Telling Public Radio's Story

Telling Public Radio’s Story

The information below was taken from WUOT’s annual Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Station Activities Survey for Fiscal Year 2016:

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 engaged. 

WUOT remains committed to spending the time and resources necessary to spotlight local issues in-depth through compelling, thought-provoking journalistic endeavors. In an effort to reach out to a broad section of our community, WUOT's award-winning news department not only solicits the assistance of a variety of local government, educational and non-profit organizations throughout our listening area, through the station's "Tenn Words/Truck Beat" project, it asks individuals what THEY think are the problems in their individual communities. In addition to using its on-air and online platforms, the station is also engaging our audience and the broader community through social media. The station is actively seeking ways to enhance WUOT's service by reaching out to all corners of its listening area. Working with a wide variety of organizations provides the station opportunities to reach and serve new and underserved audiences. Our goal is to be mindful and well-informed about major issues facing our area and to be an appropriate conduit to bring the community together in seeking solutions. 

2.     Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, 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. 

During FY 2016, WUOT worked with a variety of local governmental, educational and non-profit agencies regarding numerous topics and subjects important to our listenership. Some of the partners we collaborated with included the Tennessee Valley Authority, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Tennessee colleges and departments, Knox County and Knoxville City departments, the Knoxville School District, the Center for Public Integrity and the Legacy Parks Foundation.  

3.      What impact did your key initiatives and partners have in your community?
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 resources?  Please provide direct feedback from partners or persons served. 

During FY 2016, WUOT was among 15 stations throughout the country to participate in the "Finding America" storytelling project with an 'out-of-the-box' community outreach effort, TruckBeat.. TruckBeat is a multi-platform health storytelling project about East Tennessee. In addition to broadcast, TruckBeat content is available via facebook, twitter, instagram, iTunes and podcast. The WUOT news team, along with a "Finding America"-funded independent producer, refurbished an old food truck into a mobile recording studio and took it out on the road to report on community health topics in depth: obesity, mental health and access to healthcare. As the project evolves, we will narrow our focus and pursue a 'deep dive' into a single issue in conjunction with a variety of partners specifically involved in the topic. 

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 2015, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2015.  If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.

WUOT made a concerted effort to reach out to East Tennessee's Hispanic community during the station's Tenn Words project. The Tenn Words mobile display provided individuals throughout the East TN community an opportunity to answer a single question: "What keeps you up at night?" The WUOT news department then compiled the data and created programming designed to explore the issues raised. During FY 2016, WUOT created a Spanish version of the display and set up at the area's Hola Festival, an Adult Education Center and at Centro Hispano de East TN. Health topics were among the top listed answers from all polling sites of the project, as well as from these targeted sites. 

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?

CPB funding continues to be critical in WUOT's ability to provide both quality network and local programming. Our CPB Community Service Grant CSG) provides a little less than one-half the costs of National Public Radio NPR) which our audience expects and demands. This annual funding assistance enables WUOT to invest local funding into providing our community with unique, local content for our local audiences. With CPB's assistance, WUOT continues to expand our programming and services on multiple platforms.