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Diversity, neutrality, community: What does St. Louis Public Radio mean to you?

As an NPR® member station, St. Louis Public Radio provides audiences across Missouri and Illinois with local, regional, and international news about their communities, their world.

Our relationship with NPR and reliance on public support truly differentiate our station from other media sources in our region. So does our mission. Co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered Audie Cornish describes public radio as “a town meeting of sorts,” in which everyone’s voice counts. For the next week, you’ll hear us ask for your donation of $5 or more per month. “Your contribution,” as Cornish says, "ensures that everyone gets a chance to speak.”

St. Louis Public Radio is no longer a town hall for just one community, no longer one station but four: 90.7 KWMU St. Louis, 90.3 WQUB Quincy, 88.5 KMST Rolla, and 96.3 KMST Lebanon. Our audiences are our priority. Health, Environment, and Arts Editor David Cazares said that one of his “main critiques of media is that there’s not a lot of diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, and culture, or for that matter viewpoint.” His goal has always been to push for that diversity.

How have we done?

Erika Gonzalez, a sustaining member of St. Louis Public Radio, listens for the different perspectives our programs offer. “I think St. Louis Public Radio provides me with the most variety, the most diversity, the most neutrality.” When multiple views are presented on a topic, “those perspectives are respected.”

South City resident and local musician Pokey LaFarge, who has appeared on St. Louis On the Air, says public radio serves a community’s specific identity by offering “what you’re not always going to read in the newspaper or hear people talking about at a coffee shop. It gives citizens the opportunity to express themselves. Be a part of the exchange of knowledge.”

That’s exactly what happened when Jennifer Adams moved to St. Louis and discovered that “where there was diversity, it was separated and cordoned off.” She was able to learn more about her surroundings through our coverage. “St. Louis Public Radio became a launch pad for me in the city, informing me about equality issues that our country’s facing, while bringing non-white, LGBTQ, and other marginalized populations’ voices into my car or living room.” She wanted to be more than “intellectually invested,” and she credits St. Louis Public Radio for having “sparked a flame to become actively involved in this community.”

We have members who take their love for St. Louis Public Radio with them when they move away, too. Kimberly Adams, who is now a DC-based reporter for Marketplace, is from St. Louis, and though she lives elsewhere now, she continues to support our station. In fact, she donated when she was a freelance journalist in Egypt during a time when protests seemed a daily occurrence.

“When I started seeing photographs of protests showing up in my Twitter feed, I thought it was another protest in Cairo, only to find that they were tweets from St. Louis Public Radio,” recalls Adams. The tweets were from our journalists who covered the Ferguson protests following the death of Michael Brown. “I followed St. Louis Public Radio’s coverage from Egypt throughout everything that happened and the aftermath.” She still tunes in to St. Louis Public Radio to stay on top of what’s happening in her hometown.

We depend on members like Erika, Jennifer, and Kimberly to make St. Louis Public Radio possible. Our Spring Member Campaign is a chance to join them. Your generosity will fund the staff, programs, and technology that bring you the impactful stories you depend on. Donate now and listen, knowing that you power St. Louis Public Radio.