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Need to Know

Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. & Sundays at 11:00 a.m. on WXXI-TV & on City 12

Public trust in the media is at an all-time low. One reason - concern over ‘fake news’ is at a high. That’s according to a new survey released this week by Gallup and the Knight Foundation. Seventy-three percent of Americans say inaccurate information on the web is a “major problem” with news coverage. So how do we deal with this issue of ‘fake news’ and how do we improve public trust in the media? Mike Johansson (Senior Lecturer, RIT School of Communication), Deanna Dewberry (Anchor & Reporter, News10NBC), and Justin Murphy (Education Reporter, Democrat & Chronicle), in addition to Rochester area residents, share their perspectives on this edition of Need to Know

Kodak made news when the former photo giant announced it will launch its own Bitcoin-like currency later this month called “Kodak Coin.” Kodak joins the cryptocurrency craze at a time when all eyes are on the market leader, Bitcoin. The digital currency saw a surge in 2017 yet some investors and researchers question its viability long-term and whether the “Bitcoin bubble”  as some call it will soon pop. RIT’s Josephine Wolff (Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Computing Security) and Bitcoin NYS Founder Gary Palmer Jr., weigh in on this segment of Need to Know.

Cryptocurrency is dominating financial headlines and Bitcoin stories are leading the pack. On this edition of Need to Know we’ve got your crash course on Bitcoin - what it is, how it works and whether it’s dead or very much alive.

Also, a new survey finds trust in the media is at an all time low. Diverse voices weigh in on why and we’ll discuss the real impact of ‘fake news.’

School dances, football games, scouts, and gymnastics. These are just a few noteworthy childhood memories for many. They’re also the types of activities that are more enjoyable with a friend by your side. That’s where Rochester’s Starbridge comes in.

The organization offers varied activities in school districts throughout the Rochester region through its TIES program (Together Including Every Student). TIES pairs students with developmental disabilities with peer volunteers who learn how to support participants and positively impact the lives of others. On this edition of Need to Know we learn what makes the program work from the participants themselves.

Coming up on Need to Know, the bitcoin craze is dominating headlines, but what is it, how does it work, and how sustainable can it be in the future? Local experts weigh in on the frills and flaws of bitcoin.

Also on the show, who’s to blame for “fake news” and how does this narrative impact the perspectives of local media coverage in the Rochester area? Reporters and residents weigh in.

Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea has been immersed in music since her childhood. While she says her primary focus in life is on her career as a musician, it was her rise to fame after winning the 2016 NPR Tiny Desk contest when she also took on a new role - that of a disability advocate and public speaker.  During a recent concert in Rochester at Nazareth College, Lea told Need to Know that the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in the arts has given her a new stage to share a powerful message.

A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. That’s how Oxford Dictionaries defines “stigma.” And it’s that word, stigma, that continues to generate stereotypes and myths about the developmental disease, autism. According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. There are people right here in our community working daily to educate, enlighten and destigmatize autism and a few of them join us on this edition of Need to Know.

It’s a diagnosis entwined with an almost unavoidable stigma in our society. A stigma that carries more burdens than most may realize. On this edition of Need to Know we’ll hear from local advocates working to destigmatize autism.

Also on the show, she’s a winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk contest. She’s also a powerhouse musician and public speaker advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities on the stage and in the world. Don’t miss our interview with Gaelynn Lea.

Lastly, we’ll learn about a program first developed by two parents that’s now creating inclusion and building communities in dozens of school districts throughout western and central New York.

The largest minority group in the United States is people with disabilities. The individuals within this group are incredibly diverse themselves comprising of different races, cultures, religions and socio-economic classes. Considering this, why don’t we hear more about disability issues in the political sphere aside from so-called campaign promises during election years? And how would more disability representation in politics affect the issues that matter most to Americans with disabilities? Those questions and more examined on this edition of Need to Know.

The phrase “sharing economy” is becoming a household name. The options available in this collaborative landscape include services like: coworking spaces, home and apartment sharing, fashion reselling, talent sharing, and something relatively new in upstate New York - ridesharing.

This past fall Need to Know reported on concerns from area residents who say individuals with disabilities, in particular those utilizing wheelchairs, have been forgotten about when it comes to this sector of the “sharing economy.”

Resident Kenyatta DaCosta was curious to see if a ridesharing service would be able to get him from Point-A to Point-B while accommodating his motorized wheelchair. He had his friend schedule the ride for him since he doesn’t have a smartphone. He allowed Need to Know to observe the experience which he also documented in this video diary utilizing a smartphone camera WXXI provided him. Check out his experience on this edition of Need to Know.

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