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. 

Pages

Politics
5:24 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Interview: Global Integrity’s Nathaniel Heller on Potential for Corruption in U.S. Statehouses

A map showing the State Integrity Index's scores for all 50 states.
Image courtesy iwatchnews.org

A study of state government safeguards against corruption gave Texas a barely-passing grade of  D-plus.

Read more
Special Coverage
1:40 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

A Disparate Education

A garbage dump in southern Karachi, Pakistan. Some children who grow up here attend an NGO school nearby.

KUT News director Emily Donahue traveled through Pakistan with nine other journalists this month on a trip organized by the International Center for Journalists.

Here in Austin, the concerns over adequate and equitable K-12 education are numerous: from education funding cuts under the 82nd legislature; math, science and other curricula; whether charter schools best serve all students in a district; academic testing for state standards; bilingual education. The list of challenges facing educators, legislators, agencies, parents and students is long and complicated. 

And yet, those issues pale in comparison to the education issues facing Pakistan. The issues are so great that most Austinites probably have no frame of reference.

Read more
Special Coverage
2:59 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Hookin' Em in Pakistan

Furrukh Khan, Assistant Professor Lahore University of Management Sciences and Emily Donahue

KUT News director Emily Donahue traveled through Pakistan with nine other reporters this month on a trip organized by the International Center for Journalists.

In my whirlwind tour of Pakistan through Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, I kept running into Austin connections. A former University of Texas Fullbright Scholar in Lahore, a Public Affairs Graduate in Karachi (who told me of a failed Longhorn bar there), several businessmen with family ties in Austin, and a school for the poor, funded by Pakistanis in Austin, and named the Austin School.

You can see a couple of photos taken along the way above.  

Read more
Special Coverage
12:06 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

The Lost Potential of Pakistan's Street Children

This girl sells roses on the beach in Karachi, Pakistan
Photo by Emily Donahue, KUT News

KUT News director Emily Donahue traveled through Pakistan with nine other reporters this month on a trip organized by the International Center for Journalists.

In Pakistan, the poverty is breathtaking. This is a country of opposites. The rich are very rich, and the poor live in poverty unlike anything in the United States. People live by the millions – in crumbling buildings on the outskirts of cities, in tents, in windowless shacks with mud floors and cloth strung as roofs – side by side with animals; on the streets, in the parks, on garbage dumps, in canals; on dusty, empty roads, in fields. Alone and with families, among strangers, or not.

In this nation of 180 million people, with so many millions living in desperate conditions, it is the millions of children affected by this poverty that stirred my compassion and my frustration.

My first night here, I naively asked why so many children were on the streets alone in the daytime, and out, again alone, so late at night. Why aren’t they in school, I asked? Education is a complicated thing here, I was told. The system doesn’t work.

Read more
Special Coverage
11:14 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Pakistan’s Media: Bringing Change at a Cost

This is what security looks like outside GEO TV, Pakistans largest TV channel
Photo by Emily Donahue, KUT News

KUT News director Emily Donahue is traveling through Pakistan with nine other reporters on a trip organized by the International Center for Journalists.

Pakistan’s modern media outlets were launched in 2002 with the establishment of PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority). Since then roughly 2,500 media licenses have been granted.

There are 85 TV channels. Twenty of them are news. The vast majority of programming is delivered by cable with no subscription fees. Everyone we’ve spoken to – from government ministers to ordinary citizens and journalists -- says the media is playing a crucial role in developing Pakistan’s democracy.  

Read more
Special Coverage
12:21 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

US Journalists Dance at Pakistan Museum

KUT News director Emily Donahue is traveling through Pakistan with nine other reporters on a trip organized by the International Center for Journalists.

At a recent trip to the Pakistan National Heritage Museum, the journalists on our exchange program started dancing with local men and boys to the traditional music. (It is not customary for women to dance.) The event created camaraderie, much laughter, and made it into the local news. 

Read more
Special Coverage
7:23 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Witnessing the Wagah Border Ceremony

Photo by Emily Donahue, KUT News

Today we did a lot of sightseeing and meetings in Lahore.  We traveled to the border with India to see the Wagah Border Ceremony.  It takes place every every evening at the border between Pakistan and India.

