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WKAR Public Media Joins the America Amplified Election 2024 Initiative to Build Civic Literacy ahead of Elections

America Amplified from WFYI Public Media with WKAR PBS NPR
WFYI Public Media, WKAR-MSU

East Lansing, MI; February 20, 2024 – WKAR Public Media announced today that it has joined America Amplified, a public media journalism initiative that focuses on listening to the community in the reporting process and boosting election literacy. The initiative, which seeks to help Americans in all 50 states navigate the voting process, is hosted by WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

WKAR will use community engagement journalism practices to combat the spread of misinformation and distrust in media while also sharing audience-focused resources on voting information.

“As a public media station, WKAR is committed to filling gaps in civic education and ensuring that voting information is accurate at the local level,” said Ashlee Smith, senior director of content and education at WKAR. “As local news sources decline and disinformation creates confusion about elections, we believe that America Amplified will help us respond effectively to those challenges.”

Stations participating in America Amplified will receive virtual training and coaching to map an effective strategy for serving their audiences, using the Hearken platform to answer questions from their audience and communities. America Amplified will also incorporate lessons learned from the 2022 midterm elections project, where 30 stations across 25 states responded to community questions about how, where and when to vote. In the 2024 election, stations will answer those questions on multiple platforms.

“New resources will help us be strategic in informing the community about upcoming elections,” said Amy Robinson, news director at WKAR. “With community input we can tailor our efforts to serve our diverse audiences ahead of what promises to be a dynamic election season."

Mid-Michigan residents will start seeing questions associated with elections this February. Additionally, through the initiative WKAR staff will develop and distribute resources on voting, election information and responses to community concerns. Public questions will also be shared with WKAR’s newsroom to inform reporting on local concerns and foster civil conversation about potential solutions.

WKAR will be seeking to partner with community-based groups. These partners will help solicit questions and input from the community, as well as distribute resources about election processes, voter registration and researching candidates.

For WKAR’s full election coverage, visit wkar.org/2024-election.

About America Amplified
America Amplified is based at WFYI in Indianapolis and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with the aim of supporting community engaged journalism in public media. Originally launched in 2019, the initiative also helped shape public media coverage of the pandemic to include perspectives from communities across the country. In 2021 and 2022, America Amplified worked with 20 small and medium-sized public media stations across the country to expand the use of journalism practices that meaningfully address local information needs through active listening and engagement. In 2023 and 2024 America Amplified's Election 2024 initiative will strengthen public media’s ability to address the information needs of unserved and underserved communities in the lead up to the 2024 federal election.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn, and subscribe for other updates.

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