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Telling Public Radio’s Story

Telling Public Radio’s Story – Fiscal Year 2021
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 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 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 weekly talk show focused on relationships and health, 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 significant to North Carolina residents.  WUNC helped build and depends on a statewide distribution network to share regional and state news stories as well as hurricane coverage and other breaking news. WUNC also partners with local schools and educators for our Youth Reporting Institute. It's a program that helps develop the next generation of reporters and audio storytellers.

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 2021, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2022. 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 FY21, we continued to cover the COVID-19 pandemic with up to date news on case numbers and policy changes at local and state levels.  The news team also produced a special series called Lives Lost, honoring many who died from the virus. WUNC's Tested continued to produce news segments and podcasts on many issues, including racial justice. When Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed by police in Elizabeth City, WUNC became a key news source for North Carolina, covering this story for a national audience through NPR programs. In FY21, WUNC launched a new weekly show called Embodied, that focused on sex, relationships and health.  The show produced a special three-part series on dieting that was picked up by more than 30 stations nationwide with five stations coming from top ten markets. WUNC also had another successful year of its Youth Reporting Institute, training high school aged kids in the art of audio storytelling.

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.