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StateImpact and Partners’ Moore Tornado Coverage Honored With National Award

Lauren Gardner stands near a family members' house, which was destroyed by the May 20, 2013 tornado that ravaged Moore, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lauren Gardner stands near a family members' house, which was destroyed by the May 20, 2013 tornado that ravaged Moore, Okla.

The Society of Professional Journalists on Wednesday honored reporters at StateImpact Oklahoma, KGOU and KOSU radio with its national Sigma Delta Chi award for collaborative breaking news coverage of the May 20, 2013 tornado.

I was inadvertently caught in the storm, and my conversation with NPR All Things Considered host Robert Siegel from the scene of the Plaza Towers rescue effort was recognized by the organization, as were NPR radio features by former KGOU News Director Kurt Gwartney and KOSU Associate Director and General Manager Rachel Hubbard, which aired May 21 on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, respectively.

This is how Gwartney explained to SPJ the rapid collaboration that enabled the reporting, KGOU reports:

Together, and with the support of other staff at the stations who maintained operations and provided vital information for our audiences, we overcame staffing, personal and logistical problems during this incredible disaster to provide clear, accurate and timely news to not only our local listeners, but to a national audience.


StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership among Oklahoma’s public radio stations and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

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