Telling Public Radio’s Story
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.
WUNC strives to create, acquire and distribute programming that enhances and reflects the diverse communities it serves. Through a blend of newscasts, feature radio and digital reports WUNC provides balanced information in a manner designed to help listeners make good decisions as citizens. WUNC also produces culturally rich music programming that celebrates the rich musical community in North Carolina. In addition to broadcast and online WUNC also hosts engagement events for donors and members of the public. The issues covered in these public events range from education to politics to veterans and military issues.
WUNC serves a wide geographic area with broadcasts that reach into more than half of North Carolina’s 100 Counties. For this reason WUNC strives to produce all of its news stories for a statewide audience. We want each piece of radio to be equally relevant to someone driving along Highway 12 in Kitty Hawk as it is to the commuter on Bragg Blvd in Fayetteville or I-40 in Raleigh.
Editorially WUNC has three primary areas of interest: Education, Military/Veterans and State Government. In addition WUNC has beat reporters covering Race/Southern Culture, environment, health and local music.
WUNC continues to aggressively share the material it produces with public radio stations across the state. WUNC’s flagship talk show The State of Things is broadcast from the mountains to the coast thanks to partnerships with Blue Ridge Public Radio and WHQR Wilmington. Additionally WUNC News reports were shared more than 700 times by other stations in North Carolina.
This past year WUNC launched a new music discovery service. WUNC Music is a 24/7 music stream heard online and on HD2 in the Triangle area. It’s an artist driven blend of music in the AAA format with a heavy emphasis on songs with roots in North Carolina. This new service builds on WUNC’s already strong connection to music programming. Back Porch Music airs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. In addition, WUNC owns and maintains a translator on the Outer Banks that it lends free of charge to our friends WCPE to provide Classical Music to the Northeastern North Carolina.
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.
WUNC has reporters assigned to beats including Education, State Government, Race & Southern Culture, Military and Veterans issues. To complete these assignments our reporters and producers reach deep into the community to cultivate sources and community scholars from community groups and institutions across our coverage area. In addition to these daily, collaborative efforts there are broader partnerships with community leaders including the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Media; The Fayetteville Observer, The Monti Storytelling Group, Triad Stage, 82nd Airborne Museum, American Tobacco Campus, Rocky Mount Mills, Schoolkids Records and others.
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.
WUNC seeks to change and improve the lives of the people it serves. The key initiatives in our News, Digital, Music and Engagement projects achieve this goal by inspiring conversations in the communities we serve. Much of that goes unseen and unmeasured but it's clear WUNC broadcasts are having an impact. WUNC was the number 1 station for adults 25+ (Nielson 2017 Annual Data) in the Raleigh Market. We had a number of partner organizations say our initiatives had a positive impact on their work. Teachers wrote praising student involvement in the WUNC Youth Reporting Institute; partners at Fort Bragg praised our outreach into the veterans and military communities; more than 100 people showed up in person and thousands more watched via Facebook Live as WUNC hosted a live storytelling event at Fort Bragg.
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 2017, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2018. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.
WUNC has a fulltime reported assigned to cover the Race & Southern Culture beat. In 2017 she made significant outreach into the African American community and reported out stories of significance to diverse audiences. In addition WUNC hosted its annual Youth Reporting Institute in the Summer of 2017. Once again the assembled team was majority-minority and covered issues of importance to their respective communities.
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 is incredibly important for WUNC's current and future endeavors. It is used as a foundation for our services and is leveraged to raise the rest of our budget. WUNC receives no direct support from the State of North Carolina or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. If WUNC lost its CPB funding there would be direct cuts to services and likely staff. The loss would result in less original content produced to meet the needs and interests of North Carolinians.