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Tell Us What Is Giving You Hope In 2021 For KOSU's 'Audio Diaries'


Updated January 5, 2021


KOSU started the Audio Diaries project in 2020 to capture first-hand experiences from Oklahomans around the state on how COVID-19 has impacted their lives. We partnered with the Oklahoma Historical Society to document these oral histories in their archives for future generations. 


Now that we've been living with the COVID-19 virus for months and we've covered how it's changed lives and made people concerned for our future - now is the time to search for hope. 


In 2021, we'd like you to share what is giving you hope these days. Help us create a space where communities can gather and listen to each other's stories. We are together, even when we are apart. 


You can take part in Oklahoma's COVID-19 history. Here's how: 


How to Participate in Audio Diaries


We are looking for individuals to record a single snapshot of their COVID-19 experiences and what's giving them hope in the new year. 


1.) Record using a voice memo app on your smart phone. Please follow these guidelines to maximize your audio quality (Note: If you do not have a recording device and need help, please email us at audio@kosu.org) :


  • Make sure you are in a quiet area to record
  • Turn your smart phone on silent mode so you will not hear notifications as you record
  • Make sure when you are ready to begin recording you can see the numbers running -  this is how you know you’re recording.
  • Introduce yourself in the recording. (Ex: I'm Kateleigh Mills from Oklahoma City. I'm a reporter for KOSU.)
  • Hold your phone up to your ear, like you would a regular phone call. This method will keep the mic on your phone in a close location to your mouth (about a fist away).
  • Hit the stop button on your voice memo app and save the file.
  • Please send ambient recordings to accompany your story. (Ex: Say you talk about how the pandemic has caused you to take more walks - record yourself during one of those walks and get the natural sounds you hear around you - birds chirping, footsteps, people greeting each other, etc.)

2.) If you're stumped on where to begin, start with one of the prompts below. Please remember that this is a verbal diary, so being discriptive is a good thing. Please keep your unedited audio recording under eight minutes.


  • What lessons are you taking away with you into 2021?
  • How has COVID-19 impacted your life?
  • How long have you been in self-quarantine and how are you spending your time?
  • How has social-distancing/ self-quarantine/ self-isolation impacted your health (physical, mental) and how are you coping?
  • Have you known anyone to test positive for COVID-19? How did that affect your relationship with them?
  • Have you lost a loved one to this pandemic?
  • Are you a senior graduating this year? How has COVID-19 impacted you and how do you feel about it?
  • How are you dealing with any financial difficulties?
  • Have you experienced homelessness during the pandemic?
  • How are you gathering/creating a community from afar?
  • What concerns you most about your community or the country in the coming year?
  • What do you want people to understand about your community?
  • Are you working from home for the first time? What has that been like?
  • How is homeschooling your children for the first time? (Consider recording your child’s response to this prompt, if you wish.)
  • Are you pregnant or have you just had a baby? What was that experience like during this pandemic?
  • How are you connecting with your loved ones during this time?
  • What does the future hold for you?
  • When was the last time you cried and why?
  • How has your dating life been impacted by COVID-19?
  • What or who are you missing the most right now?

3.) Please email your audio and any other additional material (photos/videos) to audio@kosu.org. You can also email us if you need any help or have any questions about the podcast. 





KOSU is proud to partner with the Oklahoma Historical Society to record and store responses that may be featured on air. The recordings you send to KOSU will belong to the Oklahoma Historical Society for research purposes and may be used in museum exhibits, broadcasting, internet web sites and publications. 


The stories created through Audio Diaries are produced in partnership with America Amplified, a CPB-funded initiative to use community engagement to inform local journalism.




KOSU depends on donors to keep delivering you the news and information you need. Support this public service by giving monthly as a sustaining member of KOSU or make a one-time donation of your choice. Thank you. Click here to give.

Kateleigh Mills is the Special Projects reporter for KOSU.