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We're here for you,
and because of you...
In a year full of challenges, ideastream continued to implement its 2019–2021 Strategic Plan and further aligned ideastream’s strengths to better serve the community. To address a growing need for local journalism and the changing media landscape, ideastream conducted research in support of the development of a statewide public radio and digital news collaborative. When the collaborative is implemented, it will be the state’s largest newsroom and Ohio’s only daily statewide radio and digital news service. ideastream also began a collaboration with Kent State University’s public radio station, WKSU 89.7, to explore opportunities for growth and expansion of public media service in Northeast Ohio.
As the COVID-19 pandemic impacted lives across the globe, ideastream produced several content series and initiatives to keep the local community in-the-know. Across its broadcast and digital channels, ideastream provided important health updates, reported on the local impacts of the pandemic and shared Governor Mike DeWine’s COVID-19 briefings statewide. ideastream also offered educational resources to assist children, families and educators adapting to at-home learning. With in-person events canceled and many of Northeast Ohio’s iconic arts institutions closed, ideastream connected the community with engaging music and entertainment — offering a new daily classical music radio program, on-demand concert recordings and live digital performances that gave audiences access to local art and music.
ideastream embarked upon a new series of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives with its staff as our nation continued to struggle with legacies of injustice, racism and inequity. These efforts were implemented to help disrupt the vicious cycle of disinvestment and displacement that negatively impacts the vitality of communities of color. In addition, through its public media workforce collaborative, ideastream offered staff members professional opportunities to increase staff diversity and share best practices among regional public media stations.
Thanks to generous contributions from our members and supporters, ideastream was able to significantly increase its commitment to serving Northeast Ohio in a time of great need. On behalf of ideastream’s staff and board, thank you for helping ideastream expand community services and deliver innovative solutions. We’re here for you, and because of you.
Kevin E. Martin, President and CEO
Sandra Kiely Kolb, Board Chair
ARTS and CULTURE
ideastream told stories about Northeast Ohio’s rich cultural assets and remarkable artists.
Recognizing artists of color face barriers in the art world, ideastream’s Equity in Art series sought to amplify their work. Through this long-form digital series, ideastream profiled artists of various genres living and working in Northeast Ohio. FIVE IN-DEPTH MULTIMEDIA STORIES were produced for the project.
One story about Cleveland artist Charmaine Spencer was shared online nationally by PBS NewsHour.
In describing her art, Spencer said her sculpture expresses her joy and love for humanity while her social justice pieces express anger. Following the death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, she renewed her focus on art examining social issues.
As a sculptor, Spencer utilizes natural materials in her work. She aims to “put value back into things people see as valueless.”
ideastream hosted 12 livestreamed concerts on ideastream.org and Facebook Live. During the ongoing series Applause Performances and First Fridays, users engaged with musicians by commenting, sharing and reacting in real-time on Facebook. One of the most-viewed concerts was eclectic world-soul group Chris and Jake Fader with Joe Tomino.
"Thanks for bring us something positive! You guys are the best!"
The top four livestreamed concert performances have been viewed for an equivalent of 572 hours and 52 minutes across ideastream.org and social media.
THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA
The Cleveland Orchestra and ideastream are committed to collaborating on projects that can transform lives through the power of music, including airing weekly radio broadcasts on WCLV 104.9, streaming community concerts online and co-producing nationally distributed television specials. Over the year, content created through the partnership reached over 18,800 digital users from 55 countries.
At a time when the Orchestra had to cancel in-person performances, ideastream and the Orchestra launched Lunchtime with The Cleveland Orchestra. The new weekday radio show connected listeners with musicians from the Orchestra and curated musical selections.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert with The Cleveland Orchestra, aired in 153 markets, including each of the top 20 markets nationwide, making it available to 91% of U.S. television households.
ideastream informed local audiences and sparked engaging community discussions.
As Americans faced a global pandemic, an election and political polarization, the One Small Step project brought people together. In collaboration with the national nonprofit StoryCorps, ideastream facilitated conversations between Ohioans with opposing political views.
The project resulted in 25 recorded conversations with 50 people that were shared online, broadcast on 90.3 WCPN and featured during a live digital event. ideastream was one of six stations across the U.S. chosen to lead in this initiative.
The live digital event, The Sound of Ideas Community Tour: One Small Step Across the Political Divide, received over 1,600 views on Facebook.
“I don’t feel like you’re my polar opposite. I could see myself sitting down and having a longer conversation with you.”
“I echo what you said there. I’m very pleasantly surprised.”
Event Attendee Marshall A. commented, “Gail and Maria, great interview. Makes me proud to have you as fellow citizens!”
