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KUNC selected to be part of America Amplified initiative

KOSU’s Kateleigh Mills has been doing community engagement reporting for the past few years.
KOSU’s Kateleigh Mills has been doing community engagement reporting for the past few years.

KUNC will deepen its engagement with communities across Northern Colorado this year by partnering with other public radio stations in a national initiative called America Amplified.

The initiative is hosted by WFYI in Indianapolis and is funded by a $983,451 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to support community engagement journalism in traditionally underserved areas. The initiative builds on a similar projectlaunched in the fall of 2019 to produce innovative journalism through engagement. The initiative prioritizes meaningful in-person and online engagement in order to build trust, expand audiences and deepen the impact of public media journalism.

Through this initiative, KUNC aims to put people, not preconceived ideas, at the center of its reporting process — because of ongoing concerns around the pandemic, we will be using toolssuch as crowdsourcing, virtual town halls, polls and social media to listen first to the concerns and aspirations of our communities. Whenever possible, we will also be hosting live events and meeting with community members in places where they gather.

KUNC will be announcing a variety of local initiatives to engage the diverse communities that make up our region in all aspects of our reporting.

Ashley Jefcoat
Adam Rayes, KUNC's rural and small communities reporter.

For example, KUNC reporter Adam Rayes has already begun making connections with rural and less-populated areas in Colorado. He's working to attend existing community meetings and gather often-ignored stakeholders to help dictate what KUNC should cover and give feedback on that coverage once it comes out. He’ll spend weeks focusing on a single place to do less “parachute journalism” and find stories the community can derive value from. By taking these steps, KUNC aims to build deeper, long-term relationships with the many vibrant rural and small communities in our listening area.

America Amplified is working with 20 public media stations, including KUNC. The other stations are:

  • Austin PBS in Austin, Texas 
  • Blue Ridge Public Radio in Asheville, North Carolina
  • KMUW in Wichita, Kansas
  • KOSU in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • KSJD in Cortez, Colorado 
  • KTOO in Juneau, Alaska
  • KUNR in Reno, Nevada
  • Maine Public in Lewiston, Maine
  • Montana Public Radio in Missoula, Montana 
  • North Country Public Radio in Canton, New York
  • North State Public Radio in Chico, California
  • WBHM in Birmingham, Alabama
  • WITF in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • WMMT in Whitesburg, Kentucky
  • WNIJ in Rockford, Illinois
  • WNIN in Evansville, Indiana
  • WSHU in  Fairfield, Connecticut
  • WUSF in Tampa, Florida 
  • WWNO in New Orleans 

America Amplified’s goal is to create and share models of community engagement success stories to inform and strengthen future local, regional and national journalism.
Follow America Amplified on Twitter at @A_Amplified or visit americaamplified.org to sign up for the project's newsletter.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.