Emily Donahue

News Director, Executive Producer, The Texas Standard

Emily Donahue founded KUT News in 2001 as the station’s first news director. She's currently developing and launching KUT's daily news program, "Texas Standard".  Under Donahue’s leadership, KUT has grown from a staff of four into a nationally recognized newsroom with a radio and multi-media internship program cited far and wide; and has won more than 100 local, national and international awards for reporting, including five National Edward R. Murrow awards, two National Headliner Awards and a Clarion. Prior to joining KUT, Donahue was with the Peabody award-winning “Marketplace” team as producer of the Marketplace Morning Report. Emily has worked as a journalist for close to three decades in operations large and small. She says of all the places she’s worked – including London, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and even tiny Lexington, Virginia -- Austin is the best. In fact, it’s home. 


Breast Milk
1:06 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Austin's Nonprofit Breast Milk Bank Needs Donations

Austin's breast milk bank launched a campaign this week to promote donations in the Austin area.
Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin

A report this week in the journal Pediatrics on the risks of  unregulated breast milk – covering sharing between friends, but also Internet sales – found three-fourths of the study samples were contaminated with bacteria.

The populations most at risk from such milk are newborns with significant health issues. They’re children like Nina DeGuire. Now a year old, she was born with a serious heart problem that required a series of surgeries and made it hard for her to take formula. Her mother Lani says she had no choice but to find donated breast milk.

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Austin Film Festival
10:34 am
Tue October 22, 2013

AFF Celebrates 20 Years in the Austin Film Community

Image courtesy the Austin Film Festival

Disclosure: KUT is a media sponsor of the Austin Film Festival.

The Austin Film Festival will kick off tomorrow tomorrow night. And, while this year's festival will screen some of the year's most talked-about films, such as the Coen Brothers' 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave' and the star-studded 'August: Osage County,' the festival had humble beginnings. 

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10:07 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Donna DeCesare's Unsettling Portraits of Children of War

Photo taken from the book "Unsettled."
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: Donna DeCesare is one of four gold medal winners of the 2013 Maria Moors Cabot prize, awarded by the Columbia Journalism School for outstanding reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean. “The Cabot Prize honors journalists who have covered the Western Hemisphere and, through their reporting and editorial work, have furthered inter-American understanding,” reads a statement on the journalism school’s website.

You can see more of DeCesare’s work on her website.

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6:05 am
Wed July 17, 2013

PolitiFact: How Well Do Food Stamps Work?

KUT's Emily Donahue sat down with PolitiFact Texas' Gardner Selby to see if U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego's claim that 97 percent of stamps are properly distributed.
KUT News

U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, recently said 97 percent of all food stamp benefits reach those in need – meaning the benefit program, which caters to those at or below the federal poverty level, has an error rate of only three percent.

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6:20 am
Wed July 10, 2013

PolitiFact: Is Abortion the Second Most Common Surgery?

Gov. Rick Perry recently said that abortion is the second most common surgical procedure in the United States. But is abortion even medically considered surgery?
KUT News

Last week, Gov. Rick Perry said on a radio program that abortion was the second most common surgical procedure performed in the United States.

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8:46 am
Wed July 3, 2013

PolitiFact: Do the Majority of Texans Support the Abortion Bill?

This week, KUT's Emily Donahue and The Austin American-Statesman's Gardner Selby discuss Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson's claim that the "majority" of Texans support Abortion regulation in Texas.
KUT News

As Lawmakers take up a abortion measure this week – we review comments made by State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson aboutabortion measure Senate Bill 5 after it died at midnight at the end of the last special session. 

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3:29 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

What Does Attila The Hun Have to Do with Deep Space Exploration?

New thriller from best-selling author James Rollins, The Eye of God, merges scientific theory, cutting edge historical research and the origins of Christianity.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

What do you get when you mix Attila the Hun, deep space exploration and a the space-time continuum? For that answer you’d have to ask author James Rollins – whose new book, the Eye of God, has elements of all three.

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8:42 am
Thu June 27, 2013

PolitiFact: 'Pants on Fire' for Texas Rep's Rape Kit Claim

A Texas lawmaker said the evidence-collection kits are like the medical procedure known as dilation and curettage.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Do so-called rape kits in Texas include an internal surgical procedure similar to abortion? That’s what a Republican legislator recently  suggested in a House debate.

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Voting Rights Act
6:07 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Luci Baines Johnson on the Voting Rights Act & Her Father’s Legacy

President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act in 1965. His daughter, Luci Baines Johnson, says today's decision "breaks my heart."
U.S. National Archives

As the United States begin to digest the implications of today’s Supreme Court ruling striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the decision is resonating here in Austin – the home of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the president who fought for the Voting Rights Act.