SHARED STORIES FROM PUBLIC HOUSING
Homes, a two-year reporting project, explored Cleveland’s Woodhill Homes, one of the oldest public housing developments in the nation. This series told the stories of the neighborhood and its people, ensuring residents’ views were accounted for as Woodhill Homes undergoes a planned rebuild. In the second year of Homes, an in-person event, The Sound of Ideas Community Tour: Public Housing in Cleveland, and 16 multimedia stories were produced.
86% OF WOODHILL HOMES RESIDENTS surveyed on-site reported learning something new about their neighborhood as a result of ideastream’s coverage. A Woodhill Homes resident commented, “If it’s on [the radio], it would mean what I said was worth hearing. It would have to be, I’d love it.”
CONVENED COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS
The Sound of Ideas, a weekday radio program on 90.3 WCPN, and The Sound of Ideas Community Tour, an event and livestream series, delivered a comprehensive analysis of news and offered explorations of community issues. In addition, ideastream broadcast The City Club of Cleveland’s City Club Forums live each week as the primary media partner.
“I think ideastream may have lit a match that is going to start a fire of positive change.”
200 PEOPLE attended The Sound of Ideas Community Tour: Future of the West Side Market. The livestream of the event generated over 3,000 VIEWS.
COMMEMORATED THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE KENT STATE UNIVERSITY SHOOTINGS
Through a series of reports, ideastream remembered the tragic events of May 4, 1970, when Ohio National Guard troops killed four students and wounded nine others during the course of an anti-war protest at Kent State University.
In response to one of ideastream’s stories, Nancy Tuttle [pictured above], the sister of William Schroeder, who was killed by guardsmen that day, said "Thank you for this narrative. I was out of state and have had to piece together what happened when my brother was killed."
ideastream provided essential programs and services to children, families and teachers.
The 50th season of NewsDepth, ideastream’s instructional multimedia series for children, was unlike any other. Most of the season’s full-length episodes were produced, as usual, in ideastream’s studios. Though, as children transitioned to remote schooling during the pandemic, NewsDepth pivoted to at-home production. The series launched shortened online Backpack episodes that were specially formatted for at-home learning and online teaching.
NewsDepth’s 50th season engaged 23% MORE USERS than the previous season. Teachers reported over 13,600 STUDENTS viewed the series in their classrooms.
Throughout the entirety of the school year, NewsDepth continued to present current events to kids in an easy-to-understand format and supported Ohio’s Learning Standards. Full-length episodes were broadcast statewide on PBS member stations and the entire season was made available to stream on-demand at ideastream.org.
“I love that NewsDepth allows my students to be informed, but at a level that is appropriate for fifth grade students.”
During the 2019-2020 school year, NewsDepth received over 58,500 RESPONSES to weekly online poll questions and over 17,600 LETTERS AND EMAILS from students and teachers.
DEVELOPED NEW INITIATIVES TO SUPPORT REMOTE EDUCATION
ideastream adapted its television broadcast schedule and developed multimedia learning resources to help Northeast Ohio families in the midst of local school closures.
“The resources ideastream sent every day were relevant and valuable.
In addition to sharing online programs and a new daily email newsletter, ideastream offered educational services for free through over-the-air television broadcasts to ensure widespread accessibility in the community.
SHARED LEARNING EXPERIENCES
ideastream, considered the state’s “largest classroom,” delivered more than 65 HOURS of PBS KIDS programming weekly on WVIZ/PBS, as well as managed a learning consortium of nine area school districts, all of which serve predominately minority and low-income students.
“I love how interactive the sessions were. Best Zoom I’ve had so far! The trainers really knew how to get us involved through a computer.”
ideastream facilitated 470 EDUCATION-FOCUSED EVENTS across Northeast Ohio that provided learning opportunities for 250 FAMILIES, 500 STUDENTS and 11,000 EDUCATORS.
HEALTH and SCIENCE
ideastream covered government news and legislative issues from various perspectives.
In a time of great need and uncertainty, ideastream prioritized relevant, responsible, quality coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. ideastream reporters focused on providing critical news and information relevant to Northeast Ohio.
“On many a day during COVID-19, ideastream kept me anchored by its veracity and in-depth reporting.”
The Coronavirus Questions and Answers reporting series directly addressed questions from the community about COVID-19 with local experts. Top stories included answers to Will Steam Kill It?, Can Hydrogen Peroxide Sanitize Hands? and Can I Go for A Walk?
ideastream reporters were able to answer over 100 QUESTIONS AND COUNTING from the community. The resulting answers published on ideastream.org were some of ideastream’s most popular digital stories of the year.
