Ben Allen

Ben Allen was the Morning Edition host at KOSU, from March 2012 to October 2013.

While at KOSU, he garnered a number of awards for his reporting, including four first place Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma chapter awards in 2012, tied for the most of any journalist – print or broadcast – in the state. His reporting exposed a plan by a Native American tribe to commercially harvest castor beans, which contain the poison ricin. That plan was eventually shelved. He also illuminated the impact the U.S. farm bill has on both farmers and the poor.

Ben grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts and is a 2011 graduate of Fordham University. He was previously employed at the school’s NPR member station WFUV.

As of May 2015, Ben is a full-time general assignment reporter for WITF in central Pennsylvania.

Ways to Connect

The latest numbers show that deaths from heroin-related overdose more than tripled nationally between 2002 and 2013. Opiate addiction touches every demographic: white, black, Hispanic, rural, suburban and urban.

Proposed solutions nationally include more government funding for treatment, tougher penalties for dealers, and proactive interventions to stop people before they start.

In Pennsylvania, it's estimated opioids like heroin killed at least 1,300 people last year. In Massachusetts, more than 1,000 have died, and in Connecticut, heroin deaths jumped more than 85 percent in two years.

But figuring out the size and scope of the problem is harder than many people think.

Pennsylvania, like many states, doesn't require reporting of specific details on drug overdoses, and whatever other information is available is at least two years old.

KOSU’s Ben Allen is leaving October 2nd (he’ll be the new Morning Edition host at WITF in Harrisburg, PA), and wrote this brief post about his time in Oklahoma.


Running down the list of protected classes in Oklahoma, you see race, color, religion, sex, and more of what you would expect…and then there’s this: smokers. Yep, under Oklahoma state law, employers can’t discriminate against smokers, or non-smokers. The story of how that tiny clause made it into law is one filled with lobbyists and an attitude of a different time…

The mid 80s were a time of George Michael.

A time of “Back to the Future”.

And smoking:

“A lot more people did smoke and chew and dip…”

KOSU's Morning Edition host Ben Allen is profiled in a new short documentary from OSU student Michael Molholt.

From across the pond comes Boo Ritson. The City Arts Center in northeast Oklahoma City is hosting an exhibition from the British artist. And the subject is something Oklahomans, and most here in the middle of the country, are especially familiar with – Americana. On opening night, the art wasn’t the only thing with a decidedly American flavor.

An international art exhibition should not have burgers out on the grill.

Or should it?

"I was absolutely fine with that. It’s unusual, but it’s perfect. And very well chosen."

The first days home from war are filled with joy, but it wears off. The lucky ones go back to work. Others find putting two feet on the floor every morning as difficult as nine hours in an office.

Brian Allen served in Mosul, Iraq for a full year, starting in January 2009. He’s in a therapy program for post traumatic stress disorder. On top of that a mic, guitar and some high powered computer programs have helped Brian empty his mind.

What does the new Morning Edition look like?

We’ve put a lot of thought into this, and we hope you’ll be happy with the changes. All of this means we can offer more from here in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma headlines at 6:04, 7:04, & 8:04

News updates on the :19’s and :49’s

KOSU Features at 6:33 & 8:33

Every Monday, the Legislative Lowdown with Michael Cross

Weekly Features at 7:35

Tuesday – An essay from Oklahoma City blogger Jennifer James