Follow Our Digital Road Trip Out West | Community Idea Stations

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Follow Our Digital Road Trip Out West

Angela Massino is the social media manager at WCVE. From time to time, she plays the ukulele on Facebook Live with our Sound of Swing host Steve Clark and is often seen making friends with listeners at Mug Stops. Angela’s a PBS KID at heart with a passion for sharing ideas both online and in-person. Have an idea for a digital project? Email her at info@ideastations.org, subject line “Digital Idea.”


Thursday, June 29 2017

Seattle, Washington, home of KCTS and the largest seagulls I’ve ever seen!

I began my day at the iconic Pike Place Market, fueling up at the first Starbucks in America. I then headed over to KCTS public television, located a short walk away from the Space Needle to meet with Stacey Jenkins and her station colleagues. Stacey is the managing producer of Spark Public, a multimedia arm of KCTS focused on working with emerging, local producers and college students to create content relevant to millennials.

As I sat in on a weekly video team meeting, my ears perked up as they discussed the #SeaHomeless project, a citywide reporting blitz focused on Seattle’s growing homeless population. Stacey described the launch of a Facebook video which follows the experience of a homeless, transgender college student trying to earn his degree.

 

 

Before working for WCVE, I was the communications manager at a small nonprofit in Washington, DC that advocated on behalf of homeless youth. Being close to the issue, I am well aware of the complexity of the problem and the lack of public understanding around youth homelessness.  I especially know how impactful local news stories are at firing up a community and igniting real change. While working at the DC nonprofit, local news coverage on youth homelessness helped us advocate for $1.3 million in additional resources to put young people on track to a stable adulthood.

Talk about the power of public media.

Such a project gets me thinking, what is a big issue in our community that you think needs more coverage? Shoot us ideas at info@ideastations.org.

Learn more about #SeaHomeless: https://kcts9.org/seahomeless

Follow the #SeaHomeless conversation on social media.


 

Monday, June 26 2017

View of Vancouver.First stop Vancouver, British Columbia! While there are no PBS stations in Canada, (although some border cities receive a signal and there are even Canadians who are PBS members), I couldn’t resist a west coast trip without a stop in Canada, eh.

Admittedly it was a bit of a rough start with flight delays, a missing checked bag, and even a mix-up with my hostel accommodations. By day two though, everything fell into place and I could truly enjoy Vancouver for its friendly culture and natural beauty.

With a little over 24 hours in Vancouver, I managed to fit in an improv show, soak up the sun on the beach, meander through the Public Market, and enjoy a leisurely bike ride around the city. You can watch snippets of the trip on @wcve’s Instagram Stories (for 24 hours only).  

With all of the mix-ups though, I thought I’d offer a few travel tips.

 

BYOS: Build Your Own Sandwich

I love local food! Food provides a sense of place and gives insight into its people. However, eating out every day while traveling can become quite pricey and I can’t stand paying exorbitant prices at a substandard tourist trap.

So I recommend building your own sandwich and having a picnic!

A year after graduating  from college, two friends and I hiked the Camino de Santiago in Spain and each day we ‘d wake up, go to a bakery for bread and a local grocery store for meats, cheeses, and a snack. These were called “pilgrim lunches,” a simple, but filling way to take a midday break and picnic for far too long as we rested our tired muscles.

So next time you’re in a new city, try a pilgrims lunch instead of a semi-ok sandwich from a grab and go food cart. My tip is to find a local market or business area known for using fresh ingredients and then get the basics: bread, meat, cheese, veggies and dessert. Get a hard cheese and a cured meat so you’re not worried about spoilage, then when you find a nice park during your city wanderings, plop down and enjoy the space.

If there isn’t a local market, try exploring a foreign grocery store. It’s fun to compare the different selections and a great way to save money. Then when it comes to dinner you won’t feel as bad about splurging, because a delicious meal in a memorable place is so, so worth it!

For one lunch, I picked up up fresh olive and rosemary bread, cured Canadian bison, Havarti cheese and a peach pastry for dessert at the Vancouver Public Market. Yum!

 

Public Transportation is Your Friend

Taxis are convenient when exploring a new city, but the fares can add up quick. Google Maps is super easy to use when figuring out confusing bus routes, and public transportation is a sure way to see a city like a local. I recommend taking a screen shot of the routes you think you’ll use most and to ask fellow riders for advice when you’re unsure of a stop.

One more thing, Canadian passengers always say “thank you” to the bus driver as they are getting off. This is something we can all do more often at home and abroad.

 

Every Problem Has a Solution

Paraphrasing Sancho Panza, Don Quixote’s traveling partner in Man of La Mancha, every problem has a solution, especially when the problem consists of a crazy scheme dreamt up by the antagonist.

I bring this up, because the beginning of the trip was full of setbacks, from plane delays, to my bag getting stuck in Toronto, to even a mix-up in accommodations. By the end of the day, I felt beat and was looking for ways to get the heck out Vancouver.

That solution was completely unreasonable, considering I couldn’t leave without my bag and driving while jetlagged would be irresponsible. So instead, I worked out each issue, which included a plan to make the next day far better than the first.

I’m really glad I stayed. Biking around Vancouver was cathartic and the cool breeze off of the Pacific water shook off any negative feelings.

So long story short, don’t let travel hiccups ruin the whole trip. Who knows when you’ll be back, and it’s better to make the most out of a situation then to regret not having a memorable experience.

 


Friday, June 23 2017

At the Community Idea Stations, we push ourselves to offer central Virginia the best programming possible. This includes television, radio and (drum roll please) digital!  As part of the digital team, I am heading out west to discover the innovative and creative projects fellow PBS stations are experimenting with in their communities. From digital first productions to community created content, I am meeting with digital teams in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco to learn about their vision for the future.

Follow this blog for updates on the trip and watch my travels in real-time on @wcve’s Instagram Stories. Respond to the posts or shoot me an email to tell us what digital projects you would like to see in our community!