th Meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women. Although Desire was not there as an NCME or public media representative, her experience was relevant to some amazing community engagement efforts in public media. ITVS has been doing some great work with their Women’s Empowerment screenings in 2010, and we know more great things are coming soon from them in this arena!

As Desire describes below, what she learned at this globally significant meeting reflects key aspects of successful community engagement efforts. Her realization that being invited to be heard and speaking up could give her a greater appreciation for her own life experience highlights the importance of listeningnot only as a listener, but also from the perspective of those being heard.

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Q&A with WQXR’s Terrance McKnight

While attending the Association of Music Personnel in Public Radio conference in New York, NCME took advantage of nabbing a few minutes with Terrance McKnight, host of WQXR’s All Ears.

Having on-air talent interacting and listening to people in real space in real time is an important part of WQXR’s strategy to develop new audiences for its classical music serv ice. McKnight has a reputation for being particularly engaged in the communities WQXR serves—especially Harlem, where he lives.

In the following Q&A, McKnight describes why community engagement is an essential part of his work and explains how WQXR is a cultural convener in New York City through its Battle of the Boroughs music competition.

Is it important for hosts to be visible in the communities their stations serve?

It’s part of living in the neighborhood [Harlem]. I didn’t just want to explore it from a book. But it’s also about getting out and seeing the voices that don’t listen to us—it’s critical. There are so many media choices. But when you put a face on it, it’s different. I expose people to something they don’t think they have access to or know about. I see myself as connective tissue between the station and the community. It’s a two-way process.

Has the two-way interactions informed your work on-the-air?

Absolutely.  I did a piece on Hazel Scott [wife of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. who was a music prodigy and Harlem Renaissance contributor]. No one knows about this woman. Her story needed telling. A way for me to serve the community is to bring out the highlights of the Harlem Renaissance. And she broke so much ground. To a young person [who doesn’t know she is], it shows “I can do something different.”

Why is classical music still relevant?

Because human emotions don’t change. And the music they wrote—Bach, Mozart, Beethoven—speaks to that. When you listen to it, it crosses centuries and cultures. 

How do you show people classical music is still relevant?

We do Battle of the Boroughs [a band competition]. The beauty of it, it doesn’t feel like a competition. Many of them know about each other, but never talk to each other.

So you’re able to act as a cultural convener?

Yeah. Like a guy who played in Battle of the Boroughs emailed me and said, “I need a violin player—the one who was from the Battle of the Boroughs.” And I can connect them. And by connecting musicians with each other, we hope the music will grow. We’re able to create a different experience of music where nobody feels like an outsider. It’s inclusive.

 

Resources from NPT’s “Next Door Neighbors” Webinar

The face of the nation is changing dramatically as new immigrants and unique cultures combine to create a more diverse America. Public media can play a vital role in bringing diverse neighbors together and building trust and understanding in local communities.

On March 16 we presented a webinar that explored Nashville Public Television’s (NPT) Next Door Neighbors project—an innovative model for engagement that uses documentary film and sustained community relationships to strengthen Nashville’s civic health.

We were joined by:

 

Kevin Crane, vice president of content and technology at NPT

 

John Creighton, a member of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation’s national faculty;

 

 

Remziya Suleyman, policy coordinator at the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition.

 

 

If you missed the presentation, you may view the archive. Or, just review the PowerPoint slides.

You can learn more about Next Door Neighbors by watching this short clip, or visiting the project’s website.

 

Inspire Literacy with “SUPER WHY!”

Join us on Wednesday, March 23 at 1 p.m. ET to learn more about Super Why Reading Camps from the PBS KIDS series SUPER WHY!

Read more and register to attend.

During the one-hour webinar we’ll be joined by representatives from WGBH, WNED, Iowa Public Television and the series’ producers, who will share new resources and advice for how to inspire young readers in your community.

Also, SUPER WHY! will have two life-size character standees to give away as part of drawings during the webinar.

Presenters include:

John Craig
Vice President of Education & Outreach
WNED

Mary Haggerty
Manager, Educational Outreach
WGBH

Trista Peitzman
PK-12 Coordinator
Iowa Public Television

Karen Samnick
Vice President of Marketing
Out of the Blue

 

 

Going the 8 Mile: Community Engagement in Detroit

WDET-FM has a lot to show for its efforts to engage the Detroit metro community. “Truck Stop”—a project that empowers citizens to use anonymous text messaging to report illegal truck driving in low income and historically marginalized communities—is just one way WDET demonstrates its commitment to serve and strengthen Detroit.

The station is also part of an initiative for PRI’s The Takeaway that integrates regionally focused engagement to inform the program’s national content. WDET’s participation helps the series but, perhaps more importantly, it helps the station build local relationships that strengthen its local reporting.

“We’ve been working the last couple of years to make ties in different communities, showing up and acknowledging them,” says Jerome Vaughn, WDET’s news program director. “If you only show up when there’s a shooting, there’s not going to be any trust. So we show up because it shows we do care.”

The station is now finding opportunities for community connection along Detroit’s notorious “8 Mile Road”—a stretch of Michigan highway that starkly divides the city along racial and economic lines. Partnering with a community organization named “Blight Busters,” WDET is structuring a series of community conversations using questions crafted for the purpose of discovering needs and aspirations. It’s a chance for the station to listen (which is a crucial first step of a community engagement strategy) and learn about Detroit communities that are not regular public radio listeners. According to WDET Program Director Ron Jones, building in-person relationships is necessary to fulfill public media’s mission of serving communities:

“They begin to know who we are and we see who they are, and begin to understand what’s important to them.”

Explore other stories of public media’s impact on publicmediamaps.org. Is your station doing great work? Share it with us.

 

Broadcastr: Knowing Where You’ve Been to See Where You Need to Be

Imagine a tool that shows radio stations the areas in communities they’ve visited, and distributes content from places they’ve reported on or from.

Enter Broadcastr, a new social media platform for location-based stories. It enables the recording, indexing, listening and sharing of audio content. The tool is guided by the belief that, just like in human memory, all stories are bound to a place. Broadcastr strives to amplify our collective voice by allowing users to take GPS-enabled walks, during which stories about physical surroundings are available for on-demand streaming.

What are the opportunities for public media?

Radio Milwaukee’s Digital Content Manager Tarik Moody BETA-tested submitting stories for his station’s Make Milwaukee campaign. The process allowed Radio Milwaukee’s producers to post stories from the field and also encouraged engagement with community members by allowing users and audience members to create and upload their own content.

Beyond storytelling, imagine the value of being able to visually map the places to which your news coverage connects. Which neighborhoods are frequently visited? What are the places that rarely receive coverage?

Although still in BETA, Broadcastr offers a robust, searchable site. Give it a visit and explore its features; browse content by categories, or specific locations.

Already using Broadcastr? Let us know! We’d like to highlight your experience to colleagues in the public media system.

Update: On March 10, Broadcastr released an app in iTunes.