Telling our community's stories.
WWNO 89.9 FM provides a non-commercial source of radio news, music and cultural programming to over 1.5 million residents of Southeast Louisiana with access to an FM radio. Their digital streaming can reach anyone on earth with internet access. Their local news reporting team has brought Louisiana’s most pressing issues to international stages. As the region’s NPR member station they provide trustworthy news and cultural entertainment for their area listeners. WWNO tells New Orleans’ stories to the world, and brings the world’s news and cultures to New Orleans.
Pat and Kenneth Hymel taking WWNO Coastal Desk reporter Tegan Wendland (center) to a local treasure - a chapel in the swamp. Photo by Ryan Kailath.
Producer/Announcer Diane Mack. Photo – Tracie Morris Schaefer
Recently, WWNO’s reporters helped NPR to deliver some of the earliest national news reports about the record-breaking flooding in Acadiana, metro Baton Rouge, and North Shore parishes. With NPR they are maintaining coverage of the disaster. This invaluable reporting helped spread the news of the expansive devastation and how to help with relief. The flooding was accompanied by dramatic stories of survival, but WWNO has also been covering the much slower disaster of coastal erosion. Since 2014 two of their reporters have been solely devoted to revealing the economic and environmental implications of Louisiana’s vanishing coast. Their efforts bring attention to the realities of our generation's struggles and what we can do to make a difference.
Removing belongings from flooded home, Sorrento. Photo – Max Becherer (AP)
Founded in 1972 by UNO educators and community leaders, WWNO is consistently ranked as one of the top news radio stations in the area. Theyadopted digital streaming and broadcasting early, expanding their service with two HD channels for music: Classical WWNO and Jazz WWNO.
They have further expanded their content by providing locally-produced cultural programing. One such program is “TriPod: New Orleans at 300” which explores lost and neglected New Orleans stories and questions what we think we know about the city’s history. It’s as if WWNO had been around in 1866 covering the Mechanics Institute riot. Anyone with a radio or the internet can hear these informative and entertaining stories which help empower the community by promoting knowledge and understanding.
1866 Mechanics Institute Riot. Illus – Historic New Orleans Collection
In order to sustain the services provided by WWNO the station has to keep up with the costs. Here are some examples of the what radio news and cultural reports cost: $1,000 supports WWNO's coastal news reporting team for two days, as they travel the region covering all aspects of Louisiana's vanishing coast. $2,000 funds most of the work for one episode of "TriPod: New Orleans @ 300"--research, interviews, recording, audio production, and editing. $5,000 supports a small team of reporters and an editor for a week of intensive reporting on a regional natural disaster or other major news story.
Their future goals include providing Southeast Louisiana listeners with a daily local news program, a weekly local issues discussion program recorded before a live audience, and weekly programs of local cultural events, jazz, and classical music. Radio listeners around the world will learn about New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana through New Orleans Public Radio.