Public broadcasting has the unique opportunity to reach communities across Maryland. Everyday, Maryland families choose to make local stations a part of their lives, as a source of information, entertainment, education and more. But in order to take full advantage of this opportunity, stations like MPT must step up to hear and respond to the needs of diverse communities throughout the state.
In the Community Listening Project (CLP), MPT is engaged in a series of discussions with small groups of regular citizens. The goal of these conversations (12-15 attendees) is to listen and learn about the issues most important to these diverse groups of viewers. Armed with an understanding of Maryland's communities, MPT can then help to build them up, by structuring community engagement and programming around the issues most relevant to them. Twelve stations nationally are involved with this project, sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of the Harwood Institute's Community Engagement Initiative.
MPT sees the conversations fostered under CLP as an exciting opportunity for strengthening the relationship between local stations and their viewers. Public broadcasting is unique in that it can reach neighborhoods, towns and cities from the Eastern Shore to the Appalachian Mountains, while maintaining close relationships with the groups they serve. It is these relationships which will help MPT to create better programming and more relevant public service, and ultimately lead to a more active public broadcasting system and a more vibrant community.