© 2024 Blue Ridge Public Radio
Blue Ridge Mountains banner background
Your source for information and inspiration in Western North Carolina.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

BPR selected to be part of America Amplified Initiative

A KOSU reporter interviews a man in a white shirt and straw hat sitting outside, in front of a car.
Courtesy America Amplified
Caption: KOSU’s Kateleigh Mills has been doing community engagement reporting for the past few years.";

BPR will deepen its engagement with communities across Western North Carolina 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 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to support community engagement journalism in traditionally underserved areas. The initiative builds on a similar projectlaunched 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. 

Through this initiative, BPR 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 toolssuch as crowd-sourcing, surveys, listening sessions and social media to listen first to the concerns and aspirations of our communities. Whenever safe and possible, we will also be meeting with community members in places where they gather.

During a summer 2020 community listening session convened by BPR, participants called for more engagement with local youth. They asked BPR to use its platform to provide opportunities for young people to tell their own stories.   

“If you want to remain vibrant and relevant, you really need to take your cue from the younger generation.”  

 “Let's invite youth to the table. Let them teach us something. They got a lot to teach. They really do.”   

"Train new talent, create a pipeline of younger people who can participate in this process.”  

With the America Amplified initiative, BPR will focus on youth engagement, training and content production – using existing and new relationships with community groups and local media organizations to create mutually beneficial collaborations.

America Amplified is working with 20 public media stations, including Blue Ridge Public Radio. The other stations are: 

  • WWNO in New Orleans; 
  • WUSF in Tampa, Florida; 
  • WSHU in  Fairfield, Connecticut; 
  • WNIN in Evansville, Indiana, 
  • WMMT in Whitesburg, Kentucky;  
  • WNIJ in Rockford, Illinois; 
  • WITF in Harrisburg, Pennsylvanial;  
  • 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; 
  • 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 our newsletter.  

Catherine Komp joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in September 2020 as the organization’s first Director of Content, leading BPR’s talented team of local journalists and content creators, overseeing national programming and facilitating collaborations and engagement initiatives.