Nearly a third of Oregon eighth graders and half of 11th graders report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. These alarming statistics spurred KPTV-TV in Beaverton, Ore., into action to reverse the trend. Working with the Oregon Partnership, a statewide nonprofit organization that works to promote the health of kids, the station launched a multi-platform community service campaign to prevent underage drinking. In addition to a series of news stories, the news team produced a half-hour special, "Underage Drinking: A Call to Action," which aired during National Alcohol Awareness Month in conjunction with town hall meetings. KPTV news anchor Wayne Garcia moderated the town hall meeting at Beaverton’s Sunset High School. The station also produced both broadcast and print public service announcements. The focus of all aspects of the campaign was on changing the future so alcohol use doesn’t claim the lives and health of more teens.
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It’s a story with a happy ending. Every animal that has been featured as the "Pet of the Week" on KATU-TV in Portland, Ore., has found a home. The 100 percent adoption success rate is made all the more sweet by the fact that the dogs and cats appearing on the segment are those who have been at the Oregon Humane Society for some time. Each year, the station also helps the shelter, which is the third oldest animal welfare organization in the nation, raise much-needed funds by hosting a live four-hour telethon. In 2007, the fundraiser led to 72 adoptions and raised $275,000 from individual and corporate donations, a $55,000 increase from the year before. Promotional announcements and appearances from Humane Society staff on the "AM Northwest" show helped raise awareness of the event. "The partnership that KATU has with the Oregon Humane Society literally saves lives," said Barbara Baugnon, marketing director of the Oregon Humane Society. "Pets that are highlighted weekly on KATU find homes, and the telethon raises funds that allow us to continue to provide homeless animals with shelter and medical care."
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Multiple school buses left packed full of food and gifts at the second annual "Bus Jam," an event organized by KDCQ-FM in Coos Bay, Ore. The station’s listeners gave more than 7,400 pounds of food, 1,000 gifts and $800 during the five-hour remote, providing relief for those who have hit hard times. "In spite of reports of donations being down all around the nation, the community rallied behind this event to set unprecedented records of giving," said KDCQ General Manager Stephanie Kilmer. Nearly 300 promotional announcements aired during the four-week period before the event, including playtime during morning and afternoon drive periods. At the event, staff worked side-by-side with volunteers to collect, sort and distribute items, contributing more than 200 hours. "Bus Jam" allowed more than 300 children throughout the broadcast area to receive Christmas gifts. Coos County, which houses 60,000 residents, has high unemployment and food insecurity rates, making the need for the drive significant. In related efforts, the station hosts a community baby shower and collects backpacks and supplies for children who have been taken from methamphetamine homes.
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When hurricane-class winds slammed into the region, killing two and causing damage in excess of $25 million, KAST-AM in Astoria, Ore., provided a lifeline to its community. Two days prior, the station readied generators, set up broadcast redundancies and prepared its listeners with more than 40 hours of reporting about the storm to come. When the storm hit, KAST staff literally fought through the rain and high winds to keep the power on. The station established a 24-hour commercial-free rotation to ensure listeners would receive the latest information. As one of the few stations to remain on air, emergency response groups, government officials and public works employees all used KAST to communicate information about food, shelter, health needs, assistance and volunteer efforts. For days after the storm, the station was still broadcasting information and taking calls to help listeners learn about available aid. Weeks later, when the storm’s immediate effects had passed, KAST continued its storm recovery efforts by working with a local charity, The Wishing Tree. Hours of programming were dedicated to gathering food, toys and gifts to ensure children and families were still able to have Christmas after the storm. In total, KAST provided more than 285 hours of airtime to help its community prepare, survive and recover.
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KOBI-TV and KOTI-TV/Oregon
An award-winning three-year project started by KOBI-TV in Medford, Ore., and KOTI-TV in Klamath Falls, Ore., focuses on stopping methamphetamine abuse before it starts. With meth playing a part in three out of four foster care placements and eight out of 10 arrests, "The Southern Oregon Meth Project" has a mission to prevent the next generation from becoming addicts. As spokesperson for the project, Christina Anderson, news anchor and reporter for KOBI and KOTI, visits schools to get word out about the dangers of meth. Public service announcements (PSAs) and radio and newspaper ads are also part of the prevention strategy. Special reports and quarterly half-hour specials related to meth air on both stations. Other components of the extensive effort have included student PSA contests, a three-part Meth Forum attended by 300 community members and a live broadcast of a townhall meeting where drug abuse was discussed with U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden(D-OR), and Gordon Smith (R-OR). The project was given the Chairman’s Community Award by the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County, and its "Faces of Meth" PSA was recognized by the Oregon Broadcasters Association in 2007.
