KWQC’s ‘Real Conversations in the QC’ Finalist for Service to America Awards

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – KWQC’s “Real Conversations in the Quad Cities” is a 2022 finalist for the Service to America Awards.

The KWQC show was shortlisted by the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation for the Community Service Award, in a small market for the awards.

The NAD website said the 2022 finalists are examples of work keeping our local communities safe, heard and informed through their commitment to community service with programs, campaigns and stories for and about the people and organizations they serve across the country.

The Celebration of Service to America Awards were founded in 1999 to honor the excellent community service efforts of local radio and television stations.

Real conversation in the Quad Cities:

“Real Conversations in Quadruple Cities” was an idea inspired in February 2021 during Black History Month.

In response to the Black Lives Matter events of the previous year, KWQC seized the opportunity to play a leadership role in helping our community address racism and the resulting lack of fairness for people of color in this predominantly white market in the Midwest.

MMJ/Anchor Skubie Mageza led the initial charge, with a heartfelt on-air op-ed about what it was like to be a black man living in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois. Based on the sheer volume of responses to Mageza’s brave comments, the station recognized the need to continue this important conversation. The goal, to help white people understand what life in our community is like for people of color.

In April 2021, KWQC launched “Real Conversations in the Quad Cities”, a series of live programs co-hosted by Mageza and his newsroom colleagues, Brittany Kyles and Talya Faggart. The goal was to provide a safe space where black leaders in our community could share their experiences – and viewers could ask questions without fear of embarrassment.

Our partner in this project is the Lincoln Center, a local non-profit organization dedicated to our African-American community. Together, the team compiled a list of topics and invitees for this ongoing initiative.

The first episode focused on the difficult conversation that many black parents feel compelled to have with their children about interacting safely with law enforcement. Since then, hosts have interviewed dozens of guests on topics including education, health, social justice, DEI training and literature, programs specifically for black girls and women, differences/celebrations culture, black history, Juneteenth, etc.

This project makes innovative use of new technologies as one of our first local programs produced specifically for our vast digital audience. Although heavily promoted in our traditional newsletters and through push alerts, “Real Conversations in the Quad Cities” first airs on our website/app as a live broadcast program, eventually becoming on-demand content for our OTT platform.

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