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How KPCC is building trust and sharing its mission statement(s)

Steal this idea: Clarifying mission statements let audiences know what KPCC reporters are focused on.

Building loyalty and a sense of community among targeted audiences is critical to audience development. At Southern California Public Radio, the public media network that operates KPCC (89.3 FM) and LAist.com, they’re rolling out individual mission statements for each of their reporters.

As managing editor Megan Garvey wrote in a post that appeared on Medium and www.kpcc.org, the organization knows “that deepening our connection to our existing audience and finding new listeners and readers are critical to sustaining our newsroom.”

She shared a mission statement for the entire newsroom:

You deserve great local news — and we need your help to find those stories. We listen to what you’re curious about, what keeps you up at night, and who you want held accountable. We’re inviting you to be part of the conversation.

The post also listed all of the reporters’ mission statements.

Here’s the mission statement for higher education reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez:

I focus stories on college students who are at a crossroads, particularly those on the first rung into higher education. Many of those students are trying to overcome academic and other challenges because they believe college will be the path to a better life. How do the people around them — in their personal lives and at the institutions they attend — help or hinder their success?

And the mission statement for Asian American communities reporter Josie Huang:

More Asian Americans live in L.A. County than any other county in the U.S. The communities are varied and complex and often invisible in the mainstream media. I tell the stories of recent immigrants and families who have been here for generations to answer the question: How do you navigate the intersection of being Asian and American and what impact does that have on L.A.’s future?

Garvey highlighted the need to earn and keep the trust of audiences by delivering fair and accurate reporting. The process needs to be transparent, and reporters and editors need to explain how stories are reported out.

The goal of the mission statements? To spend as much time as possible reporting original stories that don’t just echo what other newsrooms are reporting. These stories, Garvey writes, will be more interesting, more reflective of KPCC audiences, and a critical part of deepening the newsrooms connection with these audiences.