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Feb. 21, 2024

WKAR Public Media joins the America Amplified Election 2024 Initiative to build civic literacy ahead of elections

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WKAR Public Media announced that it has joined America Amplified, a public media journalism initiative that focuses on listening to the community in the reporting process and boosting election literacy. The initiative, which seeks to help Americans in all 50 states navigate the voting process, is hosted by WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

WKAR will use community engagement journalism practices to combat the spread of misinformation and distrust in media while also sharing audience-focused resources on voting information.

“As a public media station, WKAR is committed to filling gaps in civic education and ensuring that voting information is accurate at the local level,” said Ashlee Smith, senior director of content and education at WKAR. “As local news sources decline and disinformation creates confusion about elections, we believe that America Amplified will help us respond effectively to those challenges.”

Stations participating in America Amplified will receive virtual training and coaching to map an effective strategy for serving their audiences, using the Hearken platform to answer questions from their audience and communities. America Amplified will also incorporate lessons learned from the 2022 midterm elections project, where 30 stations across 25 states responded to community questions about how, where and when to vote. In the 2024 election, stations will answer those questions on multiple platforms.

“New resources will help us be strategic in informing the community about upcoming elections,” said Amy Robinson, news director at WKAR. “With community input we can tailor our efforts to serve our diverse audiences ahead of what promises to be a dynamic election season."

Mid-Michigan residents will start seeing questions associated with elections this February. Additionally, through the initiative WKAR staff will develop and distribute resources on voting, election information and responses to community concerns. Public questions will also be shared with WKAR’s newsroom to inform reporting on local concerns and foster civil conversation about potential solutions.

WKAR will be seeking to partner with community-based groups. These partners will help solicit questions and input from the community, as well as distribute resources about election processes, voter registration and researching candidates.

For WKAR’s full election coverage, visit

This story originally appeared on the WKAR website. 

By: Kevin Lavery