Community Reporter Kim Thistle Murphy visits AMI Headquarters

Kim smiles as she stands in front of AMI's reception desk. The AMI logo is written in green on the front of the desk.

Last year, AMI-audio introduced the addition of Community Reporters to our programming. The Community Reporter mission is simple, to report on information, events and happenings in the blind and partially sighted community in their region. Our Community Reporter team helps us create an inclusive broadcast experience for our listeners coast to coast. Over the course of the year this program has expanded to over 20 reporters and now represents Canada from St. John’s to Victoria and everywhere in between! 

AMI-audio is excited to be hosting several community reporters at our headquarters in Toronto. Kim Thistle Murphy is a Community Reporter in St. John’s Newfoundland. In the interview below, she reflects on her experience with AMI.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m from St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador “The Rock”! I’m a proud Newfoundlander. I have Usher Syndrome that includes hearing loss & vision loss (retintis pigmentosa). I’m a hockey mom, dog walker, hobbyist photographer, chocolate lover, book clubber, wife, CNIB Volunteer and AMI-audio Community Reporter. I’m involved with the CNIB in a variety of roles, I’m on the advisory board, the CNIB 100th Birthday Centenary planning group, I’m an advocacy ambassador and my true passion, I co-facilitate the adjustment to vision loss support group.  

I love sharing my experiences with others and teaching them about the supports that are available for the blind and partially sighted community. We cover topics like self-confidence, self-advocacy, community services available, using the white cane and communication.  

I love this quote from Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”. 
How did you become a Community Reporter? 

Last year, the CNIB put a call out to see if clients wanted to meet with members of the AMI team to discuss the new Community Reporter program. They wanted us to share ideas of what we thought would be good topics to discuss on air and what we should focus on in the Newfoundland and Labrador community. We all shared our ideas and Andy Frank, the manager of AMI-audio handed me his card and said, I think you should be our Community Reporter! I have him and the CNIB to thank for landing the role. They have really helped me find my passion and purpose. 
What do you love most about being a Community Reporter?

I love being able to share about our province and culture with the rest of Canada. I like letting others from our community know about what’s happening in the province accessibility wise and events or activities to participate in. I’m very proud of where I come from and if I can get members of the blind and partially sighted community to take on something new I would be so proud of that. I hope that maybe even them hearing about me being involved will make them want to participate.. 

Kim sits around the table in studio with Kelly, Ramya and a guest. They are all wearing headphones and she looks on at the guest smiling.

Why are Community Reporters on AMI-audio important? 

I think it’s important for a sense of community. Blind and partially sighted community members come together and learn about others living with vision loss across the country. Through this program we can all feel capable, connected and contributing. I think sometimes when we live with vision loss we might feel very isolated and I think AMI has given us an opportunity to see there are other just like us living with various degrees of vision loss just living our lives. 
Tell us about your experience here at AMI HQ?

The ultimate experience was certainly ULTIMATE! It was wonderful getting to see how the “magic” happens behind the scenes and learning more about how things are done. For example, I learned more about how AMI-audio records its reading programs and how AMI-tv edits their programs. Ultimately, AMI exists because of the people that work here and the people here have a passion for impacting the community and they want to support the voices of the community. Everyone is so kind and friendly and supportive, I felt so welcomed. 

I have never co-hosted a radio show before! It was awesome to witness a two-hour show come together. I learned terms like “segments” and “pacing” and how much you have to be prepared to put the show on the air. Kelly and Ramya were so supportive and welcoming and they did a great job of explaining the process. They have a wonderful chemistry! I would love to host a show again! 
What surprised you the most about being here?

The amount of planning that needs to get done to create content was surprising. It seems so effortless, but it takes a lot of teamwork to do it. I learned a lot more about Integrated Described Video. The way AMI is building accessibility in a physical and media sense is great seeing the amount of accessibility that you have here is eye opening as an advocate

What do you love most about AMI-audio?

I really enjoy Kelly and Company, obviously! I love that it’s talking about content relevant to the blind and partially sighted community and other disabilities and it’s bringing us closer together and connecting us. As someone who lost their sight it feels empowering to know that there are other people who have similar experiences sharing wonderful things. For me I see other people doing things and they encourage me and in turn I want to encourage others to embrace new challenges and new adventures. 
Any parting words for your AMI family?

Thank you so much for this experience. Thanks to Andy Frank for putting me on this path that I never thought I would follow and thanks to AMI and Marianne for your support and guidance. For AMI-audio listeners I just want to say, try something new and believe in yourself! 

Keywords: AMI-audio, Community Reporter, Kim Thistle Murphy, St. John's