Thursday 11 November 2021
Media Contact: Mack Burke | Editorial coordinator | 405-744-5540 | [email protected]
“Blindspot: Tulsa Burning”, a collaborative podcast between KOSU, Focus: Black Oklahoma, WNYC Studios and The History Channel, was chosen as a finalist for the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Prize 2022.
This honor is considered one of the most prestigious awards in journalism. Approximately a dozen current affairs surveys, podcasts and documentaries are recognized each year with the duPont-Columbia University Awards for the strength of their reporting, their storytelling, and their impact in the public interest.
The six-episode podcast explores the racial terror that destroyed the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma 100 years ago. Through conversations with descendants, historians and local activists, the series examines how the traumatic two-day attack continues to take its toll.
The jury had this to say about “Blindspot: Tulsa Burning”: “This immersive and deeply reported series depicting the greatest racial massacre since the Civil War has placed powerful eyewitness voices at the heart of a century-old narrative and asked an urgent question: What would it take for history to stop repeating itself?
The season started as an idea conceived by Focus: Black Oklahoma executive producer Quraysh Ali Lansana for broadcast on KOSU. However, in early discussions, Lansana and KOSU Executive Director Rachel Hubbard decided the story needed more.
“We were happy to collaborate with WNYC Studios and The History Channel because the whole world should know what happened in Tulsa in 1921,” said Lansana, who is also Tulsa Artist Fellow and runs the Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation at OSU. -Tulsa.
The Oklahoman guided the retelling of this story for a national platform.
“It’s an example of how public radio should work,” Hubbard said. “We bring our expertise and local sources to the table, and this unique collaboration with The History Channel and WNYC Studios allows the story to have the best production values and to be expertly told.”
“It has been wonderful working with KOSU in Oklahoma on Tulsa Burning,” said Emily Botein, vice president of original content for WNYC. “Public radio is at its best when it combines local expertise and community knowledge with national resources. We are very proud to partner with KOSU to help share this critical story with all Americans. ”
From hundreds of entries, the judges selected 30 finalists, including work from The New York Times, Frontline on PBS, NPR and more. “Blindspot: Tulsa Burning” is one of seven podcasts on the finalist list.
“These duPont finalists seized the opportunity with powerful, touching and true public interest reporting work,” said Mark Whitaker, chairman of the duPont jury, author and former CNN and Newsweek executive. .
The winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony in February.
Focus: Black Oklahoma continues to tell the story of Black Wall Street and the issues facing the Greenwood District in Tulsa today in the three-part “Battle for Greenwood” series.
KOSU is a public radio service of Oklahoma State University and a member station of National Public Radio. Its programming can be heard by more than 91,000 listeners live each week in central, northern and northeastern Oklahoma, parts of Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas and around the world at www.kosu.org.
ABOUT FOCUS: BLACK OKLAHOMA:
Focus: Black Oklahoma is an hour-long news and public affairs program on topics relevant to Oklahoma residents across the black diaspora that airs on KOSU monthly. The show is also available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, NPR One and on www.kosu.org/podcast/focus-black-oklahoma.
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