Lake Mary, FL, November 29, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- The Latino Public Radio Consortium (LPRC) received $75,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to help noncommercial radio stations in Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria and re-establish essential communication services on the island.
The hurricane destroyed Puerto Rico's power infrastructure and caused great damage to station operations on the island. The grant will be used to deliver radio equipment, power generators and satellite phones to WIPR, WRTU, WOQI, WVQR & UAGM Radio.
“This support will help us to advance the recovery of public media in Puerto Rico, whose services are so necessary in a time of crisis,” said LPRC Executive Director Magaly Rivera.
Noncommercial stations in Puerto Rico play a vital role in providing important news information and resources to local communities; especially when recovery efforts are still taking place to deliver essential items like food and water.
“In times of crisis providing an information lifeline to communities in need is vital to ensuring their regrowth and future success. To this end, supporting public radio in Puerto Rico is an urgent necessity,” said Karen Rundlet, Knight Foundation program officer for journalism.
“The LPRC has been gathering support and coordinating assistance from other noncommercial stations that have come forward to help the island’s broadcasters to get back on air and continue operations,” explained Rivera.
The award was made possible, in part, through a collaboration with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). NAHJ launched the @ConnectPRNews initiative on Twitter and delivered portable radios to communities in the island.
“When looking at how we would achieve the goals within our initiative, bringing in the Latino Public Radio Consortium made sense in many ways,” commented Brandon Benavides, NAHJ President.
“LPRC will be a great help as we establish our communication stations throughout regions of the island. In addition, we hope our collaborative journalism project #ConnectPuertoRico provides them a platform that supports their storytelling."
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) provided emergency funding to two public radio stations in Puerto Rico, WIPR & WRTU, immediately following Hurricane Irma. CPB facilitated the transfer of portable “Radio-To-Go” kits from Coast Alaska to the stations with assistance from LPRC, and public radio stations WNYC (New York) and WMFE (Orlando). The kits contain basic studio and transmitter equipment, require little power, and function as a backup broadcasting system after service interruptions. With free shipping provided by Alaska Airlines, staff from WNYC and WMFE delivered the kits to San Juan and provided engineering support.
Most of the island is still without electricity. LPRC is running a GoFundMe campaign entitled “Get Puerto Rico Radio Back On-Air” to help defray the cost of diesel for the power generators stations are using. These are short-term solutions and LPRC will continue working with stations on long term strategies to help them return to full capacity.
About the LPRC
The Latino Public Radio Consortium (LPRC) was founded in 2007 to provide services and resources that enhance the capacity of public radio stations that serve Latino audiences. Visit: www.latinopublicradioconsortium.org for more information.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, visit knightfoundation.org.