KOSU, the state’s public radio, is the recipient of a first place award from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, a non profit professional association that exists to improve local news and information programming by serving public radio journalists.
KOSU won first place in the series category, Division C (news staff of 1-2) for “Mali: An Example of Freedom”, produced by Associate Director Rachel Hubbard. The radio series examined how Mali’s radio industry is helping citizens learn how to be part of a democratic society. The award was announced last month during the PRNDI national conference in Washington D.C.
“This award is an example of KOSU’s ongoing commitment to excellence in broadcast journalism,” said KOSU Director Kelly Burley. “I am very proud of Rachel and the KOSU news team for their ongoing commitment to produce quality radio journalism stories that inform, engage and inspire our listeners.”
The series was done as part of a project between the Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership at Oklahoma State University and the U.S. Department of State to spur the fledgling democracy in Mali by increasing the professionalism of the press corps that monitors politics, business, economic development and other issues. Members of the Oklahoma media including Hubbard had the opportunity to travel to Mali to assist in evaluating the current state of the media and then show Malians how United States journalists practice in a free press when they traveled to Oklahoma in 2007.
"Mali is a new democracy just like the U.S. once was, and their press corps is new and learning just like the U.S. press corps once did." Hubbard said. "This exchange was fascinating because as a member of a developed media system I was able to learn how even a very basic media system can have a huge impact on society, helping with everything from health issues like malaria to democracy issues like voting."
In evaluating the KOSU entry, judges said it was “a perfect example of how a small local station can do an international story that serves the local audience with the proper context and content of how the community is related to bigger issues across the globe. This series would be the envy of much larger stations.”
With this latest honor, KOSU has won 17 national awards for broadcast journalism excellence, including the duPont Columbia, the Edward R. Murrow and the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award, as well as hundreds of state and regional awards.