November 29, 2023

WFYI awarded Knight Foundation grant to boost public media election engagement practices

Station’s America Amplified Elections 2024 initiative will train 50+ newsrooms in 2024

WFYI Public Media announced the receipt of a $250,000 Knight Foundation grant in support of the America Amplified initiative’s plan to train a nationwide network of 50+ public media newsrooms on effective and innovative reporting practices ahead of the 2024 elections. In spring 2024, WFYI will welcome scores of public media stations to a two-day workshop in the lead up to the 2024 election.

The America Amplified lead team has recruited journalists from Alaska to Maine to join the initiative and develop localized strategies to be responsive to community needs and concerns. The initiative is a direct and innovative response to a crisis in local news sparked by the closure of many local outlets and the proliferation of misinformation on social media. Prior to the Knight Foundation’s support of this project, WFYI received additional support for America Amplified’s Election 2024 efforts via a $1.5 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

"We are grateful to the Knight Foundation for this opportunity to expand our engagement journalism training to stations across the country with an intensive in-person workshop this spring,” says Erin Earnest, WFYI’s chief content officer. “Our engagement journalism approach empowers stations to understand the unique information needs within their communities and develop distribution strategies that meet audiences where they are, particularly in the digital space.”

Through this training and the related America Amplified efforts, WFYI plans to nurture a renewed focus on serving diverse audiences with new approaches to gathering and sharing news and election information. Participating stations will implement practices designed to serve new communities, new generations and new voters throughout the country, leveraging audience questions and concerns to deliver high-interest and high-quality journalism.

Alisa Barba is the managing director of America Amplified and is excited about the opportunity. “Nothing beats meeting up in person,” she says. “After six months of virtual trainings on engagement strategies, an in-person gathering will allow us to take public media’s community engagement to a whole new level in the months before the election.” 

“Ahead of the 2024 elections, Knight Foundation is proud to support America Amplified’s crucial community engagement work,” says Duc Luu, the director of sustainability initiatives/journalism at Knight Foundation. “Public media has the capacity to reach the entire nation and has an important role to play in identifying and answering the questions that Americans have about their candidates and the issues affecting their communities. Ultimately, we hope that this kind of public service journalism can give people the information they need to be informed so that, as Jack Knight put it, they might ‘determine their own true interests.’”

To learn more about America Amplified and the dozens of stations participating in the Election 2024 work, visit


About WFYI Public Media
Since 1970, WFYI Public Media has served Central Indiana with its nonprofit public radio and TV stations, digital content and community engagement activities. With a mission to provide trusted journalism, inspiring stories and lifelong learning to Hoosiers of all ages and walks of life, WFYI broadcasts original content, as well as PBS and NPR programs, on three television channels, five radio services – including WBAA – and online. Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Media (MIPM) is the parent organization of WFYI Public Media. Learn more at and follow WFYI online on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and X/Twitter.

About America Amplified
America Amplified is based at WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with the aim of supporting community engaged journalism in public media. Originally launched in 2019, the initiative also helped shape public media coverage of the pandemic to include perspectives from communities across the country. In 2021 and 2022, America Amplified worked with 20 small and medium-sized public media stations across the country to expand the use of journalism practices that meaningfully address local information needs through active listening and engagement. In 2023 and 2024 America Amplified's Election 2024 initiative will strengthen public media’s ability to address the information needs of unserved and underserved communities in the lead up to the 2024 federal election. 

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
We are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once had newspapers. Learn more at and follow @knightfdn on social media.