The following is the fiscal year 2015 version of the narrative that MCPB provides each year to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting describing ways in which our programming serves the diverse needs of the community in our coverage area.
Our mission declares our programming to "reflect the rich diversity of the county" and that we seek to "foster increased communication among all groups in the county and makes access available to all." These phrases guide us in pursuing our programming goals.
Our weekly programming schedule includes 11 hours of in-house locally produced public affairs programs and 66 hours of locally presented music. In addition we produce a daily ten-minute local newscast. In FY2014 we added a second news person to cover local news. We try to cover all issues of importance in the county, with news, regular programs and specials. Our music programming is eclectic, and varied. We offer classical, jazz, rock, folk, Americana, world, soul, gospel, reggae, all in generous amounts and curated by programmers who are experts in their respective genres. This variety is a big part of the cultural component of our mission.
At the national level, we are the only countywide media that broadcasts national election debates, the State of the Union Address, Presidential Inaugurals Presidential Press Conferences and other important events. Internet connections are sparse enough in this rural county that catching these events on a web stream is generally not practical.
Every Saturday we have a one-hour show called "Trading Time" that allows caller from all over the area to call in and offer or seek various good and services. This program functions as a true community center that attracts listeners of all ages and persuasions.
Our website offers blogs from our programmers and archives of our public affairs shows. We stream our broadcast at kzyx.org.
We produce local music concerts, showcasing talent that otherwise would not appear in this county.
In FY 2014 (July 2013 - June 2014), we partnered with the League of Women Voters and the AAUW to broadcast candidate debates for many of this area's State, County and local races. These debates were held in public meeting places and allowed questions from the audience as well as the standard debate format. After the broadcast these events were available as archives on our website.
In addition, we held several election special programs where local candidates for Supervisor, Superintendent of Schools and County Clerk were interviewed live (with live calls from listeners) and others where local experts explained the particulars of the many state ballot initiatives that always appear on California ballots. KZYX was the only media outlet in this county to present these debates and program specials.
On Tuesday mornings we partner with the Ukiah Valley Medical Center to produce "Mind, Body and Health" hosted by a local doctor (whose time to do the program is paid by the hospital) featuring local doctors and medical experts with an orientation toward prevention.
We partner with the Coast Audubon Society to produce weekly audio segments about local bird lore.
We partner with the Mendocino Film Festival nonprofit by conducting interviews with selected filmmakers.
We work with the Anderson Valley Education Foundation’s intern program to train local high school students in broadcast and internet skills.
We partner with the Mendocino County Museum on their annual “Mendocino Roadshow,” a spoken word and musical presentation about county history.
We have a close relationship with other parts of the local "safety net", including the local fire chief who comes on the air at least once and usually more each year to discuss fire prevention and safety. Local law enforcement, in particular the County Sheriff and the District Attorney, appear frequently as guests of our local programs. Members of the County Board of Supervisors appear as guests at various times during the years and they take live calls from the public as well as conversation with the program host. The County CEO was a guest for one call-in show. State Senator Noreen Evans appeared as a guest several times during the year.
Our regular public affairs programs showcase the activities of numerous local nonprofit social service organizations. Because KZYX is the most ubiquitous local media (there is no countywide TV or newspaper), we are often the primary way these organizations get their message out to the public. Among those featured this year were local Food Banks, The County Library, Plowshares, Willits Community Services, Coast Community Clinic, The Community Foundation of Mendocino County, Mendocino County Food Policy Council, Abalone Watch, Mendocino Public Safety Foundation, Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project and the Redwood Coast Senior Center. In addition several local businesses have been profiled and interviewed, many of which are engaged in essential community services, such as Hospice of Ukiah and Redwood Quality Management (mental health services).
We covered a number of crucial local issues during more than a single program, such as a controversial highway bypass around the City of Willits, the closing a local junior college (Fort Bragg campus of the College of the Redwoods), and details about the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Covered California.