The Coronavirus Questions and Answers stories received over 274,000 PAGEVIEWS from over 226,000 USERS.
EXAMINED THE LOCAL IMPACTS OF THE PANDEMIC
ideastream collaborated with veteran local journalists, formerly of The Plain Dealer, to produce the reporting series, Coping With COVID-19. Stories published during this ongoing reporting project expanded coverage of the local impacts of COVID-19. The series investigated how the coronavirus pandemic reveals existing inequities that stem from decades of disinvestment in public health, the social safety net, communities of color and more.
“The pandemic has disrupted all our lives. For children in foster care, the struggles run even deeper. Thank you for giving these families a voice.”
The series Postcards from the Pandemic told the stories of Northeast Ohioans navigating the coronavirus pandemic. FORTY-FIVE STORIES were published as a result of the project. A social media initiative, #CoronaKind, focused on sharing stories about neighbors helping neighbors as communities navigated the COVID-19 crisis. ideastream asked users to share their own stories of kindness on social media.
EXPLORED THE RISE OF RURAL SUICIDES
The long-form digital series, The Rise of Rural Suicides, focused on the increasing rate of suicides across Ohio. The project explored how older adults are particularly vulnerable to suicide, why rural areas have seen more deaths by suicide, and how groups are figuring out how to better tailor their services to those who need help. The series was also shared with national audiences on NPR.
“Thank you for this article that refers to how complex and sometimes impulsive a thought and act suicide can be. Reducing stigma and improving outreach are both so important.”
The Rise of Rural Suicides received over 16,300 PAGEVIEWS from over 19,200 USERS.
the STATE of OHIO
ideastream led coverage of government news and legislative uses affecting Ohio.
From campaigns to conventions, debates to depositions, policies to primaries, ideastream’s Listen. Engage. Vote 2020 coverage provided the community with trusted election results and analysis. ideastream shared nuanced explorations of issues throughout the journey to the election and beyond with award-winning reporting and programming from NPR and PBS, plus local stories.
ideastream’s 16 FAQ STORIES leading up to the election helped users navigate updates to election protocols amidst the coronavirus crisis.
The online FAQ page allowed users to submit questions through a digital submission box. ideastream reporters answered these questions through in-depth stories. The top story answered the question, What Should You Do if Your Ballot May Have Been Lost in the Mail?
The FAQ stories generated more than 47,800 PAGEVIEWS from over 41,600 USERS.
SHARED GOVERNOR MIKE DEWINE'S LIVE BRIEFINGS STATEWIDE
As communities across Ohio faced challenges related to COVID-19, ideastream produced and distributed live briefings from Governor DeWine. These updates were broadcast statewide on The Ohio Channel and made available locally on ideastream.org, WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN. Beginning on March 12, 2020, the briefings generated over 1.1 MILLION PAGEVIEWS from over 618,000 USERS.
The briefing on March 22, 2020, when Governor DeWine issued Ohio’s stay-at-home order, was the SECOND MOST VISITED PIECE of digital content on ideastream.org for fiscal year 2020. The story received over 120,600 PAGEVIEWS from more than 84,200 USERS.
In addition, The State of Ohio, a weekly news program broadcast Sundays on WVIZ/PBS, featured the latest happenings at the Statehouse, in the governor’s office, at the Ohio Supreme Court and throughout the Buckeye State. Web content published by The State of Ohio generated over 7.2 MILLION PAGEVIEWS from over 1.7 MILLION USERS via ideastream.org and ohiochannel.org. This web traffic was largely attributed to Governor DeWine’s COVID-19 briefings.
ADDRESSED OHIO'S SKILLS GAP
Through the American Graduate: Getting to Work initiative, ideastream led a statewide collaborative with WOSU Public Media in Columbus and CET in Cincinnati to help advance education and career readiness. The collaborative, a first of its kind in public media, assessed workforce challenges and opportunities, and produced content focused on the essential skills needed for students and workers to succeed in the job markets of today and tomorrow.
“My colleagues in our public schools know what a powerful message this is to the students that are considering their careers. I applaud ideastream for their vision and commitment to this work.”
YouTube viewers watched a total of over 235 HOURS, or about 9 DAYS, 19 HOURS AND 30 MINUTES of American Graduate-related videos.
31% – MEMBERSHIP SUPPORT
12% – UNDERWRITING AND CORPORATE SUPPORT
12% – BROADCAST EDUCATIONAL MEDIA COMMISSION
11% – CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING
8% – FOUNDATION GRANTS
3% – CUYAHOGA ARTS & CULTURE
17% – OTHER SUPPORT AND EARNED REVENUE
66% – PROGRAMMING AND LOCAL CONTENT
34% – SUPPORT
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