Vermont Public has announced it will adopt the Citizen’s Agenda model for its coverage of the 2024 election. Community feedback will shape Vermont Public’s ongoing coverage of statewide races, candidate interviews and debates, voter guides, explainers and other resources.
“This coverage framework is predicated on the notion that traditional political and elections coverage is backwards – that it serves the candidates, rather than the people the politicians are supposed to be serving: the electorate,” said Angela Evancie, Senior Vice President of Content. “I’m thrilled that Vermont Public is adopting this model for 2024, as an antidote to the kind of candidate-centric, ‘horse race’ coverage that we know frustrates voters – our audience – and erodes trust in media.”
The Citizen’s Agenda model was developed by New York University Journalism Professor Jay Rosen and the audience engagement platform Hearken. Following the model, Vermont Public will be in communities throughout Vermont and online this year, asking a single question:
What do you want the candidates to discuss as they compete for your vote?
Voters and voters-to-be can share their thoughts online at vermontpublic.org/election and in person: Vermont Public reporters will spend time in every county in the leadup to the 2024 election. The station will host live remote broadcasts of flagship news shows such as Morning Edition, Vermont Edition, All Things Considered, The Frequency and Vermont This Week, as well as informal meetups with reporters, producers and hosts who will be eager to hear voter perspectives in all corners of the state.
The station is also recruiting volunteers to be part of a statewide “democracy street team” to distribute postcards and fliers, post on their local Front Porch Forum or town listserv and collect questions on Town Meeting Day about the election.
Additionally, Vermont Public has joined America Amplified, a public media journalism initiative that focuses on listening to the community in the reporting process, boosting understanding of the process and elections to combat misinformation. The initiative, which seeks to help Americans in all 50 states navigate the voting process, is hosted by WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Through the initiative, Vermont Public staff will answer the public’s questions about voting and develop and distribute resources to help Vermonters feel informed at the polls. Additionally, we plan to spend extra time in Franklin and Orleans counties, listening with a goal to foster civil conversation about potential solutions.
“As a public media organization, Vermont Public is committed to filling gaps in civic education and ensuring the accuracy of election information,” said Interim CEO Brendan Kinney. “As local news sources struggle and disinformation creates confusion about elections, we believe that America Amplified will help us respond effectively to the challenges we face as a state and country.”
About Vermont Public
Vermont Public is Vermont’s unified public media organization, serving the community with trusted journalism, quality entertainment, and educational programming. Formerly Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS, Vermont Public also provides local access to national programming from NPR and PBS. Its statewide radio and TV networks reach all of Vermont, as well as parts of New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts and Quebec, Canada. More information about programs, stations, services, and ways to support is available at vermontpublic.org.
About America Amplified
America Amplified is based at WFYI in Indianapolis and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with the aim of supporting community engaged journalism in public media. Originally launched in 2019, the initiative also helped shape public media coverage of the pandemic to include perspectives from communities across the country. In 2021 and 2022, America Amplified worked with 20 small and medium-sized public media stations across the country to expand the use of journalism practices that meaningfully address local information needs through active listening and engagement. In 2023 and 2024 America Amplified’s Election 2024 initiative will strengthen public media’s ability to address the information needs of unserved and underserved communities in the lead up to the 2024 federal election.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn, and subscribe for other updates.