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Side Effects joins 'America Amplified' election initiative

Side Effects has been picked to join other public radio collaborations in America Amplified - Election 2020, a national initiative designed to produce innovative reporting by listening to community concerns.  

Side Effects, working closely with WFYI/Indianapolis and the Indiana Public Broadcasting network, will use community events, radio talk shows and a texting service to seek stories and perspectives about healthcare. They will include a wide range of communities in the conversation.

“The goal is to step away from divisiveness and give people the information they say they need,” said WFYI News Director Sarah Neal-Estes. “We are asking people what they need to know to vote for their best interests with confidence.”

Side Effects has eight partner stations spread across six Midwest states. America Amplified includes other collaborations such as Ohio Valley ReSource, New England News Collaborative, Harvest, Mountain West News Bureau and StateImpact Pennsylvania.

The stations will share insights, stories and content with broadcast partners such as NPR, Here & Now and the BBC.

“We’re excited to see how these efforts will change the reporting narrative in the election 2020 season,” said Donna Vestal, managing director of the initiative. “Plus, we’ll be sharing what we learn far and wide.”

The intiative is funded with $1.9 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Through the texting service, Side Effects and Indiana Public Broadcasting will ask questions about election issues, and will connect recipients with relevant stories and resources. To join the conversation, text the word “elections” to 73224 or find the private group, Indiana 2020 Two-Way, on Facebook.

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health.