Telling Public Media's Story
Questions from the essay portion of the Station Activities Survey from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. These are KRCC's answers for the 2014 grant cycle.
1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multiplatform 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.
KRCC’s local news department aims to cover the region’s immediate events in fact-based broadcasts, and, when warranted, follow-up stories analyze the policies and aftermath of local, regional and national events, such as “Railroads West,” winner of the Colorado Broadcasters Association award for Best News Feature. Partnership with Rocky Mountain Community Radio makes coverage of legislation from Colorado’s state capitol possible through the Capitol Coverage Project, thus increasing the public’s awareness of the state democratic process, and the greater national importance of those decisions.
Our emphasis on digital services is allowing KRCC to accept questions and commentary from the public, post story transcripts and photos/videos, and archive material for our listener’s convenience and future reference. The geographic area of the KRCC and RMCR terrestrial signals is further expanded worldwide through KRCC’s web and podcast content.
KRCC cultural affairs programming produces in-depth coverage through the hour-long stories of “The Big Something” and “Wish We Were Here” – winner of the Colorado Broadcasters Association award for Best Mini Documentary – “by choosing one pinpoint on the map of southern Colorado as the archetype for the American experience as a whole.”
KRCC’s activities include numerous live events, such as the annual Blues Under the Bridge Festival, that engage multi-generational, and multi-ethnic audiences.
Educational and community resources are involved in our broadcast mission in nearly all levels of day-to-day activities with student internships, interviews and workshops with visiting writers and dignitaries, for-profit and non-profit partnerships, community calendar listings and free public service announcements on air. KRCC is a hub of information that addresses, as completely as possible, the ideas and issues that matter to Coloradans, and on occasion, national broadcast audiences.
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.
KRCC continues its partnership in Rocky Mountain Community Radio, a coalition of 18 public radio stations located throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. The old adage about “strength in numbers” certainly applies here as this consociation allows KRCC, and many other smaller stations with far fewer resources, the ability to embed a competent reporter in the state capitol, thus providing direct coverage of what is occurring in the Colorado Legislature to a collective and sizable listening audience.
In the coming year, KRCC plans to strengthen further its alliance with a group of local educational institutions and media outlets including: Rocky Mountain PBS; the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; Pikes Peak Community College; and the Pikes Peak Library District. The library partnership is based in the Tim Gill Center for Public Media building, located just a short distance from the KRCC studios. A recently completed joint project (“36 Views of Pikes Peak”) that involved KRCC, the Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS, the Pikes Peak Library District and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, was a success in terms of public participation and appreciation.
KRCC has strong bonds with numerous local non-profit groups and organizations. We invite all of them to participate on the KRCC Community Calendar by submitting public service announcements, which we then air and list online. KRCC is continuing its association with Peak Radar, the media extension of The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR). This provides a great complement to our non-profit events calendar, making listeners aware of many additional arts and culture happenings in the region. KRCC has recently partnered with the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society in order to bring a weekly educational program to the airwaves (also available as a podcast with transcripts on our website) that enlightens listeners about the local / regional night skies.
KRCC utilizes unsold air time (underwriting inventory) in the form of sponsorship packages that serve the needs of various aspects and segments of the community including economic development, the arts, environment, children, fundraising events, etc. A partial list of community agencies and businesses that benefit from these sponsorship packages include: CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children); Care & Share Food Bank; TESSA (organization for the prevention of domestic abuse); Pikes Peak Community Foundation; Trails and Open Space Coalition; Southern Colorado Aids Project; Colorado Springs Young Professionals; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; Colorado Springs Chorale; Colorado Springs Dance Theatre; Colorado Springs Philharmonic; Economic Development in Trinidad, Colorado, Pioneers Museum; Pikes Peak Writers, and Colorado Springs Science Foundation.
KRCC promotes philanthropy in general in our community by partnering and providing airtime for events such as the Empty Stocking Fund and the Indy Give Campaign. Environmentally, KRCC has partnered with Blue Star Recyclers in order to provide on-site events that encourage the recycling of electronics, etc.
