KGOU Begins Broadcasting the Oklahoma Tornado Project
KGOU recently received a $75,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to launch the Oklahoma Tornado Project (OTP), which tells the stories from the deadly tornadoes that struck several Oklahoma cities in May 2013.
Officially titled “Ahead of the Storm: The Oklahoma Tornado Project,” the weekly radio programs and corresponding web stories launched on October 1 and will run through at least the end of June 2014.
The project examines what has been learned from Oklahoma’s recent history of severe tornados and explores what local and state governments, service organizations and individuals are doing to better prepare for the next one.
“We hope listeners and readers will better understand their government’s response and how they can better protect themselves with information and action plans,” said Karen Holp, general manager of KGOU Radio. “We also want to educate people on how to uphold the ‘Oklahoma Standard’ – the desire to contribute goods and money after a disaster.”
In addition to looking at how Oklahomans can stay safe during the next storm, the project will report stories of rebuilding efforts as people recover from their losses and examine how volunteers have served the victims and the area as a whole.
Principal reporter for the OTP is Kate Carlton, a senior in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at OU. Other freelance reports may be added in the coming months to complete special projects.
The radio broadcasts and web stories are also available to any public radio and television station in the U.S. Other media outlets can also use the stories with attribution to KGOU.
The Oklahoma Tornado Project follows the model of the StateImpact Oklahoma Project, which is now in its third year.
Started in 1983, KGOU is a service of OU Outreach with a mission to serve the citizens of Oklahoma. KGOU broadcasts to about 65,000 listeners each week and has about 18,000 visitors each month online.