Kansas City Nonprofit News
- This page provides partial documentation for a process for producing a regular news broadcast on KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio. It is posted on Wikiversity, primarily because this can make it easier to maintain by volunteers using the standard Wikimedia rules of writing from a neutral point of view, citing credible sources, and treating others with respect. In addition, we (a) might try to cross-post some news between a local web site (perhaps kkfi.org/news) and Wikinews, and (b) hope this might encourage others to support us or to use this as a starting point for some similar effort in another location.
- This is also a prototype for a service described in a portion of the Wikiversity article on “Everyone's favorite news site”. This could further serve as a prototype a service that could help people everywhere more easily identify alternative sources of local news, identified by geographical coordinates, longitude and latitude provided, e.g., by their cell phone, or associated with their IP address, or entered manually.
- As such, this is a draft of an action research plan.
- I plan to develop this into a proposal for a presentation and discussion at WikiConference North America 2018 in Columbus, OH, October 18-21.
KKFI is a listener-sponsored radio station in Kansas City, MO, primarily serving parts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri. It is an affiliate of the Pacifica network of nonprofit radio stations, most of which are in the US, and a member of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. As of 2018-08-12, KKFI's 24/7 programming is roughly 10% local news and public affairs, 10% arts and culture, 10% national news and 70% locally produced music shows. However, it's local news and public affairs shows include no systematic scan for a regular news summary.
Meeting and broadcast schedule
KKFI now has a “News Team”, which plans to start with editorial conference calls on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:15 - 1:45 PM local time, with assembly of 5 minutes of local news Thursday afternoons for broadcast the next day at 5 PM. If this attracts enough support, it could expand to fill a larger portion of KKFI's regular broadcast cycle.
An important part of many regular news programs is a “tip line” whereby people can suggest events and issues for future coverage.
- KKFI's tip line is currently news at kkfi dot org.
This may change in the future, e.g., (a) transferring to a web-based form to reduce spam and (b) creating a secure drop like for anonymous suggestions.
Covering other news sources
We hope to recruit volunteers to survey different news sources and conduct deeper investigations to produce ideas to be (a) discussed at our editorial teleconferences and other meetings and (b) prioritized for further investigation and reporting. Each volunteer might select one or more news sources to monitor.
Later we hope to raise funds to pay professional journalist(s) and / or editor(s) to help lead and manage this effort.
Other local news sources
It may be wise to monitor other local news outlets, starting with local newspapers.
The Kansas City Star is the region's premier daily newspaper.
Other local papers include (but are not limited to) the following:
- The Call is an African-American weekly based in Kansas City.
- The Martin City Telegraph covers South Kansas City.
Informal sources suggest that KCUR may have the largest news staff in the Kansas City area, at least among broadcasters. It is also less subject to the need to please (or avoid displeasing) advertisers than the commercial broadcasters.
Local governmental bodies
There is a growing body of evidence that democracy dies in the dark: When local newspapers die, the competition for public offices declines, voter participation declines, public officials become less responsive to the electorate, and the cost of government increases.
- A primary target for improved news coverage will be school boards: It is fairly well established that if we keep kids in school and increase their rate of learning, we reduce crime and increase economic growth. We can start with the Kansas City, MO, school district and other school district in KKFI's primary service area for which we can recruit a volunteer to (a) attend school board meetings, (b) document what they see, and (c) contribute to reporting on anything our News Team decides to cover.
- Another target will be local municipal and county governments, in part because they routinely authorize special favors including zoning changes and subsidies for development projects in their jurisdictions, and it's rarely obvious whether the results justify the cost to the local residents. News media funded by advertising or by government have an inherent conflict of interest in reporting on questionable activities of people with power, especially major advertisers. Poor people are routinely slandered with impunity; no evidence is required. But don't expect honest coverage of people with power; The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. We need to increase the barriers to slandering poor people and decrease the obstacles to honest coverage of people with power (e.g., major advertisers, media executives, and other figures with control over media budgets).
- In particular, we believe that better coverage of the Kansas City, MO, school district can help improve the quality and quantity of the involvement of local residents in the schools and encourage research to better understand the quality of education locally.
National databases with local content
Good Jobs First maintains a number of national databases of violations of federal law, at least in the US, that could be mined for local violations that could provide a local angle on a national story. In the upper right of their landing page, one can "Sign up for email updates".