Build Interest

State of Our Schools illustration
State of Our Schools (credit: KPHO/KTVK, Phoenix, Arizona)

At KPHO and KTVK, known collectively as “Arizona’s Family,” a major outreach effort built interest in the State of Our Schools project before it launched. General manager Kevin James sent a letter to 700 government and school leaders, including the state’s congressional delegation, announcing the project. “We are hopeful that shining a light on what’s working in meaningful detail will be a way to spark constructive discourse,” he wrote.

Scanned letter from TV stations's general manager
KPHO letter (scanned from original, given to author by station manager)

The outreach, combined with on-air promotion, led to “great feedback,” said investigative reporter Morgan Loew, almost all of it positive. People responded by email and on social media, thanking the station for looking at the issues and searching for solutions. Community leaders also sent in story ideas.