WNYC NEWS & DATA NEWS
Illuminating Big Issues, Telling Human Stories
New Yorkers Cast Smarter Votes
After 12 years of Michael Bloomberg at the helm, New Yorkers knew the 2013 elections would determine not only their next mayor, but the future direction of the city. Listeners wanted smart, unbiased coverage of what was on their ballots, and they turned to WNYC for all the information they needed to go into the voting booth confident in their choices. The WNYC newsroom produced “Day in the Life” profiles of every mayoral candidate. The Brian Lehrer Show was the place for candidates to go to speak directly with constituents. Online audiences followed the candidates’ progress on the campaign trail through the Data News team’s Mayor Tracker. And when polls closed, voters turned to WNYC.org for real-time returns and demographic breakdowns by district for the primaries and the general election.
On Track with Christie
WNYC/New Jersey Public Radio launched the Christie Tracker to keep pace with and fully cover the Chris Christie administration. With original reporting from New Jersey Public Radio’s Matt Katz, the tracker digs deep into the issues and concerns that affect the citizens of New Jersey. The Christie Tracker delivered responsible, up-to-the-minute news on the George Washington Bridge / Port Authority story and is following the more-frequent trips to Iowa as 2016 approaches. It will continue leading the coverage of New Jersey’s governor with features, blog posts and tweets.
Life in the Middle
Paul Bhola moved to the Bronx from Guyana in 1982 with nothing but a degree from a technical school back home. He’s now a maintenance supervisor for the MTA; owns a $200,000 house; works Christmas and New Year’s; and lives in the neighborhood of Wakefield, where the median household income is $51,223 — right in the middle of household income figures for New York City, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Bhola spoke to WNYC about the sacrifices he’s made to live a middle-class life, and his story is recorded in the WNYC newsroom’s series Life in the Middle. It profiles the struggles and joys of families in all five boroughs who live middle-class lives in a city whose income disparity is only increasing.
Educating on the Edge
At West Brooklyn Community High School, anywhere between 45% and 65% of eligible students earn a diploma within six years. But to hear it from students like Paula Dinh, the dropout crisis is not an abstract policy problem. It’s a matter of survival. As part of the newsroom’s Educating on the Edge series, in partnership with WNYC’s Radio Rookies, Paula was just one of a handful of students giving listeners regular check-ins as she followed through on her goal to walk off the stage with a diploma on Graduation Day.
The Sandy Recovery Isn’t Over, and Neither Is Our Coverage
Until all the victims of Superstorm Sandy are back in their homes, the politicians, government agencies and private firms charged with executing the recovery effort will continue to be held accountable by residents of New York and New Jersey. The hunger for updates, profiles and images is still strong, and WNYC has remained committed to providing that coverage. For the one-year anniversary, the newsroom released a series of features focused on life after the storm and produced a one-hour special incorporating original reporting and interviews from when Sandy hit. The news team received several awards for its Sandy-related coverage (see Awards). The Citizens Housing & Planning Council also honored WNYC with its Insight Award for its continuing coverage of Sandy and its service to New York.
911, What’s Your Emergency?
On the morning of October 12, 2013, the nuns of St. Joseph Hill Convent on Staten Island placed three 911 calls to report a fire. One of the nuns had to jump out a window, and she broke three vertebrae. Our audience could follow along online with a Data News piece that featured the actual calls between the nuns and the operators and dispatchers trying to respond. This belonged to a series of reports, some in partnership with WNBC-TV, that provided detailed, concrete examples of some of the larger problems with the city’s 911 emergency response system. Following the coverage and a subsequent City Council hearing, the de Blasio administration expanded its review of the current 911 system.
Every Traffic Death Matters
In 2014, the WNYC newsroom and Data News team launched “Mean Streets,” an initiative to keep track of and analyze all traffic-related deaths on the streets of New York. The project aims to better understand the causes of these fatalities, so root problems can be addressed.