KRCC continues to provide internship opportunities to students of various colleges and universities, from Alabama to Colorado, including those of our licensee, Colorado College.
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.
With the advent and growth of broadband delivery systems, localization of programming has become the key initiative for KRCC. Locally based partnerships have become a vital ingredient in formulating quality programming that is relevant to our broadcast community, and the relevance of these news and legislative events, cultural affairs, and artistic performances has resulted in steady fundraising efforts for KRCC and the partnering organizations alike. Investigative stories about Colorado water issues in conjunction with the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, continuing coverage about interstate rail transportation issues in “Railroad West,” and/or military expansion issues surrounding the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site all have local importance and sizable audiences from diverse backgrounds. KRCC’s hour-long cultural affairs episodes have focused on issues affecting marginalized communities and individuals in the region (the homeless, trans and intersex people, children of LGBT parents in Colorado Springs, exploited miners in the Colorado coal fields during the early 20th century), and have sought to incorporate these perspectives in ways that go beyond what one typically hears on the radio. Live on-air announcements of over 3,000 public-service announcements last year alone have generated interest and participation in hundreds of non-profit events and educational opportunities, and partnership with the Colorado Springs Independent newspaper’s end-of-year charitable IndyGive campaign gave non-profits a voice that allowed them to raise their profiles and improve service to their constituents.
The impact of KRCC’s initiatives are evidenced in local artists like musician Inaiah Lujan of the Haunted Windchimes who says, “KRCC has always played our music and (they) were a big part of us performing on Garrison Keillor’s ‘A Prairie Home Companion,’ ” or from Kristy Milligan, director of the Tim Gill Center for Public Media, who states, “ … (KRCC staff are) active, productive members of the Media Collaborative, a one-of-a-kind collective which leverages citizen journalism and shared resources to advance public media opportunities and programs in the region… . (KRCC and the Tim Gill Center for Public Media) work together on key promotional initiatives, developing compelling local content and bolstering ties between public media entities across the state to allow for maximum cooperation.”
Public radio is, by its nature, a public service, and KRCC is making every effort to be connected to the public in our broadcast 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.
KRCC offers programming, ranging from a local perspective to a national scope, that addresses the needs of diverse minorities. The station endeavors to deliver current and timely news and relevant information to those communities. Our recently launched, locally produced feature program "Wish We Were Here" is already award winning and has addressed the gay and transgendered communities in just its first several episodes. We also carry a nationally syndicated program titled "This Way Out," which offers historical / current news of interest to the gay community. We also offer programming geared to the Hispanic community in "Latino USA." We are searching for additional Hispanic-related programing to replace the recently retired Spanish news show "Radio Ahora" (which unfortunately ceased production). We also carry a program titled "Voices From The Circle," geared to the Native American population. For the black community we offer news / arts / culture programming of interest with shows like "Snap Judgment," "Afro Pop," and "Tavis Smiley," as well as locally produced music shows that incorporate reggae, soul, blues and jazz, and are in fact hosted by volunteers, several of whom are men and women of color. We also have a local music show that features music from just about every country on the planet. This program is hosted by a young man of Inupiaq descent (a people native to northern Alaska).
KRCC provides numerous PSAs that encourage the connection of people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults with competent and willing teachers and tutors.
KRCC continues its news programing of interviews with diverse local officials, college professors and other members of the community that address various topics of inclusion and diversity.
In addition, KRCC makes an effort to bring live music and cultural events that speak to citizens from ethnic minorities, as well as the general public, underscoring our common interests and passions. In the past we have brought in bands from Central and South America and later this year we will stage the 8th annual "Blues Under the Bridge Festival," which features performers from the back roads of the Delta to the streets of Chicago, paying tribute to the power of music for us all.
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?
Funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting allows KRCC to fund local initiatives on both the news and cultural affairs fronts. CPB funding also makes possible national and international broadcasts from National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and American Public Media. The information and resources available to KRCC through over 22 NPR, PRI and APM that we air are integral to overall success of the station. Additionally, we’re able to start local initiatives, like Wish We Were Here and Looking Up, and regional collaborations with groups like Rocky Mountain Community Radio, all through the support of the CPB.