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Arts and Culture
3:15 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Interview: Leonard Maltin on Capra, Classic Films and Movies That Prove 'Life Can Be Beautiful'

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Film critic Leonard Maltin on movies, past and present.

It’s Memorial Day weekend – the first big weekend of the summer season and plenty of movies are battling at the box office.

Burt alongside the latest “Star Trek” and “Hangover” sequels is another movie: The 1933 Frank Capra film “Lady for a Day.” Film Critic Leonard Maltin is in Austin for its showing tonight at the Paramount Theater, as part of its summer film series.

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Affordable Housing 101
5:17 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Interactive Map: Average Price for Austin Homes

This interactive map was created using MLS data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors

Click on the dots to view the average sales price of Austin homes for each month from January 2008 to April 2013. 

Arts and Culture
1:49 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

'Octopus Alone:' Children's Book Says Alone Doesn't Mean Lonely

'Octopus Alone' is the second children's book from Austin illustrator Divya Srinivasan.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The children's book, Octopus Alone, by Austin writer/illustrator Divya Srinivasan is released today. It's already being called a remarkable story that teaches children that it's OK to be by yourself in a safe and quite place.

Octopus is shy. She lives on a reef where there’s always a lot going on. Sometimes it’s more than she can take. One day, she finds herself in a new place far from home, all alone.

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Arts and Culture
5:05 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Survival and Identity in 'The 5th Wave'

Rick Yancey's new young-adult novel combines science fiction and existential questions.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Imagine: The world as you know it has ended. People are gone. Food is scarce. Vicious animal roam freely. You are alone, fighting an enemy so devious, so powerful, so undetectable, you question your own sanity. You are 16.

That is the premise of Rick Yancey’s new young-adult novel, The 5th Wave. KUT’s Emily Donahue spoke with Yancey about the existential questions the characters grapple with along the way.

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2:16 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Map Says Many Austinites Bike to Work, But Do They Feel Safe?

This City of Austin Map breaks down the percentage of Austinites commuting to work by area. Click the image for an enlarged view.
City of Austin

It’s no secret that Austin is a biking city. And while cities around the country are gearing up for National Bike to Work Day, riding to work is nothing new for Austinites: according to Census data, people here commute by bike four times more often than the national average. 

To prove it, the city released a map breaking down bike commuting by neighborhood. But while more people are pedaling to work, cyclists don't always feel safe on Austin roads.

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6:30 am
Wed May 15, 2013

PolitiFact: How Many Times Did Greg Abbott Sue the Federal Government?

This week, KUT's Emily Donahue and PolitiFact's Gardner Selby discover just how many times Greg Abbott has sued the Obama administration
KUT News

The Attorney General of Texas recently said he’s sued the Obama administration 25 times.

KUT's Emily Donahue checks that statement with Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s Politifact Texas project.

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5:00 am
Wed May 1, 2013

PolitiFact: Most State Employees Still Waiting for Raise

A state employee group says the state hasn't raised wages in years.
KUT News

As the legislative session comes to a close, no one knows yet if the next state budget will include across-the-board pay raises, but a workers groups claims state workers haven't seen a raise in years.

The Texas State Employees Union said on their website that most state workers haven't seen an uptick in wages since 2009.

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6:01 am
Wed April 24, 2013

PolitiFact: How Many Texas School Days Are Lost from Tests?

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst recently said Texas students miss 45 days in a given year from testing. How did this rate on the Truth-O-Meter?
KUT News

Some public school students are taking state mandated tests this week. Do Texas schools lose 45 days a year to that testing, as one politico claims?

KUT News' Emily Donahue discussed that question is the Austin American-Statesman’s political fact checker, Gardner Selby.

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5:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

PolitiFact: Americans Support Background Checks for Gun Buyers

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell recently claimed that the majority of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases. Gardner Selby (l) tells us how that ranks on the Truth-O-Meter.
KUT News

While campaigning for background checks with gun purchases, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell referenced polls showing public support for the policy.

Mayor Leffingwell joined a press conference supporting background checks in March – and said 90 percent of Americans and 74 percent of National Rifle Association members support universal background checks.

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5:10 am
Wed April 10, 2013

PolitiFact: Carbon Monoxide Still Used in Animals Shelters

This week PolitiFact's Gardner Selby and KUT's Emily Donahue checked into a claim made by State Senator Kirk Watson about euthanasia in Texas animal shelters.
KUT News

A Travis County state lawmaker says dogs and cats are still being euthanized by carbon monoxide poisoning.

KUT’s Emily Donahue checked that claim with Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s Politifact Texas reporting project.

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