At KVUE, our viewers tell us the two biggest problems that they face are traffic and affordability. Both issues relate to our booming population. With more than 150 people moving to Austin every day, and our population doubling every 20 years, it is clear that we have some pressing problems needing immediate solutions and exciting opportunities that Central Texas never dreamed of having.
KVUE has been covering these issues through long-format reporting including the live documentary “Boomtown” in November 2017, another 30-minute program called “Austin Unaffordable” in June 2018, and a news series about suburban growth in November 2018.
Now, in 2019, KVUE is proud to announce that we are building on our efforts with “Boomtown 2040,” a year-long campaign dedicated to affordability and growth reporting.
So, what does it mean when you see the “Boomtown 2040” logo on KVUE? It means we are examining both the positive impact of Austin’s growth along with the challenges that it creates like transportation and housing. “Boomtown 2040” will include weekly news segments across all KVUE newscasts, digital storytelling which will be aggregated at kvue.com/boomtown2040, and documentary-style specials that will all examine the future of Austin from 2020 to 2040.
Our news director Tim Ryan puts it this way, “Good community-based journalism is about more than simply identifying problems. It also means holding leaders accountable for finding and applying solutions to those problems.”
In 20 years, when our population could hit four million, who will be able to afford Austin? Will people of color and the economically disadvantaged continue to flee the neighborhoods where they were once relegated to? KVUE has already dug deep into gentrification and how the 1928 plan forced people of color to move to the East Austin in order to receive city services. We will continue to report on how the past led us to this present, and where the gaps and wins in planning are for 2040.
Our “Boomtown 2040” promise to KVUE viewers is to spotlight the chances and challenges, to find the highs and lows, to push for options and accountability, and to demand equity and inclusion for all in Central Texas. I hope you’ll join us, and be sure to use #Boomtown2040 to tell us your stories.
President & General Manager of KVUE