KUOW's vision for the future seeks to expand on our legacy of publishing first-rate storytelling and to leverage a diverse range of voices from the community we serve. We aim to draw a broad community into serious journalism, including people of all walks of life: young or old, right or left, urban and suburban, and all racial and cultural backgrounds.
By helping people enrich their personal truth through the eyes of our community, KUOW will work to bind us together with common understanding rather than rend us.
Learn More About Our Priorities
|Local Coverage||Digital Platform Transformation||Building A Diverse Audience||Civil Discourse||Setting The Standard|
Puget Sound is an epicenter of change. An economic boom, increases in density, housing issues, cultural change, modern life and our increasingly interconnected planet challenges each of us to adapt more rapidly than ever. We need perspective and in-depth information to understand the changes we are experiencing, including global trends, regional issues, neighborhood changes and personal interactions.
KUOW’s intent is to be the finest possible provider of news from both within and beyond our region. By doing so, we hope to enable our audience to be better citizens of the world and participants in our local community. We intend to push hard with ever better local coverage: deeper reporting, more research, broader reach, and to establish emotional connections that resonate and connect us together.
Improving our content involves increasing our understanding of what our current and potential audience is looking for and how well KUOW is addressing those expectations. It will require us to increase our reporting capacity outside of Seattle, especially in south Puget Sound. We must also provide our content team ongoing training and opportunities to expand their horizons and improve their output. And last, we must create a better local and more personal connection for both local and non-local news.
Digital Platform Transformation
The future of media is online. Over half of all Americans and the vast majority of younger audiences now cite use of the Internet as their main source for national and international news. Retaining their attention requires compelling content that grips a visitor’s attention and keeps them coming back for more.
Our intent is to establish KUOW as a major influential digital news presence. To accomplish this, KUOW must evolve from masters of terrestrial radio to also becoming fluent at attracting audiences and building communities through our website and social media networks. This requires substantial investment including building a robust platform of digital technologies, training our existing staff to be conversant in new media platforms, building out a team of digital specialists, and creating an analytic platform for assessing user behaviors and preferences so that we can continuously improve our content.
Building A Diverse Audience
KUOW’s goal is to build the most diverse audience of any public news provider in the country: crossing age, race, point of view, and encompassing the entire Puget Sound region. Public media fosters informed and engaged citizens due to the honest, intelligent coverage of the issues of the day, at home and around the world. KUOW believes it is our duty to expand our audience well beyond our existing Seattle-centric base and inform citizens of all types. While we estimate that this initiative has the potential to increase our audience by 20-30%, our primary purpose is more fundamental: to build bridges and understanding across generations, engage the racially diverse, and give voice to our multi-cultural community.
The “story of us” has to be the story of all of us to achieve relevance and resonance and to reach into populations heretofore un-served. Attracting a diverse audience requires a selection of voices representative of our community and the hiring of non-traditional personas to make and manage our content. It will also require training of existing staff in new ways of representing a broader citizenry. Last, our marketing and community outreach will work to engage those who might not traditionally have found their path to KUOW.
Civil Discourse For A Stronger Community
The intent of KUOW’s community engagement initiative is to combine the power of a Town Hall with the bullhorn capacity of KUOW’s on-air and digital channels. We seek a more interactive and more personal engagement with the community we serve, driven by face-to-face interactions, ongoing relationships, and an active role in facilitating connections and shared understandings. This is radically different from traditional journalism that is more often “separate” from the community in which it operates.
By deeply and directly engaging with the diverse cultures in our region, we will be able to:
- Span political, cultural and geographical divides, connecting two or more communities together.
- Provide the public with direct exposure to other voices, often without the intermediary perspective of an “expert.”
- Create a space for dialog, actively engaging rather than just witnessing/reporting.
- Build community connections to KUOW content producers and personalities.
KUOW seeks to become a more pervasive “convener of choice” throughout the Puget Sound region. This will require increasing the number of events at which we are present and establishing an ambassador team of community connectors. In addition, KUOW will significantly increase investment in our ground-breaking RadioActive Youth Media program, currently geared at helping youth find their media voices, so that it may serve greater numbers and achieve its full potential.
Setting The Standard
Journalism is facing a crisis of reputation. People are increasingly skeptical that contemporary reporting is both credible and fundamentally useful in informing the public about the world. The vast majority of media organizations are incented on profit, not impact. Therefore, they do not attempt to both measure and increase the effect of their work in informing our citizenry.
In addition, the broader impact of journalism on our community at large is extraordinarily difficult to measure and prove.
However, research can be conducted to determine whether individuals are affected by the news KUOW provides. Did a person discuss or share a story with friends? Vote differently? Get involved? Change their behavior? Do they believe that the information we have provided is representative, accurate and useful?
KUOW is embarking on a multi-year program of research to determine our impact and how to increase it over time. This will be ground breaking work: This type of research is performed by very few media organizations and our intent is to influence the entire news industry’s understanding of how to improve the social impact of its content and reporting.