Posts Tagged ideastream
Cleveland is where many cities may get too as unemployment drives more foreclosure. What happens when all the conventional paths don’t work anymore? What happens is that everyone starts to think of entirely news ways of doing things.
Here is a story by ideastream’s Mahri Saito about how some are getting out from debt that they could never ordinarily pay off – The “Extreme Short Pay Off”.
We have seen a number of cases now in the last month or two where lenders are in fact willing to write off a significant portion of the outstanding mortgage, some cases 80 percent, some cases 90 percent.
Gates …WHO DIDN’T HAVE SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS TO SPARE…got her payoff funds from the state of Ohio THROUGH A FOREGIVABLE LOAN PROGRAM and FROM a low-interest loan PROVIDED BY her county GOVERNMNT, Cuyahoga. Gates’ mortgage is now JUST $53 a month.
I asked Mark Smukler at Ideastream why he thought the station had such exceptional results for their web engagement:
WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN ideastream has received 5,708 page views under our Facing the Mortgage coverage online. Our in depth reporting and talk show Sound of Ideas accounted for a 2,931 page of those views. Our resources, including partner spots, tips, general information and other media coverage, had 2,777 total page views.
Here is his reply:
One possible difference is that we have a very active history of coverage of this (and other related) subject that people know about and have been continuing that coverage through this period – both with in depth pieces and shorter radio news pieces. (They have been following this story since May 2006!!!)
Like everyone, we’re running a pretty heavy schedule of spots on both TV and radio (min 6x day on each) promoting both direct service (like 211) as well as our website. But there’s a lot of editorial too – and half the use of the site involves accessing that rich coverage.
Another thing may be that our entire site, both FTMC and everything else, is done in content management. So FTMC stories appear a lot of places including on the radio or TV home page daily whenever there’s new editorial FTMC content, as well as in news, on topic pages (in this case ECONOMY and JOBS), as well as the FTMC pages.
We’ve also taken all our older coverage, no matter whether it was part of a differently titled mini-series or not, and archived it with FTMC pages. Basically, there’s a lot of links on our pages to FTMC pages – lots of opportunity. There are a several good content mgmt software out there – we don’t use Word Press – but it does provide lots of opportunities to put things a lot of places automatically on the site.
Finally, we’ve been spending a far amount of time on our sites and overall are doing better than we were before and comparatively pretty well overall.
Here is a good example of the kind of Interstitial used to help promote the help on offer.
When we experimented with all of this for the first time in St Louis last year – we decided to run a lot of Interstitials during our Kids programming. Why?
Because we reach a much wider audience there – who don’t usually watch our traditional evening programming.
As I write this, I am baby sitting my grand daughter. Keeping her busy while I work is a real challenge. Remember – for every child that watches Sesame Street, there is an adult there too. Often an adult who is deeply involved in the mortgage crisis.
We had great response to this unusual placement. Please give this a whirl.
Morning Edition, May 15, 2009 · New figures out this week show that foreclosure filings are up 32 percent from a year ago. Our Planet Money team found that some people in the mortgage industry are saying something remarkable: As many as half of these foreclosures don’t need to happen. (NPR)
At the heart of the matter is therefore the bureaucracy of the lenders. Many just cannot be bothered. Even though the losses are greater through foreclosure – it is bureaucratically easier for them to foreclose and so they do.
How do you cope with this? I think we have to use the power of story to make this a national issue.
As an individual, this is very hard – Here is a blog of the Littof family that I found on Planet Money. They had a short sale that would have given the bank a much better return. But as you will see in this story, they found it very hard to prevent the bank from just pushing the button. Why? Because I think for the people at the bank, there was less to do by foreclosing – Foreclosing is very easy from a paperwork point of view. So you get stalled.
So that was our goal. Avoid Foreclosure. And we did. It got close there for a minute or two. But we did it. Thanks to our Realtors and our persistence. It takes a lot of persistence. If you’re facing foreclosure, fight it. How? Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Ask questions. Call your Governor, your Representative, write letters. Anything you can think of. Just stay in action. And stay committed. That’s our advice.
As local specialists it is also hard. In Cleveland there is a group of lawyers who specialize in this type of case – where the house is able to be saved but where the bank doesn’t care. Here is a remarkable piece of evidence of this bureaucratic push back as we listen in to the lawyers at work (Ideastream)
I think that we have found a leverage point here. A fix will be to make foreclosure harder bureaucratically for the lender.
How to do that?
Maybe to introduce a major penalty if it can be proved that the lender did not exercise its best efforts to do the best for its shareholders and the borrower?
Whatever – Before anything gets done – a lot more people in power have to know that this is a problem and a problem that can be solved by regulators. To do that, we need more stories like this – if we get a national range of stories like this – we will be able to influence what is going on.
Cleveland is one of the hardest hit cities. To make a crisis better, you have to know what really happened. To make a crisis better you also have to tell the truth about what is happening now.
This 19 minute show is the best piece I have yet seen on both – what happened and what is happening. A terrific piece of journalism from Ideastream
It’s amazing how a real crisis helps people become very creative too – the piece ends with some excellent ideas about how Cleveland is taking action in what seemed like a hopeless situation. “Right Sizing” the City!
The worst thing in any crisis is to be alone and not to know what to do.
Here, ideastream, in Cleveland, is filling that void. Providing a Trusted Space where people can find information that they can trust and a connection to each other.
This work transcends the normal “services of a public station that may be in providing high quality news or programming. We have come to believe that broadcast was the priority. But this crisis is calling back our heritage.
I went back to the act and found this:
section A.8 of the public broadcasting act:
One of our partners in this initiative is United Way and their 2-1-1 Referral Service—their partnership has been invaluable during Facing the Mortgage Crisis, because 2-1-1 is able to directly connect people to trusted resources. What’s interesting is that coverage varies in the country—some communities have just one call center, some have none, and others have several.
Through their work on Facing the Mortgage Crisis, stations have already seen their impact, not only on their communities, but on organizations that provide resources—from working with and uniting multiple 2-1-1 call centers, to connecting a new demographic to 2-1-1’s resources, the work of public media can be seen.
WVIZ/ideastream in Cleveland has created a strong partnership with their local 2-1-1 service—their United Way office noted a significant jump in calls once ideastream’s initiative began. They also noticed a new group of people calling into 2-1-1, suggesting that ideastream’s work had cast a web of resources further into Cleveland and its surrounding areas.
For this initiative, KERA in Dallas is working with its 13 local call centers. To help coordinate activities and logistics, KERA set up weekly conference calls with the centers. KERA’s coordination efforts have made working with several call centers possible, so 2-1-1 in the Dallas area can connect as many people as possible to the resources they need.
So what’s the moral of the story? The resources are out there–fantastic organizations like United Way help connect people to trusted resources in the community. But sometimes a connector, a convener, is needed in order to get the word out to as many people as possible–in this case, for this initiative, public media is helping connect more people to organizations like United Way.