Our public affairs programs are varied in their content. Some are issues-oriented such as "Mendo Matters" "Youth Speaks Out" and "Give and Take." Some are better classified as self-help programs such as "The Farm and Garden Show", the "Renewable Energy Hour" and "Holistic Health Perspectives."
While actual measurement is very difficult, we do receive feedback that gives us viable indicators of our service. I don't think we could prove, for example, that our voter awareness programming resulted in a larger turnout at the polls. It is safe to assume that our election coverage helps the people of this area make more informed voting choices because no other local media does this work at a countywide level.
We received this message from a well-known local woman who is the veteran of many ballot races and initiatives who is a regular guest on our "Women's Voices" program that holds special bipartisan shows explaining the particulars of a given election:
"I heard from many people, after each Women's Voices show in which I participated, that hearing views from representatives of the Democratic, Republican and other parties was very helpful to them being prepared to vote in the elections. People, whom I barely knew, frequently commented that 'It is a valuable service to the community'. - Rachel Binah"
Our locally-produced program, "Youth Speaks Out" is hosted and produced by local high school students. It is a serious issues-oriented program that is exemplary in its scope and execution. In June, 2014 their guest was educator Ralph Cantor who specialized in drug use education for students. We received this email from a local sponsor of the program, the Laytonville Healthy Start Family Resource Center, who passed along this email from a listener:
"June 1, 2014
Good evening, I heard the show today with Ralph Cantor.
I started smoking around 13-14 but got sober at 18 due to all sorts of issues. But Ralph's focus on 12-17 year olds really resonated and I wanted to find out if I could help in some way. I have experience speaking about my drug abuse with A.A. and thought I might be useful. I am currently volunteering at the City of 10,000 Buddhas in Ukiah. Any suggestions would be helpful. Or Mr. Cantor's contact info. Thanks!"
the Laytonville Healthy Start Family Resource Center also reported this to us:
"The first recording of Ralph’s talk was downloaded over 21,000 times from all over the US. His second talk was downloaded 1,100 times in the first 3 weeks it was aired. 2 substance abuse counselors from the Willits area tuned in and requested CDs of Ralph’s talk.
They are using them with parents who have indicated a desire to speak with their kids about NOT using pot, even though the parents do.
All in all, a positive experience. We are hoping to bring him back in May.
Jayma Shields Spence
Laytonville Healthy Start Family Resource Center
Drug Free Communities Program (EPIC) "
The Mendocino County Museum produces a live educational entertainment production each year, "The Mendocino County Museum Roadshow," that is a direct offshoot of a series produced for KZYX called "Mendocino remembered" in which producer Linda Pack portrays local historical figures in their own words.
According to Linda, "The Mendocino County Museum Road Show was generated by the popularity and importance of Mendocino County Remembered. This now annual theatrical event plays to a thousand people each Spring, touring to historic venues throughout the County. The Road Show features local actors and musicians, using the same primary source material as the radio show. Like Mendocino County Remembered, it brings history to life and directly to the people served by KZYX and the Museum by telling more stories of our past in dramatic context."
Here is an example of email Linda received about the show, "I found the 6/22/13 recording on prohibition quite fascinating due to the fact that I work for The Mendocino County Department of Public Health and one of my current projects is around the harms associated with an oversaturation of alcohol outlets, which Mendocino County has. Is there any chance I would be able to obtain the 6/22/13 recording?
Senior Program Specialist
Health & Human Services Agency"
Our efforts to meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences include the following:
We have one popular Spanish Language music program called "Alma Latina" every Saturday.
Every Monday night we have a program called "Women's Voices."
We air a monthly program produced in our studios by and for high school students called "Youth Speaks Out."
Alternate Thursdays we have a program for the gay community titled "Pride Radio Mendocino."
"Mind, Body and Health" frequently presents important health and medical information geared to the large and growing senior population here.
We plan to continue these programs through the coming years.