WNYC’S HEALTH UNIT
Delivering Impactful Reporting And A Better Night’s Sleep
Officially launching in Fiscal Year 2015, WNYC’s health unit has a goal of creating a community of engaged people who can use the information WNYC provides to become ambassadors for good health and good healthcare for themselves, their families and their communities. Throughout Fiscal 2014, WNYC conducted a pilot phase and established three core coverage areas — medical science and discovery, healthy living and wellness, and healthcare economics and policy. Pilot projects are below.
“The Antidote: DNA Secrets” was an hour-long radio special. The special focused on the innovations and implications of genetic testing. It included features and news segments on the topic, including an audio diary by a young woman named Kelly testing for Huntington’s disease that aired on This American Life and earned a Deadline Club of New York Award. Listeners were there with Kelly in the doctor’s office when she found out she didn’t have the genetic marker for the disease. Listen here.
“WNYC’s Clock Your Sleep Project” created digital tools and an online community, enlisting 5,200 people to track their sleep habits and share the data for analysis. During the tracking period, a number of WNYC’s national and local radio shows and podcasts presented interviews and stories about sleep. An impact survey with participants found that more than 40% noticed a change in their sleep after they started tracking it, 19.4% reported getting more sleep and 77% reported learning something new about their sleep patterns while tracking their sleep with the project. Listen here.
“Rx for the Bx: Prescription for the Bronx” was a week-long series that examined an urgent question: “What will heal the Bronx?” WNYC’s deep dive into health in the Bronx looked at innovation and pondered the possibility for change in New York’s least healthy county. The reporting looked at what community members are doing to promote healthy eating, examined supportive housing as a healthcare solution, and profiled HERO High School, which trains students for health-related careers. Listen here.
WNYC LEADING BRANDS
Reaching Beyond New York And Exploring Big Questions
FREAKONOMICS RADIO: MORE PEOPLE TURN TO FREAK
More and more people discovered Freakonomics Radio in Fiscal Year 2014. Was it because the show explored probing questions like: “Why Marry?” “Why Doesn’t America Love Soccer? (Yet)” and “What’s More Dangerous: Marijuana or Alcohol?” Was it because Freakonomics did several episodes based on Think Like a Freak, the new book by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt? In Fiscal Year 2014, the podcast was regularly in the top 10 podcasts on iTunes. On average, Freakonomics Radio episodes were listened to 3.6 million times each month during the fiscal year. Illustrating the strength of Freakonomics Radio’s unique audience, when the show made its first direct digital membership appeal this year in the episode “How to Raise Money Without Killing a Kitten,” 86% of the people who gave in the first month were new donors to New York Public Radio. Listen here.
RADIOLAB: THE ROAD BECKONS AGAIN
Radiolab hit the road again in Fiscal Year 2014 to explore historic endings like the demise of the dinosaurs with the show “Apocalyptical.” The tour, sponsored by Audible, traveled to 21 cities and did 29 performances for 60,000 fans. Radiolab wrapped up the fiscal year with the staging of “Radiolab Trusts No One,” another live show. “Radiolab Trusts No One” was a part of WNYC and BAM’s RadioLoveFest, and in it Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich explored the betrayers and backstabbers among us. In Fiscal Year 2014, Radiolab aired weekly on more than 505 public radio stations around the country and consistently ranked in the top five podcasts on iTunes. Listen here.
WNYC NATIONAL & LOCAL PROGRAMMING
Feeding Our Curiosity
On WNYC and WNYC.org
Ask Me Another
The Brian Lehrer Show
Danny Stiles’ Music Museum
Death, Sex + Money
Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin
The Jonathan Channel
The Leonard Lopate Show
The Longest Shortest Time
New Jersey Public Radio
New Tech City
On The Media
The Saturday Show Jonathan Schwartz
Spinning on Air
The Sunday Show Jonathan Schwartz
WNYC Data News
93.9 WNYC-FM New York
820 WNYC-AM New York
88.1 WNJT-FM Trenton
88.5 WNJP-FM Sussex
89.3 WNJY-FM Netcong
90.3 WNJO-FM Toms River/Seaside Park