Lalena Price Published

‘America Amplified: Election 2020’ Initiative Announces Partner Networks Including WVPB/OVR

KANSAS CITY, MO. — As the election season kicks off, the “America Amplified: Election 2020” initiative, led by KCUR 89.3 in Kansas City, is pleased to announce the eight public media networks that will produce innovative journalism from community engagement efforts, including the Ohio Valley ReSource, which partners with West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Each of these collaborations will receive funding from the initiative, which is supported by a $1.9 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Chuck Roberts, executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, said the news team is excited to be able to continue its relationship with OVR, which is a regional public media collaborative that includes seven stations across Kentucky, Ohio and the Mountain State. They include Louisville Public Media (WFPL in Louisville, Kentucky); WVPB (West Virginia Public Broadcasting); WOUB (Ohio); WEKU (Richmond, Kentucky); WKYU (Bowling Green, Kentucky); WMMT, (Whitesburg, Kentucky); and WKMS (Murray, Kentucky). 

Brittany Patterson is the energy and environment reporter for WVPB and the OVR. She covers a broad range of topics including the oil and gas industry, coal industry, utilities, conservation, water quality issues and climate change across West Virginia and the Ohio Valley.

“In the past, collaborating with OVR has produced substantive, original reporting on regional issues important to all West Virginians and we’re so proud of Brittany’s work and the service it provides for the Mountain State,” Roberts said. “Now, to give regional insight on voting during an election year will be really valuable information for our listeners.”

The networks and their commitments to “America Amplified” are as follows:

  • Ohio Valley ReSource: Connecting rural communities online and in person through events and web-based outreach.
  • StateImpact Pennsylvania: Working with Keystone Crossroads to embed seven reporters in Pennsylvania communities underrepresented in local media
  • Side Effects Public Media: Building engagement strategies around health issues, with a Midwest emphasis
  • Mountain West News Bureau: Organizing various initiatives to listen to the concerns of underrepresented rural, Latinx and Indigenous communities along the region’s Great Divide.
  • I-4 Votes: Engaging non-voters and underrepresented communities along the Interstate 4 corridor, from Tampa to Orlando to Daytona Beach, Florida.
  • New England News Collaborative: Reimagining how talk shows can reflect the concerns of communities
  • Harvest Public Media: Rethinking how we listen to and report on rural communities across the Midwest and Great Plains
  • WABE, Atlanta, Georgia: Using community engagement to strengthen relationships with and understanding of issues important to diverse women voters in the South

The partner public radio stations will collaborate to gather data and engage communities in a variety of ways, including listening events, public forums, texting clubs and social media. The stations will share insights, stories and content with national broadcast collaborators such as NPR, PBS, the BBC and podcast producers.

Donna Vestal, managing director of the initiative for KCUR, said: “We’re excited to see how these efforts will change the reporting narrative in the election 2020 season,” Vestal said. “Plus, we’ll be sharing what we learn far and wide.” 

“America Amplified: Election 2020” is also partnering with The Public Agenda/USA Today Hidden Common Ground Initiative, which is exploring where Americans stand on critical issues of the day through original research and creative communications. Through this partnership, “America Amplified” will explore how Americans across the country find themselves united and/or divided.

A team of seven is leading “America Amplified: Election 2020,” which aims to strengthen collaboration within public media, build trust in local journalism and deepen understanding of America’s needs and aspirations. The team comprises Donna Vestal, Alisa Barba, Jennifer Tufts, Kathy Lu, Andrea Tudhope, Matthew Long-Middleton and Ann Alquist, who is on loan from The Public’s Radio in Rhode Island.  

Follow “America Amplified: Election 2020” on Twitter at @amplified2020 or e-mail the team

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. Since 2009, CPB has invested $35 million to develop regional journalism collaborations throughout the United States.

For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, and subscribe for other updates.

About the collaborative networks

  • StateImpact Pennsylvania: WITF (Harrisburg), PA Post (statewide), WHYY (Philadelphia), WESA (Pittsburgh) and The Allegheny Front (Pittsburgh)
  • Side Effects Public Media: Indiana Public Broadcasting; WFYI (Indianapolis, Indiana); WOSU (Columbus, Ohio); WFPL (Louisville, Kentucky); Iowa Public Radio (Des Moines, Iowa); KBIA (Columbia, Missouri); WILL (Champaign-Urbana, Illinois); WSIU (Carbondale, Illinois) and WNIN (Evansville, Indiana)
  • Mountain West News Bureau: Boise State Public Radio (Boise, Idaho); Wyoming Public Radio (Laramie, Wyoming, but statewide distribution); KUNR (Reno, Nevada); KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado); KUNC (Greeley, Colorado); KUNM (Albuquerque, New Mexico); and the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West University of Montana.
  • I-4 Votes: WUSF Public Media (Tampa); WMFE (Orlando)
  • Ohio Valley ReSource: Louisville Public Media (WFPL in Louisville, Kentucky); WVPB (West Virginia); WOUB (Ohio); WEKU (Richmond, Kentucky); WKYU (Bowling Green, Kentucky); WMMT, (Whitesburg, Kentucky); and WKMS (Murray, Kentucky)
  • New England News Collaborative: New England Public Media: WFCR (Amherst, Massachusetts) and WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts); Connecticut Public Radio (Hartford, Connecticut); WSHU Public Radio Group (Fairfield, Connecticut, but serves Connecticut and Suffolk County in New York); WBUR (Boston, Massachusetts); Maine Public Broadcasting Network; The Public’s Radio (Rhode Island); New Hampshire Public Radio (Concord, New Hampshire, but serves statewide and parts of Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine); Vermont Public Radio (Colchester, Vermont).
  • Harvest Public Media: KCUR (Kansas City, Missouri); NET (Lincoln, Nebraska); Iowa Public Radio (Des Moines, Iowa); WILL and the Illinois Newsroom (Urbana-Champaign, Illinois); Associate Partners KBIA (Columbia, Missouri), KVNO (Omaha, Nebraska), Prairie Public (Fargo, North Dakota), St. Louis Public Radio (St. Louis, Missouri), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colorado), KSMU (Springfield, Missouri), KOSU (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) and the Kansas News Service (HPPR [Garden City, Kansas, serving western KS, the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma Panhandle and eastern CO], KMUW (Wichita, Kansas), KPR (Lawrence, Kansas).

About KCUR

KCUR 89.3 is the flagship NPR station in Kansas City, exploring thought-provoking ideas and stimulating conversations through its daily talk shows, in-depth reporting and entertainment programming. KCUR shares news, art, music and life in a way that inspires, challenges and connects people. A charter member of NPR, KCUR holds itself to the highest journalistic standards in service to the citizens of Kansas, Missouri, the broader Midwest and the nation. The station also leads Harvest Public Media and the Kansas News Service, among other collaborations. KCUR’s live stream, local news coverage and talk show podcasts are available at KCUR is operated as an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

About WVPB

West Virginia Public Broadcasting engages more than 2 million people every year utilizing its radio and television towers, as well as its news site, 

WVPB is an indispensable resource for education, news and public affairs, emergency services and economic development for West Virginia. Headquartered in Charleston, West Virginia, the agency has locations and/or reporters in Morgantown, Wheeling, Shepherdstown and Beckley. 

The entire WVPB team, from production to news, and education to programming, aspires to inform, educate, protect, and inspire our listeners and viewers of the Mountain State’s public broadcasting organization.