Local Content and Community Service
KEDM posts responses to questions from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting about the community service provided by the station. These questions are part of the CPB's Station Activity Survey.
1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station's vital local services, such as multiplatform long and short-form content, digital and inperson engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged.
KEDM engages and seeks further information from the community through direct feedback at local events such as the Downtown Gallery Art Crawl, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce Ouachita 101 event for new residents, and the West Monroe West Ouachita Member to Member event for new residents; through active engagement on social media, and by partnering with other local service organizations for events. KEDM follows feedback on local news stories and public-affairs programs, provides occasional hour-long live community forums featuring experts on a topic of local interest, as well as timely hour-long live forums featuring candidates for local and national political office.
2. Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, including other public media outlets, community nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you're connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.
KEDM provided over 100 public affairs interviews with community non-profits, and provided information on nearly one hundred events via the online event calendar and "Datebook" (PSA) announcements. The station continued its partnership with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, the West Monroe West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce, the Northeast Louisiana Celtic Festival, the Masur Museum of Art, the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, the University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Business and Social Sciences, The Downtown Art Alliance, and others.
3. What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase in requests for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served.
Through live broadcast candidate forums open to the public, KEDM raised awareness of the election of U.S. Senator in Louisiana; elections to the U.S. House of Representatives in Louisiana's 5th District; both in partnership with the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and the West Monroe West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce.
Lila Strode, president of the West Monroe West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce, wrote, "Partnering with 90.3 KEDM Public Radio offers the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber the ability to provide an opportunity for business leaders and community members to meet and learn more about the candidates running for public office. These forums provide a basis for the WMWO Chamber to have a good working relationship with its elected officials thus creating a favorable and profitable business climate."
4. Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made on investigate and/or meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2018, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2019. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.
KEDM maintains a community advisory board separate from the state-appointed institutional management board to assist the station in identifying the diverse needs of its community. Membership of the board represents a cross-section of the community. The CAB provides important input into the programming decisions made by KEDM in response to the needs of its diverse potential audience. KEDM also continued its commitment to a new music format "The Boot" designed to appeal to diverse audiences by highlighting music contributions by blues and roots artists in the Delta. The format now airs 32 hours per week and includes local musicians as volunteer hosts, with plans to recruit additional diverse hosts.
5. Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn't be able to do if you didn't receive it?
CPB's continuing funding is crucial to the basic existence of the station. Serving one of the most impoverished regions of the nation, KEDM could not maintain its national and local programming solely relying on financial support generated within the regional community. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021 CPB funding represented approximately 39% of the station’s total operating budget (including Fiscal Stabilization funds received as part of the CARES Act during COVID-19); with the struggling local economy, state funding from the university licensee will decrease and donor funding is likely to stay the same or grow marginally; the importance of CPB funding will therefore increase.