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KQAK-FM, KWPK-FM and KLTW-FM/Oregon
The theater of radio comes alive each year when KQAK-FM, KWPK-FM and KLTW-FM in Bend, Ore., broadcast the Regional Spelling Bee in its entirety. The stations began the annual event four years ago as part of their commitment to education. The broadcast is akin to a sporting event, complete with station talent as commentators and interviews with fans. Together with other local businesses, the stations provide the three best spellers with $1,000 college savings bonds. This past year, 57 students competed, representing three school districts. Promotional announcements air the week leading up to the competition on KQAK, KWPK, KLTW and two additional sister stations from Horizon Broadcasting Group. "I had a neighbor tell me her family started listening to it when they were in the car, and they ended up sitting in their driveway for more than an hour to see who won," said Keith Shipman, president of Horizon Broadcasting Group. "Those are the stories that really make it worth it." The stations air the broadcast the day after the spelling bee so the children can hear themselves on the radio.
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With a commitment to getting out the message that each vote makes a difference, KGDD-AM in Portland, Ore., launched its “El Voto Latino Campaign.” Before the Oregon primaries, the station, along with sister station KSZN-AM, ran one-minute public service announcements (PSAs) more than a dozen times each day encouraging listeners to register to vote. Thirty- and 15-second voter registration PSAs also aired in high rotation. Broadcasts on KGDD were filled with information on the candidates’ visits to Oregon, providing listeners with resources to find additional information about both the candidates and the issues. Every Monday through Friday, the station’s mobile unit went on the road, providing the community with multiple places to pick up voter registration forms, which were also passed out by station staff during the Cinco de Mayo Festival. Because of the station’s efforts, 5,000 forms were distributed before the primary elections. Now in high gear for the general election, the station plans on getting voter registration forms into the hands of thousands more in the Hispanic community. Additional voter registration form distributions will take place at well-attended events, including Festival Luis Palau at the Portland Waterfront Park and Mexican Independence celebrations. The station is working to get registration forms into Latino magazines, as well. “I am sure that working together we can have a greater impact on the Latino community and its involvement in the voting process,” said KGDD’s Erika Zacarias.
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Since the first local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 21 years ago, KKCW-FM in Portland, Ore., has been a partner. The event has grown into the third largest Race for the Cure in the nation, bringing more than 47,000 people together to raise money for breast cancer research. For the past four years, KKCW’s sister stations, KEX-AM, KKRZ-FM, KPOJ-AM and KQOL-FM, have joined as exclusive radio sponsors for the event. All five stations promote the race with hundreds of promotional announcements and email blasts to their listeners starting three months before race day. KKCW aired more than 300 live and recorded spots alone. On-air talent from each station leads a race team. Last year, Dana Jeffries, KKCW’s morning show co-host, ran the course with a team of nearly 200 listeners. From before sunrise through the afternoon, KKCW’s morning show broadcast live from the event. All the stations aired race coverage, including interviews with cancer survivors and runners. After the last person crossed the finish line, a new fundraising record of nearly $3 million had been set.
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Topic: Neighbors in Need
"The Great Food Drive," organized by KGW-TV in Portland, Ore., surpassed its goal this year, collecting more than 1.1 million pounds of food to feed the needy. The station began its annual month-long food drive five years ago to help families in Oregon and southwest Washington. Donations go to the Oregon Food Bank, the statewide hub for a network of 919 hunger-relief agencies. Throughout March 2008, KGW aired public service announcements, including one featuring Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Daily news stories on the need for donations and the progress of the campaign kept the goals of the effort in viewers’ minds. The value of the airtime for the PSAs alone totaled more than $75,000. In addition to raising funds and food donations, KGW uses the campaign to educate viewers about the root causes and status of hunger in the state.
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A twice-weekly segment about unsolved crimes that runs during the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news on KTVL-TV in Medford, Ore., has aided in the arrest of more than 80 criminals, making the city a safer place. Both segments, "Crime Stoppers MethWatch" and "Crime Stoppers," are backed by the station, Crime Stoppers of Southern Oregon, local law enforcement and the local newspaper. With a goal of stopping the spread of drugs in Southern Oregon, "MethWatch," specifically targets people who manufacture and distribute methamphetamine. These reports aren’t just about the "bad" guys. As an eye-opener to the far-reaching effects meth has on the community, "MethWatch" segments also feature stories about the drug’s affects on the workforce, youth and the community. Success stories of addicts who have received treatment and taken back their lives also air, and once a year, a MethWatch half-hour special summarizes all the people profiled and lists resources for users to get help. "With KTVL’s support and assistance, both ‘MethWatch’ and ‘Crime Stoppers’ have made a huge impact on the safety of our community," said Deputy Chief Tim George, president of Crime Stoppers of Southern Oregon. "It takes a communitywide effort to beat an epidemic like methamphetamine, and KTVL has done more than their share as a community partner."
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Information taken directly from the National Association of Broadcasters' Broadcaster Public Service website.