Starting June 20, you'll hear some new voices on WKMS as we launch a new regional journalism partnership called the Ohio Valley ReSource. We're teaming up with some other great public media stations to bring you even better coverage of some of the most important issues our region faces. On Sounds Good, Chad Lampe speaks with the project's managing editor Jeff Young.
With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the seven stations involved in the Ohio Valley ReSource will be taking a look at the big stories in a regional community, from large focus issues in economy, energy, environment, infrastructure, health and agriculture. Each station has a reporter collaborating to this initiative, working together to tell these stories.
The region is undergoing huge changes in all of these large focus areas. Young says, just look at how dramatically the energy marketplace has changed or what a crisis opiate addiction has become affecting healthcare. Some communities are really struggling while others are finding creative approaches for new economic development, or coming up with new ways to deliver health services in rural areas. Young says he hopes the resource will offer storytelling that allows people in one community to learn from people in another.
Stories Coming Soon
One of the stories in the works includes an investigation into what happens to the waste produced by hydraulic fracturing - or fracking. The waste can be radioactive, Young says, and the oversight of the transport, handling and disposal varies greatly from state to state. There has been some improper dumping of radioactive waste in a landfill close to a school and homes. Residents are worried about their health. This is a story that crosses borders, he says, waste generated by drilling in one state, processed by a facility in a second state and dumped in a third state. This investigation will take a look at the big picture.
Other stories look at efforts to bring new jobs into mining communities, new approaches to treating addiction and farmers trying to revive hemp - a crop that was once important to the area. Nicole Erwin of WKMS is working on the latter.