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'Focus: Black Oklahoma', KOSU receive grant to foster community conversations

Focus: Black Oklahoma hosts, producers and correspondents
Focus: Black Oklahoma hosts, producers and correspondents

KOSU and Focus: Black Oklahoma (FBO) are the recipients of a grant from the American Press Institute’s Civic Discourse and Community Voices Fund.

KOSU and FBO will host community conversations in quickly diversifying rural communities to build relationships and gain perspectives under-represented in media focused on Oklahoma.

The project will begin immediately and run for four months. It will help the station learn and build toward long-term civic discourse initiatives, including through the 2024 election year and beyond.

The work is vital for increasing journalists’ understanding of the communities in which they seek to do a better job of covering. KOSU and FBO’s project is one of 17 selected by the American Press Institute to take on similar work.

“Local news organizations and journalists succeed best when they understand the people in their communities and build civic, cultural and social connections that deepen their coverage and develop trusted relationships with residents,” said Michael D. Bolden, CEO and executive director of API. “These news organizations will connect people with each other and with ideas that make their communities—and our democracy—better.”

Focus: Black Oklahoma is a news and public affairs program covering topics relevant to the African American and BIPOC communities statewide. The show seeks to inform the public through stories and interviews, engage the community through lively discussion, and spotlight local artists and creators. It airs on KOSU the third Sunday of each month at 3 p.m.

“These community conversations help us learn what’s important to the communities we serve,” said Focus: Black Oklahoma Executive Producer Quraysh Ali Lansana. “They will help inform our team on what stories to pursue.”

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