SUSTAINING MEMBER IMPACT REPORT
Your monthly gift helps PBA continue to grow and ensures a future for an impartial and thoughtful community resource.
Fostering Community: Your Membership At Work
On Jan. 17, 2017, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library hosted WABE’s “Closer Look,” as we joined NPR member stations across the country for “A Nation Engaged,” an initiative to spark conversations that matter.
Hosts Rose Scott and Jim Burress were joined by panelists ranging from the new Atlanta Police Chief to an Atlanta Young Republican as we focused on three pressing issues: health care, immigration and policing. We heard from experts as well as the audience...convening our community and providing a two-way dialogue to address the issues that impact Atlanta and the nation.
On Oct. 15 2016, WABE volunteers joined Trees Atlanta and the Atlanta City Council to engage in a city-wide tree planting event dubbed “Plantlanta.” The project consisted of a dozen tree plantings in every council district in the city, led by representatives from Trees Atlanta and hundreds of volunteers.
WABE was a media partner of the event, giving our listeners multiple opportunities to get involved both on air and online, and encouraging volunteers to join us in serving the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Southwest Atlanta. We connected with many of our listeners, assisted a longtime pledge partner, and helped to give back to Atlanta in a unique way.
Last summer, PBA30 was awarded a grant to promote the PBS Kids lineup, and we had a blast getting out into the community and meeting our youngest viewers. We brought Daniel Tiger to Zoo Atlanta, Word Girl to the Atlanta Public Schools Back-to-School Bash, and Buddy the Dinosaur to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.
We saw big smiles from the kids, and got a lot of encouragement from parents who told us that public television is a great entertainment option for their kids. We even made a fun Daniel Tiger promo, which you can watch below:
WABE's "Morning Edition" host Denis O'Hayer recently shared his perspective on WABE's coverage during the election in the Sustainer Donor Report. Here's the full version of that commentary.
2016 was certainly a polarized and noisy election year. And we certainly brought those voices and sounds to our coverage. But we wanted to go above and beyond that, to give our listeners clear, calm analysis, fact-checking and perspective. We focused on the role of Atlanta and Georgia in the campaign, and how our region and state would be affected by the outcome.
So, of course we followed the local and national candidates. But we also pursued the people who make campaigns happen. And, most important of all, we listened to the voices of voters, including those not often heard.
The result: At any time on air and on our website, you could find one-of-a-kind stories and interviews. To name just a few:
Elly Yu’s conversations with refugees voting for the first time, and immigrant students wondering if the election results meant they might have to leave the country.
"Morning Edition" conversations with GOP national committee member Randy Evans, taking listeners behind the delegate selection process; Trump advisor and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; Democratic and Republican members of Congress; and State House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams about the next steps for her party after the election.
Extensive features on the constitutional amendments facing voters: Martha Dalton’s series on the Opportunity School District; Elly Yu’s reports on the overhaul of the state’s judicial watchdog agency; Lisa Hagen’s stories about the proposed state fee on strip clubs as part of the fight against child sex trafficking.
"Morning Edition"brought listeners the first in-depth conversations with two new county leaders after they had won their elections: Cobb County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce and DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond.
"Morning Edition"provided thoughtful and entertaining analysis from two people who have been on the inside of winning campaigns. The regular Political Breakfast featured Republican strategist Brian Robinson and Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson.
Perhaps the most fun of all came on the November night, just before the election, when we brought the Political Breakfast to a live evening event at WABE. Tharon and Brian gave the studio audience a lively exchange on the local and national campaigns, and they listened to questions and ideas from the people who came to see them.
And we worked with other trusted media partners to bring our listeners a depth of understanding they couldn’t find anywhere else:
PolitiFact Georgia editor Jim Tharpe of the Atlanta Journal-Constitutiongave regular fact-checks of statements made by candidates in Georgia and around the nation.
WABE worked with the Atlanta Press Club to host the debates among the candidates for chair of the Cobb County Commission
The national program "This American Life" came to WABE to work on their story about the proposed constitutional amendment to restructure the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission. Their story relied heavily on interviews done by WABE’s Elly Yu.
Johnny Kauffman produced pieces for NPR and for American Public Media’s "Marketplace" on the cost of registering voters.
And a big highlight: Steve Inskeep co-hosted the national broadcast of "Morning Edition"from the WABE studios for two days, as part of NPR’s Divided States series. He listened to the thoughts of local voters from different points of view and joined WABE’s "Morning Edition"host Denis O’Hayer for a conversation about the role of media in the election.
Every national election year is unique. But 2016 was truly extraordinary. And we at WABE were honored and proud to have the trust of so many listeners, who depended on us to produce coverage as extraordinary as the year itself.
Why did you decide to become a Sustaining Member?
I decided to become a Sustaining Member because I realized that the only station ever on in my car is WABE 90.1. I want to have a hand in the programming that is such a large part of my life, and I figured that becoming a Sustaining Member was the best way to accomplish that.
WABE sustains me, so why not return the favor?
What are some of your favorite programs on WABE 90.1?
My favorite programs and the ones I listen to most often are “City Lights” with Lois Reitzes, “Closer Look” during the day with Jim and Rose, and as a band director, I really enjoy “Strike up the Band” with Scott Stewart. I love all of the programming on WABE, but these are the ones that stick out to me and provide some great variety.
How long have you been listening to WABE 90.1?
I started listening to public radio my junior year of college and it’s all I’ve listened to since. In my second year as a teacher I finally had the means and felt obligated to contribute to such a great service as WABE.
How does your monthly membership change the way you think about WABE 90.1?
My monthly membership reminds me that I’m giving to—and being an active participant in—something that enhances so many lives. It provides me with an ease of listening that I might not have were I not a Sustainer.
In 2017 we are launching a new series on health disparities in Georgia that will feature in-depth investigative coverage of health equity issues across the state of Georgia. From feature-length documentaries on PBA30 and regular stories on WABE 90.1, to community forums and a wealth of digital content online, we’re going to cover the state of healthcare in Georgia across all our platforms in 2017 and beyond.
In collaboration with the Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s TWO GEORGIAS Initiative, we are eager to delve deeper into issues of health inequities that affect our local communities. Storytelling on this scale invites empathy, which leads to understanding and community action. Our commitment to telling these stories is made possible by your generous support.