Veteran Reporters Join Public Radio Project “StateImpact Texas: Power, Policy and the Planet”
AUSTIN and HOUSTON, Texas—Oct. 17, 2011—Public radio stations KUT 90.5 in Austin and KUHF 88.7 in Houston have hired three veteran journalists to produce on-going, in-depth reporting on the impact of state government on energy and environmental policy in Texas. “StateImpact Texas: Power, Policy and the Planet,” is a regional and national journalism initiative produced in collaboration with NPR.
A team of award-winning reporters from Austin and Houston, including Mose Buchele, Dave Fehling and Terrence Henry, will report from their respective cities – the centers of government and energy production in the state – starting as early as Monday, Oct. 17.
StateImpact Texas reporters will share their information using a content delivery network including radio broadcasts, online and mobile blogs and social media platforms. Additionally, the team will report from a comprehensive website that will serve as a central hub and is slated to launch early next month.
Buchele, a longtime KUT news reporter, will now focus on providing on-air content for StateImpact Texas. He joined KUT in 2004 and has covered many beats, including Austin City Hall, transportation, and environmental and policy issues. He was also part of the National Murrow Award-winning team from KUT’s NASA: End of the Space Shuttle retrospective. Buchele began his journalism career at the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Massachusetts before working as a blogger covering politics in Illinois.
Fehling will also provide on-air reporting. He spent much of his news career working for Houston’s CBS-TV affiliate where he covered the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, the devastation of Hurricane Andrew and created an in-depth segment that was part of what became the highest-rated TV newscast in Texas. He has worked as a staff correspondent for CBS affiliates nationwide, and for CBS News programs covering assignments including the O.J. Simpson saga, the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City, military intervention in Haiti and the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
Henry will focus on online reporting, where he will offer original and investigative reporting on energy and environmental policy in Texas. He has more than eight years of journalism experience at The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, National Journal, Edible Austin and The Atlantic Online. He also has written and field produced four nationally-televised documentaries on The History Channel and National Geographic Channel.
StateImpact Texas, spearheaded by KUT Austin, is one of eight original state-based projects piloting NPR’s StateImpact launch. KUT and KUHF will share editorial and other resources to enable more reporting on an issue that affects citizens across the state.
Examples of topics that could be covered include:
· The competition to lure green energy companies and the jobs that go with them
· The ongoing conflict between Texas and the EPA regarding air quality rules
· Texas research in algae and other bio-fuels
· Rick Perry’s energy policies as governor of Texas, and how those policies might look if he wins the presidency
· How a Texas model of government that works with private industry to set policy could expand to a national level
· Why green energy industries are laying roots in Texas
StateImpact Texas reports will air on public radio stations throughout the state, including High Plains Public Radio, in the Texas panhandle; KERA, Dallas; KEDT, Corpus Christi; KNCH, San Angelo; KOHM, Lubbock; KRTS, Marfa; KSTX, San Antonio; and KWBU, Waco. Thanks to collaboration agreements with Texas Monthly and KUT’s online political reporting partner The Texas Tribune the reports will reach listeners across the state.
KUT’s lead role on this project is made possible by a grant from the William and Salomé Scanlan Foundation of Austin and San Antonio. The International Association of Drilling Contractors, based in Houston, also has contributed to StateImpact Texas. Several other foundations, corporations and individual donors have made philanthropic contributions to NPR and partner stations in support of StateImpact: including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Florida College Access Network, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Melville Charitable Trust, the Open Society Foundations, the School of Business at Southern New Hampshire University and The Wallace Foundation. These grants fund the planning and launch phases, and have made it possible for NPR to staff an eight-member StateImpact desk to run the project. KUT and KUHF are actively working with NPR to seek additional funding for the overall initiative, and local and regional matching funds.
NPR serves as a central editorial and technical resource, enabling KUT, KUHF and stations in every state to work collaboratively with one another to develop stories and share content on common issues, and identify national trends. Longtime NPR Washington editor Ken Rudin and former Texas Tribune reporter Elise Hu serve as national broadcast and digital coordinators respectively.
About KUT Radio
For more than 50 years, KUT 90.5, listener-supported public radio from Austin, Texas, has striven to be the most trusted radio source for news and music in Central Texas. A founding member of NPR, KUT established a news department in 2002. Since then, KUT News has won more than 50 state, national and international awards for journalistic excellence. KUT is nationally known for playing a unique blend of handpicked, homegrown and uniquely Austin music. In summer 2012, KUT will complete the KUT Public Broadcast Center, which will demonstrate KUT’s work from the inside out, showcasing KUT as one of the most creative, exciting and community-focused public media organizations in the world.
About KUHF Radio
KUHF News offers international, national, regional and local coverage from the KUHF Newsroom, NPR, the BBC, and American Public Media. KUHF’s program services are broadcast on 88.7 FM, HD-1, and online at kuhf.org. KUHF is supported financially by its listener-members, and by gifts from the greater Houston community, through the Association for Community Broadcasting. KUHF is licensed to the Board of Regents of the University of Houston and is operated in the public interest as a community outreach of the University. More information at www.kuhf.org.