America Amplified | KCUR

America Amplified

The America Amplified initiative, based at KCUR and funded by a $1.9 million national public media collaboration funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,, is committed to a deeper understanding of America’s needs and aspirations.  

In light of the current environment, America Amplified is focusing on the coronavirus pandemic and providing resources for public media to continue to engage with the communities they cover during this crisis.  


America Amplified aims to put people, not preconceived ideas, at the center of its reporting process — in this era of “social distancing,” we will be using tools such as crowd-sourcing, virtual town halls, polls and social media to listen first to the concerns and aspirations of communities across the country. The results will then be reported back through a network of participating public media stations across the country.

America Amplified is working with seven established public media collaborations — StateImpact Pennsylvania, Side Effects Public Media, Ohio Valley ReSource, the Mountain West News Bureau, I-4 Votes, Harvest Public Media and the New England News Collaborative — as well as with WABE in Atlanta.

Other partners include APM Research Lab, BBC and the Public Agenda/USA Today/Ipso Hidden Common Ground initiative.

America Amplified’s goal is to create and share models of community engagement success stories to inform and strengthen future local, regional and national journalism.

Follow America Amplified on Twitter at @amplified2020 or visit to sign up for our newsletter.  


Ways to Connect

A majority of Americans believe that while their communities will suffer in the short term from the COVID-19 pandemic, they will eventually recover.

And nearly one in 5 people feels their communities will emerge stronger than ever.

That’s according to a new Public Agenda/USA Today/Ipsos Hidden Common Ground survey — conducted at the end of March and released on April 3.

Daniel Caudill / Kansas News Service

Celia Ruiz updates her Facebook page multiple times a day. These days, the content is all coronavirus-related – flyers from school districts on how to get kids’ lunch, infographics from local health care providers, articles on how the virus is affecting people across the world. And she’s translating it all into Spanish.

Ruiz works for United Healthcare, so she’s constantly getting new information to share.

“Once I receive a resource, I try to translate it as best and as quickly and as correctly as I can,” Ruiz says.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

Los condados de toda el área metropolitana han emitido órdenes de quedarse en casa para proteger a los vecinos de la propagación del nuevo coronavirus. Pero los que abogan por familias vulnerables a los peligros de la violencia y el abuso se preocupan porque éstas tienen un mayor riesgo por el estrés de  tener que refugiarse en sus lugares. Ese riesgo se intensifica por la pérdida de puntos de contacto para la intervención dentro de la comunidad, como servicios religiosos, visitas de rutina a consultorios médicos y controles diarios en la escuela. 

Courtesy of Tim Shepherd

Updated March 13, 5pm CT  

News about the coronavirus is coming at you fast. And in times like these, it’s hard to know where to turn for the most reliable and up-to-date information.

That’s why the team at America Amplified — a public media initiative focused on listening to communities first — has curated answers to your questions from health experts interviewed by our network of 50-plus public radio stations across the country, from Reno to Rhode Island.

Photo illustration by Bigstock and Kathy Lu

You know about what matters as you’re finding your way through the election season and making decisions on how to fill out your ballot, and KCUR wants to hear from you as we shape our Election 2020 coverage.

We learned a lot of lessons during the 2016 election season, most notably that we need to do more listening and hear from more diverse voices. And, we need to make it easier for you to connect with us.

Andrea Tudhope / America Amplified

Refugee admission into the U.S. has dropped dramatically in recent years.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of State Department data, refugee resettlement in the U.S. has dropped to historic lows during Donald Trump’s presidency. This fiscal year, the administration has set a cap for 18,000 — a far cry from the 110,000 cap set in 2017 (data from the Refugee Processing Center show that about 53,000 refugees resettled that year).

As for where those refugees go and who gets to decide, that’s now up in the air.


Americans are divided on lots of issues. But a new national survey finds that people across the political spectrum agree on at least one thing: Our health care system needs fixing.

The “Hidden Common Ground” survey from Public Agenda, USA Today and Ipsos found that 92 percent of Americans say changes are needed.

Andrea Tudhope / America Amplified: Election 2020

On a Monday night, a week before the Iowa caucuses, about 20 residents gathered at the Norelius library in Denison, Iowa, for a mock caucus. Latina activist Alma Puga, the organizer, called the caucuses the "Disneyland of politics." 

Rather than caucusing for candidates, it's food: egg rolls, pepperoni pizza, homemade ceviche and carne asada tacos — a multicultural spread reflecting a diverse town here in rural Iowa.

Of around 9,000 residents in Denison, at least 3,000 — or about 30% — are immigrants, according to the latest Census Bureau data. By comparison, the U.S. average is 13% and it's 5% in the state of Iowa.