STATION ACTIVITY SURVEY
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.
In 2013, WFHB continued to produce a bevy of public affairs programs that are the only programs that specifically serve distinct populations in south central Indiana (Brown, Greene, Owen, Monroe, Morgan, Owen Counties). These programs include: Hola Bloomington, Bring It On!, and bloomingOUT. As well, Hora Latina serves the area’s Spanish speaking population with two hours of music celebrating Latino and Hispanic culture each week following Hola Bloomington.
The station also aired public service announcements for social service agencies focusing on marginalized populations and supported the annual National Homelessness Marathon as a contributor sharing stories of those struggling with poverty in Bloomington, Ind.
Finally, in 2013, WFHB launched Books Unbound and My Health Matters. Books Unbound is a radio reader program featuring banned books like The Handmaid’s Tale, which was produced in partnership with One Book One Bloomington’s Banned Books Week. My Health Matters was a weekly 5-minute segment exploring a variety of health topics.
New initiatives planned for 2014 include: the expansion of My Health Matters into a weekly 30-minute, locally-produced health program and the development of a system for call-ins during its weekly public affairs shows as a means of promoting community interaction.
With the exception of My Health Matters, which is on hiatus while work to expand it gets underway, everything that WFHB did to serve underrepresented and under-served populations in 2013 will continue into 2014.
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.
WFHB’s Assistant News Director serves as a government accountability reporter for the station. His stories are also used for a television broadcast every Friday called CATSWeek, in partnership with local public access television station Community Access Television Services. This is a continuation of a now four year old agreement between the two broadcast operations.
In 2013, WFHB began offering Ivy Tech Community College students from the Bloomington campus access to our production crew for Firehouse Follies, a quarterly live radio variety show. Further, Ivy Tech Community College students do not have to pay admission to the shows. WFHB also offers a work study position to qualified Ivy Tech Community College students.
WFHB continued its partnership with Indiana University’s School of Journalism and School of Telecommunications. With the School of Journalism, WFHB offers fledgling journalists an opportunity to acquire real world experience in a radio broadcasting organization and develop their portfolios at one of Indiana’s most decorated broadcast journalism outfits. In fact, one part of this partnership is a whole class – J460. Telecommunications students are given the opportunity to do the same as an internship. A work study position is also available for Indiana University students.
Once a year, WFHB offers media sponsorship for local non-profit organizations’ events as a trade. The trade exchanges underwriting mentions for placement of the stations’ logo on advertising materials. This is an important means for nonprofits to get the word out about their events as the local area does not allow for many affordable opportunities to do so.
Another important partner for WFHB is the Bloomington Storytelling Project. Together, the organizations produce The Porch Swing, which records and preserves the oral tradition of local people and is broadcast weekly on Saturdays as a half-hour program. This partnership also leads to occasional storytelling events at local venues. These are open mic format and allow anyone with a story to tell to be recorded and potentially broadcast on the radio.
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 or related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served.
Some of the feedback WFHB has received from community members follows:
“I support WFHB because it is one of the voices of the community. I think when we think of Bloomington, we think of special sights like the courthouse, the farmers’ market, the Sample Gates, or we think of maybe the special taste of Bloomington like some of the wonderful restaurants in town. But another important aspect of Bloomington is the sounds of Bloomington, the voices of Bloomington, and WFHB gives wonderful voice to a number of voices in this community.” – Doug Baulder, GLBT office at Indiana University
“I think community radio is important because it gives a voice to the diversity of Bloomington by providing a place for anyone to express their views, play their favorite music, or teach others about their culture and lifestyle. WFHB provides the medium for this to happen and I believe this helps us grow as individuals and as a community.” – Tim Clougher, executive director of Community Kitchen
“I support WFHB because it is a focal point for community in Bloomington. It brings people together to share diverse ideas and music. Also, it gives us an opportunity to hear news and views that are typically not found in mainstream commercial media.” – Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal
“I support WFHB because I am very pleased to have local news casts covering the local news scene because no one else is doing it. The other reason I’m interested in supporting WFHB is because they partner with CATS. I can get some information from CATS when I can’t get you. I can get one or the other. So CATS television, as well as WFHB radio, are two great partners for Monroe County.” – Monroe County Commissioner Iris Kiesling
“It’s an important community asset. I think it’s one that maybe people even underestimate. It is Bloomington. It represents diversity both in content of music and other entertainment, but also in our local news. It’s alternative news. It’s information that, I think, probably gets a little more in-depth than you might find in some other outlets. Information is power for citizens.” – City of Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan
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 2013, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2014. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.
WFHB produces weekly one-hour public affairs programs made by and for the African-American community, the LGBTQI community, and the Hispanic / Latino community. Fifty-two episodes of each were broadcast during 2013 and will be broadcast during 2014.
Hola Bloomington, the public affairs show made by and for the Hispanic / Latino population in our listening area, and Hora Latina, a two hour block of music that celebrates Latino and Hispanic culture, are broadcast entirely in Spanish.
Additionally, on Martin Luther King Day, the station broadcasts the City of Bloomington Martin Luther King Day Celebration live. The celebration honors minorities making a significant contribution to life in Bloomington, Ind. and beyond, and celebrates the rich cultural diversity of WFHB’s home town. This will be done again in 2014.
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 accounts for nearly 25 percent of WFHB’s total income during the fiscal year. Without it, the already spartan staff would be cut from six to five. The station would be forced to re-evaluate broadcasting several programs the community has come to rely on for alternative viewpoints like Alternative Radio and New Dimensions, news coverage like Democracy Now!, and specialty music programming like Sound Opinions and Music City Roots. Further, CPB helps fund professional development for the staff, engineering, purchase of equipment, and many of the operational needs of the station throughout the year. It is critical that the station receive CPB funding to continue to improve and better serve its listeners.