Network News: August 20-26

In the Spotlight: Indiana’s Progress Report

Last week, StateImpact Indiana took an aerial view of education in that state during an hour-long back-to-school special that aired at NPR member stations around the state.


Gregg Sloan

Kyle Stokes, who produced the show,  says the exercise allowed him (and listeners) to check back in with students and families who were featured in previous reports. It also allowed him to bring some of the StateImpact flair for explanatory journalism to a different audience.

“Its easier to do the explanatory part of our mission on the blog, but it is more difficult on the air,” he said. “On the air, you always have to talk about the particular story with maybe just a sentence or two about the bigger picture.”

The feature, on the other hand, allowed him to talk about those larger trends and to include some of the voices that, in previous coverage, hadn’t made the final cut. It also allowed he and Elle Moxley, Indiana’s new(er) addition, to take inventory of where they’ve been and where they are going–in terms of coverage and sourcing.

Stokes says that although he enjoyed the project, he might do things a little differently in the future and do in-depth, long-form reporting around smaller issue areas, rather than trying to touch on every major trend in one hour.

But, in terms of learning that and other lessons, he says, the project was well worth it.

Last Week’s Reader Faves

Most visited stories last week, in raw numbers:

  1. Texas:  Red Tide Has Likely Killed a Million Fish in Galveston
  2. Florida: Schools Close Due to Tropical Storm Isaac, Some to Serve as Shelters
  3. Florida: More Schools Close for Tropical Storm Isaac      
  4. Florida: Bright Futures Scholarships Cover Less Tuition For Florida College Students
  5. Pennsylvania: Snakes On A Drilling Rig

Most visited content on each site, in order of popularity:

What does that mean? Well, we took the top post from each of your states, according to traffic. We adjusted those figures to reflect each state’s population and then ordered the results.

  1. New Hampshire:  Casino Veto May Be No More
  2. Idaho:  18 Idaho Companies Make Inc. Magazine’s Fastest-Growing List 
  3. Florida: Schools Close Due to Tropical Storm Isaac, Some to Serve as Shelters
  4. Oklahoma:  Drought Deepens Despite Oklahoma’s Water ‘Surplus’ 
  5. Texas: Red Tide Has Likely Killed a Million Fish in Galveston
  6. Pennsylvania: Snakes on a Drilling Rig
  7. Indiana: “Progress Report”: A Reading Guide for the StateImpact Radio Special
  8. Ohio:  State Rankings for Ohio Schools: 2011

Emily Corwin of StateImpact New Hampshire punched above her weight with last week’s story on what laxed gambling laws might look like in that state. Well played, Emily.

Heard on National Air

Sarah Gonzalez‘ piece, “Florida Students Struggle Without Summer School,” aired on All Things Considered last week.

And on Sunday, Weekend Edition picked up Scott Detrow of StateImpact Pennsylvania’s feature, “Snakes, And The Snake Wranglers Who Love Them.”


Around the Network

Last week:

  • The DC office was particularly quiet last week while broadcast editor Ken Rudin worked on his tan.  We’re glad to have him back in the saddle.

This week:

  • StateImpact intern Yan Lu joined us this week from China, via the lovely University of Missouri (Go Tigers!). She’ll be spending the next few months here in DC and we’ll give her a proper introduction in next week’s dispatch.

Thanks, everyone, for all of your great work this past week. Until next week –

Your editorial team,

Chris Swope, Jessica Pupovac, Ken Rudin & Becky Lettenberger

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