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WKU Public Radio Diversity Statement

WKU Public Radio seeks to serve our increasingly diverse coverage area with high-quality public radio programming, both on air and online, that reflects and explains issues impacting a wide variety of individuals and communities.

Through our own locally-produced content, and through programs we air originating from organizations such as National Public Radio, American Public Media, Public Radio International and the BBC, WKU Public Radio seeks to enhance the quality of life in our region by presenting unique, non-commercial programming of exceptional quality. The majority of this programming is focused on news and information shows that touch upon topics of interest impacting an audience of various racial and ethnic backgrounds; genders; religions; age ranges; sexual orientations; and education and income levels.

One of the goals of WKU Public Radio has been to strengthen our coverage and awareness of our region's growing immigrant communities. Our news room has worked to establish contacts within those communities that serve as ways for us to learn about issues, challenges, and programs related to these groups.

One of the categories in our FCC-mandated quarterly Programs and Problems report is “Issues Impacting Women, Minorities, Immigrants, and LGBT Community". This is one way WKU Public Radio ensures that our local content creators maintain a focus on issues impacting diverse groups of people from across our region.

Diversity of Governance, Staff

WKU Public Radio’s governing body is an 11 member Board of Regents. Eight of the members are appointed by the Governor from among nominees submitted by a nominating commission. These members serve up to two six-year terms.

Faculty and staff representatives are elected by their peers to three-year terms. The student representative is the President of the Student Government Association and is elected to a one-year term. All members have voting privileges.

More information on the makeup of the Board of Regents can be found here

Since we are a part of WKU, this public radio service adheres to WKU’s formal diversity efforts.

The diversity of WKU Public Radio’s staff is recorded annually in our Employee and Job Openings Statistical Report. That report can be found here.

Diversity Goals

WKU Public Radio seeks to accomplish the following items as part of our commitment to diversity in 2019-20:

Increase the outreach from our local content creators to individuals in our region who are part of minority communities. This will allow staff to enhance their knowledge and awareness of the diverse nature of our listening area, issues of importance to those individuals, and organizations that support those individuals.

Enhance outreach efforts to Western Kentucky University’s School of Media as a way of encouraging a diverse group of students to consider internships at WKU Public Radio in order to further public broadcasting’s commitment to diversity and education.

Assist WKU School of Media in outreach/student recruitment events, including those in locations with high numbers of minority students.

Diversity Progress

In FY 2014 WKU Public Radio added a Hispanic-American full-time host to its daily broadcast lineup.  He was hired again as station manager in FY2016. The highest student scholarship awarded in our discipline was given to an African-American student in FY 2014 and an African student in FY 2016 and FY 2017. In FY 2019, WKU Public Radio added an African-American full-time host to its daily broadcast line up.

Related to our “International Year of” goal from last year, we sent a producer/reporter to Cuba to tie in with the university effort.  A five-part series was generated from Cuba.  Also, there were several additional follow-up pieces from efforts after the trip.  Here is a link to a good representation of that content.

Diversity Initiative for 2019-20

WKU Public Radio will produce stories that reflect the diverse nature of the communities we serve. We will also feature stories covering the growing international communities in our southern Kentucky region, including the contributions made by, and challenges facing, immigrants and refugees, and the potential impacts of the continued lowering of the federal refugee resettlement cap on our region and state.