What do you want from public television?

By John Pozza


WPSU-TV, Radio and Digital Services at Penn State is re-energizing its long-standing commitment in public media and community engagement following the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a WPSU board member, I am part of a team that recently launched a campaign inviting local community leaders to be part of a Community Engagement Advisory Group. Brookville will serve as the pilot for this initiative. The vision is to foster sustainable relationships with a dedicated group of people that know their neighborhoods and are interested in working with WPSU to extend the free resources of public media to the entire community. Brookville leaders will share their perspectives in interviews to determine what makes Brookville unique, and what needs they see that we can work on together.

The WPSU Community Engagement Advisory Group will: provide details about the happenings in the community and be a resource for the WPSU-FM radio news team; work in an advisory capacity to uncover the needs in the community; bring ideas that encourage community collaboration; develop innovative distribution channels for WPSU educational resources; and lead the logistical presence to gather people, recommend partners, implement plans and find the best ways to reach people in communities across WPSU's coverage area.

Once data from the interviews is collected, a town hall meeting will be held to present the findings and to solicit additional public input. Once the pilot in Brookville is completed, it will be replicated in other communities across WPSU's 24-county service area.

Serving northern and central Pennsylvania, WPSU serves the largest and most rural geographic area of any public media station in the country. Since its founding in 1965, service to schools and to the civic health of its communities have been important parts to its mission as is a focus on its local productions and services.