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WUSF Public Media is selected to be part of the America Amplified initiative

A wall of faces on a Microsoft teams meeting.
America Amplified’s kick-off meeting on Friday, Oct. 8, with 20 stations participating from across the country.

Your NPR station, WUSF 89.7, will build on its previous participation with America Amplified to establish better relationships with underserved populations, specifically the Black community.

WUSF Public Media will deepen its engagement with communities across the greater Tampa Bay region 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 project launched 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.

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

Through this initiative, WUSF 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 tools such as crowd-sourcing, 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.

Specifically, WUSF aims to strengthen its relationship with the Black community.

The Tampa Bay region includes three major cities, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota, whose Black populations vary from 14% to 24%. Nearly a quarter of some of the area’s cities are Black, but we rarely tell their stories. Our intention is to build upon ongoing community engagement learned last year through America Amplified to build relationships with the Black community, and other underserved populations in our service area. 

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

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

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 www.americaamplified.org to sign up for the newsletter.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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