St. Louis Public Radio has long been committed to listening to our community members and soliciting story ideas and sources from them. We’ve been doing this over the years through Curious Louis, our daily newsletter, Look//Read//Listen, and our social media accounts — especially Facebook and Twitter.
But recently, we joined a collaboration that will help us take this engagement to a new level. We’ve committed to increasing our engagement journalism efforts this year by partnering with other public radio stations and collaborating networks in a regional reporting initiative called America Amplified.
This project was originally geared toward covering the 2020 election. It is funded by a $1.9 million national public media collaboration funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and was launched in the fall of 2019 to bring a different kind of reporting into public media coverage of this year’s election.
But the spread of the coronavirus shifted everyone’s attention, so America Amplified has pivoted its focus toward covering the pandemic and providing resources for public media to continue to engage with the communities they cover during this crisis.
This initiative prioritizes community engagement in reporting by emphasizing the quality of the relationships cultivated for a story.
America Amplified aims to put people at the center of its reporting process — in this era of “social distancing,” we will be using tools such as crowd-sourcing, text messaging and virtual town halls, the first of which is scheduled to take place in early June.
St. Louis Public Radio will also use our nightly Twitch livestream, polls and social media to listen first to the concerns and aspirations of communities in the metro area and across Missouri.
The goal of America Amplified is to create and share models of community engagement success stories to inform and strengthen future local, regional and national journalism.