Native Public Media and Corporation for Public Broadcasting Provide Broadcast Training

Tribal Station Manager Maggie Rousu, of KKWE Radio, understands what it takes to run a successful radio station in an environment where complying with rules and regulations is serious. "Covid-19 made it impossible to attend much-needed training in-person because people were dying from the virus," states Rousu.


This prompted Melissa Begay, Operations Director for Native Public Media, to take compliance training for broadcasters online. "For the safety of our broadcasters and the general public, the 2021 Native Broadcast Summit was canceled, and training webinars are virtually offered instead," explained Begay. "Education and training are important tools our tribal broadcasters use in operating effective and successful stations."


In partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), NPM hosted a webinar on March 25, 2021specifically for tribal radio stations participating in the CPB Community Service Grant (CSG) program. Broadcasters from Alaska to Minnesota attended the webinar to learn about the new CSG policy that classifies stations into Coverage Area Population tiers rather than station size.


Tribal radio stations see benefits resulting from the new CAP policy, which became effective in January 2021. The CSG base grants and staffing requirements are aligned with the new CAP categories and recognize the hardship of tribal stations with smaller staff and revenue. Under the CAP, stations serving smaller coverage area populations receive a larger base grant.


"The new CAP policy considers the financial disparities among stations, encourages sustainability and does not penalize smaller stations with less opportunity to fundraise," states Begay.


A powerful amplifier of native voices in tribal communities, radio provides hyper-local news and information serving Indian Country while reinforcing the resiliency of tribal communities and their members. Training was provided by Kathy Merritt, CPB Vice President of Radio, Journalism, and CSG Services, and Andrew Charnik, Director of Radio CSG Policy and Administration.


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