Oklahoma Public Media Organizations Announce Collaborative Election Coverage

With the 2018 election cycle underway, Oklahoma’s public service radio journalism organizations have brought their newsrooms together to launch Oklahoma Engaged: Project Public Office. Journalists from participating stations KOSU at Oklahoma State University, KGOU at the University of Oklahoma, KWGS at the University of Tulsa and KCCU at Cameron University are partnering with the stations’ StateImpact Oklahoma journalists to create a singular editorial focus in coverage of the 2018 election cycle. The partnership increases reporting capacity to form one of the largest news gathering operations in Oklahoma devoted to contextual coverage of the 2018 election.

“With an open race for governor, heightened interest in legislative races amid the state’s teacher walkout and a ballot question on medical marijuana, there’s a lot of ground to cover between now and November,” said Kelly Burley, KOSU station director. “By joining forces, we will strengthen our news gathering ability to shed light on these races and issues, creating a better public service on behalf of the 250,000 weekly listeners who rely on our public radio stations for deep-dive, explanatory and investigative news coverage.”

This citizen-centric, multi-platform election coverage at the heart of Oklahoma Engaged: Project Public Office will feature multiple data gathering processes, including public opinion polling and focus groups, to identify the issues of greatest importance to Oklahomans. From there, the project will pursue original reporting for broadcast and at OklahomaEngaged.com to raise awareness of those issues. Oklahoma Engaged: Project Public Office launch events will be held later this year in Oklahoma City and Tulsa to engage audiences around the election and the project’s news reporting plans.

“Through Oklahoma Engaged: Project Public Office, we’ll combine data, original reporting and citizen engagement to compare the candidates’ narratives about the important issues with what the people of Oklahoma are saying,” said Dick Pryor, KGOU general manager. “With this combined effort, we’ll provide citizens with resources they’ll need to help them make informed decisions at the ballot box.”

Oklahoma Engaged: Project Public Office is made possible through grants from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Kirkpatrick Foundation and listener contributions.