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Collaborative Reporting Series Addresses Ripple Effects of National Opioid Crisis


Calle Andrus, Communications Specialist
216.916.6434 | calle.andrus@ideastream.org

Collaborative Reporting Series Addresses Ripple Effects of National Opioid Crisis

CLEVELAND, Ohio (March 20, 2018) — Needle exchanges, synthetic opioids with devastating power, people cycling through rehab, families in crisis…all of these speak to the powerful, direct impact the opioid epidemic continues to have on our nation. Addiction does not just affect addicts. Addiction to opioids and heroin is indirectly influencing economies, educational systems, justice systems and neighborhoods.

This April 9–13, as part of a public media collaborative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), ideastream in Cleveland with partners OPB in Portland, Ore. and WXXI in Rochester, N.Y. will feature a special reporting series, Opioid Crisis: The Ripple Effect. The series, which will include reports from three telling locales across the country, will look at the people and issues indirectly affected by the opioid crisis and make the case that the epidemic’s ripple effects impact many.

“This in-depth collaborative reporting project will bring to light just how pervasive the opioid problem is,” said ideastream Chief Content Officer Mark Rosenberger. “Everyone may not realize it, but the epidemic touches many of us in some way. We are all stakeholders in both the challenges and the solutions.”

The series will include a cross-state talk show, one-on-one interviews, panel discussions with experts, public forums, feature stories and engagement initiatives. Some topics and regional spotlights include:

  • Greater Cleveland, where Ohio has been ground zero for skyrocketing overdose deaths in recent years
  • Oregon, where the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis further complicates the debate about how to deal with pain
  • Rochester, N.Y., where some streets are lined with spent syringes, but many residents still believe the opioid crisis has no impact on them

Reports will be broadcast across television and radio affiliates of ideastream, OPB and WXXI, and a selection of stories will be available on associated web and social media platforms. Northeast Ohio residents can watch and listen to this series on air and online. Content will also be posted, shared and live-streamed on social media. Participants can follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #opioids.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit  http://www.cpb.org, follow on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for email updates.

About ideastream
The mission of ideastream is to strengthen our communities. ideastream pursues this mission as a multiple media public service organization by providing distinctive, thought-provoking programs and services that enlighten, inspire, educate and entertain.

About OPB
OPB is a nationally recognized leader in public media, providing news, information and entertainment to the Northwest. With award-winning journalists and original series, OPB illuminates the people, places and issues of the region and puts stories into context. OPB creates content and programming that can be accessed anywhere, at any time on OPB TV, OPB Radio,  opb.org and on a variety of digital and social media platforms. For more information, visit  www.opb.org.

About WXXI
WXXI is the essential, lifelong educational media resource for the greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. WXXI also has a long-term affiliation with Little Theatre, which helps enhance the cultural life of the community and strengthens two of Rochester's most vital arts institutions. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.