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Local Content and Service Report to the Community 2023

Local Value
At KSMU Radio and Ozarks Public Television, we take our role of serving our audience and upholding their trust very seriously. We strive to keep listeners and viewers across the Ozarks informed, entertained, and inspired through in-depth news coverage, excellent educational content, and the civil exchange of ideas. A variety of local and national content is distributed through our media platforms, connecting audiences in meaningful ways. With a mission to explore ideas and deepen our shared understanding, the stations are focused on several priorities, including quality content, collaboration, and sustainability.

Key Services

  • Engaging community members through local outreach.
  • Educating families through each stage of life.
  • Celebrating diversity to develop cultural competence and create inclusive communities.
  • Documenting, presenting, and preserving the history and culture of the Ozarks.

Local Impact
Ozarks Public Broadcasting reaches our entire community. Because Ozarks Public Television and KSMU Radio are available free of charge, through over-the-air broadcast and online streaming, we’re able to serve all families in our area—regardless of their financial means. Every child in the Ozarks has access to quality educational programming that promotes success in school, and every resident has access to information and ideas that encourage community engagement.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

KSMU Trivia Nights
KSMU continued its partnership with Springfield Brewing Company to host Trivia Nights throughout the year. Teams of 2-6 people enjoy dinner, drinks, and five rounds of trivia to compete for bragging rights and prizes.

Studio Live Social Hour
In January 2023, Studio Live Social Hour moved to its new location—Mother’s Brewing Company. Social Hour features a performance from the monthly Studio Live guest and is free to attend. Studio Live is broadcast the second Friday of each month, and Social Hour follows that evening.

NPR Tiny Desk Contest Local Showcase
KSMU hosted the 2023 NPR Tiny Desk Contest Local Showcase at Mother’s Brewing Company in June. The free event featured musicians Seth Darby, Justin Larkin, and Terrible Terrence, selected from a pool of 2023 Tiny Desk Contest entrants.

NPR’s Noguchi Visits Springfield
As part of the Missouri State University Public Affairs Conference, KSMU hosted NPR Science Desk correspondent Yuki Noguchi. She spoke at the conference, met with journalism students, and visited with station donors.

LOCAL NEWS

Available to All
2023 was a time of growth for KSMU’s trusted news team and our signature brand of “locally grown” news content. We’re proud to make daily audio and digital news coverage available to everyone—without paywall barriers—thanks to pledge contributions and public resources.

Familiar Faces and New Voices
Longtime KSMU journalist Michele Skalicky moved into the news director role. Not long afterward, the team welcomed Chris Drew as our new Morning Edition host and reporter. With the help of student interns and part-time reporters, KSMU Radio continued to document the daily life of the Ozarks.

Focused on the Ozarks
The news team produced more local stories and added a local newscast each afternoon during All Things Considered. KSMU News reached beyond our own studios to collaborate with outside journalism partners including the nonprofit Springfield Daily Citizen. And KSMU continued its critical role supporting the Informed Voter Coalition. This nonpartisan coalition—made up of KSMU and a dozen other Ozarks community organizations—aims to provide equitable coverage during election cycles by interviewing candidates for local public office.

EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH

Seuss Science Day
Ozarks Public Television partnered with the Ozarks Regional YMCA to present Seuss Science Day in early 2023. The free family event, inspired by Dr. Seuss, encouraged kids to explore the world around them through interactive S.T.E.A.M. activities, reading, and more.

OPT/PBS KIDS Writers Contest
Kids in kindergarten through third grade participated in the 2023 Writers Contest by writing and illustrating original stories. Local winners were honored at a banquet and had stories displayed at a local art gallery and children’s literacy festival.

DIVERSE PROGRAMMING

Brave Talks
In July 2023, KSMU hosted Brave Talks, a four-episode limited series with Charity Jordan Rex of Harmony House and Kunti Bentley of MSU’s Project HEAL. The conversations centered on intimate partner violence in our area and how we can work together to create a safer community for everyone.

Punk & Variations
Student reporter and announcer Meghan McKinney launched KSMU’s latest local music show Punk & Variations. Each week, she picks a hardcore genre, exploring old to modern music through punk, garage rock, grunge—anything with an aggressive sound.

Unseen
In 2023, Ozarks Public Television aired the independent film Unseen: How We’re Failing Parent Caregivers & Why It Matters. The documentary gives a candid look at families living with disability and calls for action to improve outcomes.

Sense of Community
Ozarks Public Television’s ongoing public affairs series Sense of Community (SOC) featured topics this season including human trafficking, local news challenges, and much more. In 2023, KSMU added an encore broadcast of SOC’s audio on 91.1 FM the week after each episode’s television presentation.

REGIONAL REFLECTION

Now Showing
Premiering in May 2023, Now Showing: The Life and Times of Springfield Movie Theaters presented a nostalgic and entertaining look at the origin, history, and highlights of local theaters. The film recreates the novelty of the movie-going experience where audiences often sat in architecturally splendid auditoriums and watched wide-eyed as the adventures of their favorite stars filled two-story screens.

Generations
While Southwest Missouri is known for its rich culture and community, some aspects of the area’s history are often overlooked. Black Americans have played a pivotal role in the development and growth of our region since the early 1800s. In June 2023, Ozarks Public Television explored the unique experiences, challenges, tragedies, and successes of Black Americans in our area with the premiere of Generations: African American Experiences in Springfield and the Ozarks.

CAMPUS CONNECTIONS

Talking History
KSMU’s first full-length podcast, Talking History, debuted in May 2023 in partnership with the Missouri State University Department of History. Hosts Djene Bajalan and Patrick Needham speak every month with historians and scholars about the ideas, people, and events that have shaped our world.

Astro Brief
Astro Brief is a weekly look into astronomy produced in cooperation with the Missouri Space Grant and the Missouri State University Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science. Hosted by Dr. Mike Reed, the KSMU show explores a variety of topics and features astronomy-related guests.

Engaging the Community
This monthly KSMU program features Missouri State University President Clif Smart and KSMU News Director Michele Skalicky discussing the implications of national and international events on the University and local community.

Missouri State Journal
This weekly KSMU program is a collaboration with the Missouri State University Office of Strategic Communication and features faculty and staff from a variety of areas across campus sharing expert tips and advice.

CLICK HERE for a PDF copy of the report.