It was quite a wild ceremony. On each side of the border, crowds gather in the grand stands, beginning about an hour before the ceremony. We attended the evening flag lowering ceremony on the Pakistan side of the border.  

The Wagah Border slices through a village that sits in both India and Pakistan. It was divided in 1947 at “Partition” when Pakistan and India formally separated into two separate countries. Here's some background and video from PBS:

Read more
Special Coverage
12:18 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

A New Take on a Classical Indian Instrument

KUT News director Emily Donahue is traveling through Pakistan with nine other reporters on a trip organized by the International Center for Journalists.

You may be familiar with the sound of the South Asian sitar. It's a hanting, somewhat mesmerizing stringed instrument. At the Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts in Lahore they’ve adapted the instrument and molded it into the Sagar Veena.

From the Institute’s website:

Headed by Mohammed Riaz, a instrument-maker belonging to a family of craftsmen dating back to the 19th century. He, along with Raza Kazim and other members of the department, have set a two-fold precedent in the field of Instrument Making. One introducing the above mentioned knowledge in the production of ‘Sagar Veena’, a new musical instrument for Indian Classical Music.

Read more
Special Coverage
7:54 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

Journey to Pakistan: A Land of Many Cultures

KUT News director Emily Donahue is traveling through Pakistan with nine other reporters on a trip organized by the International Center for Journalists.

Today, we went to the Faisal Mosque, the national mosque of Pakistan. It was funded in the 1960’s by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. It is situated at the base of the Margalla Hills in Islamabad. The mountains ring the city on the northwest and on the other side are Pakistan’s northwest territories. I was told that the Margallas were named for the thieves and bandits who, hundreds of years ago, hid in the caves and attacked, or hit (Mar) travelers and cut their throats (gullas). Although I’ve met with some skepticism from Pakistanis when I shared that story.

Read more
Special Coverage
7:01 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Pakistan: So Much to Learn

KUT News director Emily Donahue is traveling through Pakistan with nine other reporters on a trip organized by the International Center for Journalists.

I’m traveling through Pakistan with nine other journalists from various news organizations in the United States. The International Center for Journalists is sponsoring this trip as part of its three-year program to expose journalists from both countries to each others’ newsrooms and foster better understanding between the two countries.

It’s been a wild trip so far. Since we’ve arrived in Islamabad, we’ve met with the head of Pakistan’s Planning Commission, the Pakistan Press Council, the National Defense University, the Ministry of Information and Broadcast, Dawn Newspaper TV and Radio, the editor of the News International, Pakistan Television Network, and several other places.

Read more
Special Coverage
4:56 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Boosting Energy Production in Pakistan

KUT News director Emily Donahue is traveling through Pakistan with nine other reporters on a trip organized by the International Center for Journalists.

We met with officials at the Pakistan Planning Commission early today. It is the site of Pakistan’s first on-site solar power installation. It is funded by Japan.   

This installation and another will produce power for the “B” block of government offices, with excess flowing into the grid.  Pakistan has an extremely unreliable energy grid. Rolling power outages are common is Islamabad.

Read more
Special Coverage
2:40 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

KUT News Director Travels to Pakistan

I’m traveling through Pakistan with nine other journalists from various news organizations in the United States. The International Center for Journalists is sponsoring this trip as part of its three-year program to expose journalists from both countries to each others’ newsrooms and foster better understanding between the two countries.

Here are the people in the group: Bob Gabordi from the Tallahassee Democrat, Gregory Victor from the  Pittsburg Post-Gazette, Joe Little with 10 News in San Diego, Nancy San Martin with the Miami Herald, Odette Yousef from WBEZ in Chicago, Richard Gootee from the Evansville Courier & Press, Mark Seibel from McClatchy News, Stephen Magagnini from the Sacramento Bee, and Babar Taimoor from the International Center for Journalists. 

Read more
Texas
1:43 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Michael Morton Cleared, Seeks Inquiry

Photo by Callie Richmond/Courtesy of The Texas Tribune. Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference after a judge agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison.

