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Legacy media dedicated to the public makes a difference with a new approach.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting recently highlighted the efforts of public media’s WKAR in addressing the concerns of residents in Flint, Mich., the center of a controversy over water, race and corruption.

With an app, the station provide relevant information about water and its community. CPB explains:

The app, developed by the MSU Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab, pulls together a wide range of information, such as where to get bottled water, where to get lead-fighting food and how to look for lead poisoning symptoms in pets. Maps, news alerts and volunteer and community activities are also included.

“It was a concern that people might not have access to a smartphone, but what we learned through research is that the residents do have smartphones — and, for some, that smartphone may be their only link to news and information,” Elkins said.

The water resources and maps were immediately popular, not only with residents but with community volunteers helping in unfamiliar neighborhoods, Elkins said. Residents said the tips from the MSU veterinary school, such as keeping the toilet seat down to keep pets from drinking unfiltered water, got them thinking about issues that weren’t even on their radar. And, when the Department of Health and Human Services made additional Medicaid healthcare coverage available to many Flint residents, the mobile app made it easy for residents to find out if they were eligible and how to apply.

You can read the full story here.

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