Since 1964, KCET has served Los Angeles and an 11-county region of Southern and Central California. We reach one of the most diverse market areas in the country with the finest regional, national and international programming, as well as with educational resources and community events. In October 2012, KCET announced a merger with San Francisco-based Link Media, an award-winning national media organization focused on global news and culture. With the new name of KCETLink, our merged organization is poised to introduce an entirely new model for independent public media that represents the future of the industry — driving digital innovation, creating sustainable growth and serving the public interest. Utilizing multiple on-air, online and mobile distribution platforms, KCETLink will have a greater capacity to address key issues in our local communities, as well as across the nation and around the world. Over the years, KCET programming has received numerous awards: Ballot Brief was launched in 2012 and met with tremendous success as discussed above. Our weekly news program, SoCal Connected, has been recognized with several of the highest honors in broadcasting, including the George Foster Peabody Award; two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards; and 17 Los Angeles Area Emmys Awards, among others. Since its launch in May 2012, our transmedia, cultural journalism program, Artbound, has been named “Best Arts & Culture Site” at the 2012 LA Weekly Web Awards; has won a National Entertainment Journalism Award for “Best Documentary or Special Program, Short” from the Los Angeles Press Club; and has received two Golden Mike Awards from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.

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2 Submitted Ideas

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    Ballot Brief Ground Game

    Capitalizing on the immediate success of KCET’s recently launched Ballot Brief, Ground Game further engages citizens throughout the City of L.A. by 1) providing open access to easily understandable information relating to Angelenos’ biggest gripes: traffic, pot holes, air quality, etc., including the related voting records of their elected officials; 2) providing additional background information on these topic that will help individuals understand the complexity of the issues; and 3) connecting citizens to nonprofit organizations that are committed to solving the problem, thereby opening doors to volunteerism. The goals of Ground Game are 3-fold: to further engage civic-minded citizens; to provide easy entre for individuals who have not yet engaged in civic activities; and to foster volunteerism that will advance the goals of non-profit organizations and, at the same time, open avenues for participation to individuals. BACKGROUND Beginning with the 2012 election cycle, Ballot Brief brought L.A. voters information that went beyond the headlines, allowing them to dig deeper with explainers, helpful guides, and cheat sheets of City-wide propositions. Coverage went beyond “horse-race” politics to include important information on the issues through regular online stories and segments on KCET’s daily television program SoCal Connected. Most importantly, Ballot Brief brought voters transparency behind proposition campaign financing. By developing unique “whose funding whom” databases, Ballot Brief brought to light data that is theoretically public, but is difficult to understand because of the complicated way it is accessed and presented. From the moment Ballot Brief coverage began, KCET website traffic saw immediate and exponential growth, garnering a total of 2.5 million page views, 900,000 of them on Election Day, leading to a 5,900 percent increase in average daily website traffic. During the months leading up to the election, the majority of Ballot Brief’s proposition coverage – the cheat sheets and funding databases - were ranked on the first page of Google search results. Major media outlets throughout the U.S. referenced Ballot Brief in their own election coverage. PROJECT OVERVIEW Ground Game will expand the potential of Ballot Brief beyond election cycles by working year-round to build civic engagement in the City’s most disengaged precincts. Through a targeted, ground level informational campaign focused on precincts with low voter turn-out and by utilizing bi-lingual grass-roots and guerilla marketing methods, social media marketing, and word of mouth marketing in collaboration with community-based non-profit’s, Ground Game will acknowledge, empower, educate, encourage, and engage individuals in Los Angeles. By connecting with people on a deeply personal level, “What’s your gripe?,” we will plant the seed of engagement. After all, we all have grievances--rich, poor, regardless of cultural differences--we are in this together; we are a community. The Ground Game website will foster empowerment by providing an easy way to express the grievance and will educate people by connecting them, based on their street address, to their elected officials voting records and providing more in depth information on the subject, and lastly, Ground Game will make the connection between personal gripe and civic engagement by revealing volunteer opportunities within community-based groups.

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    Departures Youth Voices Mobile Classroom

    How do we reach and connect students to their personal and community history, and social science and civic engagement issues, while also providing new media production skills that give them access to the global digital culture and economy? The answer is the Departures Youth Voices Mobile Classroom, a pop-up classroom that will serve local schools and community events with multimedia tools and digital literacy training. Departures Youth Voices is a multimedia literacy program for high school students that offers a structured learning experience in the history, geography, and socio-political issues of their community. Through a series of 11 workshops, Youth Voices students are exposed to digital and multimedia tools (audio, photography,video), storytelling techniques, creative mapping strategies, and a brief history of collage art and muralism. Students are encouraged to utilize these new skills to become content producers -- researching the people, places and stories of their community to create multimedia stories that will introduce and guide visitors through key locations in their neighborhood. Finally, they learn to employ social networking strategies to promote and share their productions and receive feedback from their peers. The Departures Youth Voices curriculum meets and/or addresses several of the California Common Core Content Standards, as well as build key foundational skills in the new media literacies both of which are essential for students to succeed in the 21st century classroom and in the quickly evolving workforce. The Mobile Classroom will deploy the Departures Youth Voices program at schools, youth organizations and events. Equipped with chairs and tables, cameras, editing equipment, and wifi capabilities, the Mobile Classroom is a fully functioning digital lab (housed inside a converted bus or trailer) that allows students to participate in Youth Voices workshops in a controlled and formal classroom environment, even in the most informal settings such as outdoor community events. This will allow us to provide either the full media literacy curriculum, or a single curated workshop specifically chosen for each location. The Departures Youth Voices Mobile Classroom will extend the reach of Departures Youth Voices to schools and youth organizations that have limited or no technical resources. In addition, it will allow us to reach more educators with our professional development workshops, providing an introduction to media literacy, connected learning, and a step by step training on implementing Youth Voices in their classroom, increasing the sustainability of the program.