Michael Morton's attorneys today presented a 138-page report that asked the court to investigate the lead prosecutor, Ken Anderson, who sent Morton to prison for nearly 25 years for the murder of his wife. Morton's attorneys said the State Bar of Texas and the state's judicial ethics commission should consider punishment against Anderson, who was the Williamson County District Attorney at the time, for prosecutorial misconduct during trial.

Read more
Austin
11:44 am
Mon December 19, 2011

House Gums Up Tar Sands Deal

A section of the Keystone pipeline in Illinois that has already been constructed.
Photo by Keystone Pipeline System

Congress is working today on a payroll tax extension plan, but House Republicans could dash their own hopes for the Keystone XL Pipeline if they refuse to pass the deal approved by the Senate Saturday.

Read more
Austin
1:54 pm
Sun December 18, 2011

Update on Train vs. Tractor Trailer in Hutto

Williamson County OEM

Cleanup from the accident earlier today in Hutto is wrapping up. The Williamson County Emergency Management Office reported this afternoon that:

Read more
Austin
11:30 am
Sun December 18, 2011

Sunday Update 12/18/11

A protest against the Keystone XL in Washington DC November, 2011.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarsandsaction/6320914234/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Some Austin Latinos spoke out against AISD’s proposal for an in-district carter school managed by IDEA public schools.  YNN Austin reports that,

Activists gathered Saturday to call for IDEA Charter's CEO to withdraw his proposal and to send a message to the school board.

"They are supposed to be administering quality public education for our students. If they can't do that then they need to go. They need to turn in their resignations," one demonstrator said.

Read more
Austin
9:05 am
Sun November 27, 2011

Sunday News Roundup 11/27/11

Breezy, cool temperatures in Austin today.
Photo by Emily Donahue/KUT News

 

Austin Bergstrom International Airport is prepping for a heavy travel day. Just as in the day before Thanksgiving, today is one of the heaviest travel days of the year. And showers and thunderstorms along the East Coast may delay some travelers. So be forewarned - bring a book, a Kindle, an iPad or maybe some other gadget to pass any delays. Oh how did we travel before technology?

Has Autumn at last arrived in Austin? It's going to be a breezy, chilly day today. After dropping to nearly 30 overnight, highs today are expected to reach the mid-fifties. Bundle up!

Read more
Austin
9:28 am
Sun October 2, 2011

Sunday Headlines for October 2, 2011

It's another dry day in Austin and that means the weather is again the top story. But today, it's for good reasons! It'll be in the mid-to-high 80's with plenty of sun. Tonight, lows in the 50's. Although, if you suffer from allergies, molds are high and ragweeds are out too.

Of course, Longhorns fans would argue that UT's big win over Iowa State is the top story. Those Horns just steam rolled the Cyclones. This morning, the Austin America-Statesman's Mark Rosner said the win was down to turnover. 

Read more
Business
2:45 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Opining on a Market Dump

Global markets were in turmoil today. Gold fell and the dollar rose against the Euro.
Photo illustration by Daniel Reese for KUT News.

The world markets went into free fall today. All major indices fell, the Euro slumped and the dollar rose. Even gold fell. All the turmoil spurred local entrepreneur and business journalist, Mark Dewey, to put it all down...in a poem. Check it out:

Crash

A market crash is something like a giant gash

inside my soul.   I was wrong, now I pay,

or maybe I was right but didn't say or didn't take the necessary steps.

 

"I told you so" I tell myself.  I knew Europe would take us down.

Read more
Austin
4:51 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Texas to Request Major Disaster Declaration from Feds

The Bastrop wildfire alone has burned more than 34,000 acres, destroyed almost 800 homes and left two people dead. Texas has applied for a federal disaster declaration.
Photo by Reshma Kirpilani for KUT News and ReportingTexas.com

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst will ask the federal government to declare a major disaster in Texas due to the wildfires burning across the state.

Dewhurst toured some of the damage and met with some evacuees in Bastrop today, where the worst fire is still not fully contained. Afterward, Dewhurst told the press, "I am signing the request for major disaster relief for Texas to be declared a national disaster because of these fires."

More than 34,000 acres have burned and the Texas Forest Service says as many as a thousand homes have been lost in the Bastrop fire alone.

Read more

Pages