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“Coming Together” around Two Towns of Jasper. Partially funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Understanding Outreach. Do outreach events have an impact the communities that public television serves?

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coming together around two towns of jasper

“Coming Together” around Two Towns of Jasper

Partially funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

understanding outreach
Understanding Outreach
  • Do outreach events have an impact the communities that public television serves?
  • Do these efforts have an effect on attitudes and actions beyond viewing public television programming?
coming together
Coming Together
  • WPT and NCO sponsored a major outreach effort around Two Towns of Jasper
  • WPT Hosted “Coming Together,” a special preview screening of the P.O.V. documentary
coming together1
Coming Together
  • Followed by a facilitated discussion about race and diversity issues in the community
  • Over 300 participants(over-representation of members of minority groups)
event participants
Event Participants
  • Invitations
    • 3100 mailed
  • Advertisements
    • Both dailies and alternative weeklies
  • Recruited through Partners
    • Coordinator visits, listserv e-mails, event posters
local partnerships
Local Partnerships
  • Core of diversity and justice organizations
      • Asian Freedom Project
      • Boys & Girls Club of Dane County
      • Centro Hispano
      • Equal Opportunities Commission
      • NAACP of Madison
      • First Unitarian Society Social Justice Council
      • University of Wisconsin-Extension
      • YWCA-Racial Justice Initiative
tracing effects of outreach
Isolating effects of outreach is difficult

Conduct a quasi-experimental study

Tracing Effects of Outreach


tracing effects of outreach1
Those who self-select involvement are different from those who do not

Take similar subsets of people and invite different types of involvement

Tracing Effects of Outreach


tracing effects of outreach2
Observed differences may be due to pre-existing differences, not outreach

Statistically control for remaining differences to isolate outreach effects

Tracing Effects of Outreach


a model for evaluation
A Model for Evaluation
  • Conducted a survey of randomly selected WPT members
    • with a giving pattern of less than $500
  • Mailed survey to all selected WPT members as well as participants from local partner organizations
a model for evaluation1
A Model for Evaluation
  • Event Participants (Saw program followed by discussion)
  • Home Viewers(Saw program at home, possibly other content)
  • Outreach Users(Online or Allied content, but not the program)
  • Unexposed to TwoTowns(No exposure to any content)
survey respondents
Survey Respondents
  • Nearly 30% of the sample completed the survey, resulting in 925 responses
    • Over-representation of minorities compared to population of 5% inMadison area
survey respondents1
Survey Respondents
  • Allows us to profile event participants, home viewers, content consumers, and the unexposed to gauge group differences
    • Does outreach reach the underserved?
profile of racial insensitivity
Profile of Racial Insensitivity

Unexposed to Two Towns….. 9.4%

Outreach Media Users…………. 3.1%

Home Viewers………………………. 10.5%

Event Participation………………. 30.4%

profile of past discussion
Profile of Past Discussion

Unexposed to Two Towns….. -4.3%

Outreach Media Users…………. 3.0%

Home Viewers………………………. 3.4%

Event Participation………………. 8.3%

profile of past community participation
Profile of Past Community Participation

Unexposed to Two Towns….. -6.8%

Outreach Media Users…………. 2.8%

Home Viewers………………………. -1.8%

Event Participation………………. 32.8%

profile of past wpt involvement
Profile of Past WPT Involvement

Unexposed to Two Towns….. -5.7%

Outreach Media Users…………. 1.5%

Home Viewers………………………. -5.0%

Event Participation………………. 35.3%

participant profile
Participant Profile
  • Event participants differed from home viewers, outreach consumers, and the unexposed
    • More likely to be women, younger, less affluent, nonwhite, and nonmembers than others surveyed
    • Significantly more liberal, racially sensitive, talkative about politics, and active in community
participant profile1
Participant Profile
  • Outreach appears to serve the underserved
  • May further activate the previously engaged
untangling effects
Untangling Effects
  • As expected, recruitment strategies and self-selection produced substantial differences
  • Differences observed between conditions have to account for self-selection into that experience
    • Statistical analysis controls for pre-existing traits when examining differences between conditions
estimating change
Estimating Change
  • Must control for past behaviors to estimate whether outreach efforts produce effects on community and public television engagement
    • When parallel past behaviors are controlled, observed differences likely due to the intervention
  • Produce an estimate of behavioral change
    • Much more conservative test of effects
community engagement
Community Engagement
  • Event participation has powerful effects on issue discussion, community participation, and station involvement
    • Well above the sample mean for issue discussion (25% above), civic action (48% above), and station involvement (81% above)
    • Controls for past behavior and other factors
community engagement1
Community Engagement
  • Outreach events make member stations the community convener; spark political talk, civic action, and further station involvement
process of outreach effects
Process of Outreach Effects

Program and Allied Content










effects of outreach
Effects of Outreach
  • Results suggest multiple effects
    • Foster Civic Attitudes: Personal Efficacy
    • Shape Social Perceptions - News Content, Community Racism
    • Encourage Community Engagement - Discussion and Action
effects of outreach1
Effects of Outreach
  • Effects on community perceptions and civic engagement are the most compelling
    • Outreach puts a local perspective on larger problems and provides opportunities to get involved in community life, either through the station or independently.