Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM launches “The Junction: Stories from Ensley, Alabama” this week. To many people outside of the community, Ensley is merely a crime-ridden, impoverished place. Through radio features and multimedia stories on junctionstories.com, project creator Mary Quintas goes beyond the quick crime reports to explore what life is like in Ensley according to the community itself.
“I hope this project will not only help to change the pervasive narrative about Ensley, I hope it will also build a lasting relationship between the community and WBHM,” says Quintas. “I want people in Ensley to use public media as a resource – a way to tell their own stories, a platform to call attention to the issues that matter to them.”
The stories will air Mondays on WBHM as part of Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered, and can be found online at wbhm.org. The first episode of “The Junction” explores how Ensley’s vibrant past – immortalized in the famous jazz song “Tuxedo Junction” – is inspiring the community’s latest revitalization efforts.
The executive producer of “The Junction” is The Association for Independents in Radio (AIR) and the project is part of the national initiative called “Localore: Finding America.”
“Finding America” aims to incubate storytelling experiments and expand public media to more Americans. AIR selected WBHM and Quintas through a national competition with more than 200 applicants. Financial support comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Wyncote Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM, a listener-supported service of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is “Your NPR News Station” and home to the Alabama Radio Reading Service, a resource for the blind and print-impaired. WBHM programming and award-winning regional journalism also can be heard in North Central Alabama on WSGN 91.5 FM through a partnership with Gadsden State Community College. Listen and give at wbhm.org and follow the station on Twitter @WBHM and on Facebook.
AIR was founded in 1988 by 10 independent radio producers at a kitchen table on Murray Street in New York. Now Boston-based, AIR’s international talent network of more than 1,100 focuses on identifying, cultivating and deploying storymakers to deepen understanding of and bring enlightenment to people worldwide. More information can be found at AIRmedia.org.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.