America Amplified, a partnership powered by the National Corporation for Public Broadcasting, connected eight public radio collaborations from across the US in an effort to gather underheard voices on COVID-19 and the 2020 election.
Cortico trained local reporters to facilitate and curate conversations about these critical issues, working with staff from Connecta Arizona (for Spanish language conversations), KOSU, the NPR affiliate in Oklahoma and Mountain West News Bureau for conversations about rural communities, and WABE in Atlanta, which sponsored conversations with a South Asian women’s group.
Through the partnership, voices from across the country were featured in a national talk show, informed local elections, and positioned regional media as a critical community convener.
Our journalists learning that facilitation skill was huge for us because it helped put community engagement in practice and supported a shift from traditional reporting towards really connecting with communities.Jennifer Tufts, Project Manager, America Amplified
Maritza, a journalist and founder of Conecta Arizona, a news service started in the midst of the pandemic to serve the information needs of Spanish speaking communities, shared her concerns around lacking mental health support.
Concerns, mental health — I feel that right now, with everything that is happening, if we do not have the support that is necessary to be able to process all the uncertainty that is happening, all the hatred or the rhetoric, we can go to issues or practices that are not very good for our health . And that sometimes we are silent. It is easier to look at physical health, but not our mental health. And I really feel like when people are in a lot of pain, sometimes they isolate themselves, and I think that’s one of our worst enemies.