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Telling Public Radio’s Story

Fiscal Year 2020
Item 6.1 of the annual CPB SAS Report

1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multi-platform 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 delivered high quality news and information that gets people talking and helps citizens make informed decisions about their lives and community. We produced hourly newscasts, features for radio and digital, a daily talk show, podcasts, weekly folk radio show and a 24/7 Music Discovery radio stream.

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 been a project lead and supportive partner for statewide coverage of issues of significance to North Carolinians. WUNC collaboratively built a statewide distribution network that has made it possible for this state's public radio stations to band together for hurricane coverage and other breaking news. WUNC partners with teachers and local school leaders to assemble its Summer Youth Reporting Institute. This initiative is designed to empower young people to tell their own stories, in their own voice, on WUNC. In order to provide public radio service to residents of on the Outer Banks of North Carolina WUNC has established partnerships the US Coast Guard, Roanoke Island Festival Park and others for tower space to support our antennas.

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 has daily impact on a large listening audience. It is the most listened to radio station for persons 25+ in the Raleigh market. As the number one station, we reach a broad cross-section of the community and spark conversations and actions that often happen out of our view.

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 2020, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2021. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.

WUNC strives to serve as broad an audience as possible with its news and information programming. In FY20 we produced and distributed dozens of reports on how the pandemic and calls for racial justice affected the lives of minority groups including new immigrants and those for whom English is a second language. Story topics included Black funerals, the dismantling of Confederate statues, and political tension with racial undertones in Alamance County. In FY20, WUNC reporter Naomi Prioleau participated in a year-long partnership lead by the PRX show The World called “Every 30 Seconds.” The series reported on issues, concerns and challenges that drive voting among young Latino voters. In the coming year, WUNC will produce a three-part podcast series on Civil Rights pioneer Pauli Murray. WUNC will also continue to focus a weekly episode of its news podcast, “Tested,” on racial justice issues.

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 essential to the operations of WUNC. It makes up roughly 6% of our overall operating budget. We are able to leverage that foundational support and raise the rest through listener contributions, corporate support and foundations. WUNC receives no direct support from the University or the State. If we lost CPB funding it would put other funding sources at risk and we would have to make cuts and most likely that would mean the loss of reporters and producers.