Joshua Mann" />
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Friday, September 22, 2023


UH radio station to focus on environment, energy

Houston and Austin’s public radio stations are teaming up to improve coverage of the environmental and energy scene in Texas.

KUHF Houston and KUT Austin have been awarded participation in NPR’s latest project, StateImpact, which encourages participating stations to focus on the ways in which “governmental decisions affect citizens in such areas as education, healthcare, business, the environment and jobs,” KUHF said in a press release.

“Each of the different states chose a subject as it relates to local government and policy. Texas chose energy and the environment,” KUHF Station Manager and C.O.O. Debra Fraser said. “The idea is that we take that information, and it’s shared on a national level by all the states that are participating. Hopefully (the other participating stations) will find ways that the information is applicable in other states.”

KUHF and KUT will be hiring two reporters and a blogger to write about energy and the environment full time, Fraser said.

“We’re really glad we’re going to get to have someone committed to covering energy and the environment. We covered it before, but we were never able to really dedicate resources to it like we’re going to be able to now,” Fraser said.

KUHF said it will be sharing information with Austin.

“(Stories) that the reporter in Houston does will be available to Austin,” Fraser said, “The two reporters will also contribute and participate with the blogger.”

NPR awarded the chance to participate in StaleImpact based on proposals sent in from public radio stations all over the United States.

“They had so many great applications that they decided that they’re going to expand the program pretty quickly,” Fraser said.

NPR intends to invite additional radio stations to join the project this fall, with future plans of expanding to all 50 states, said the press release.

The project is actually statewide, Fraser said, and has been endorsed by the NPR stations in Dallas, San Antonio and El Paso, among others.

“We’ll be sharing these stories and all of this information with the whole state,” Fraser said.

“Without a doubt, the energy industry is key to Houston’s economy and development in the 21st century,” said John Proffitt, C.E.O. and general manager of Houston Public Radio. “And the stories and inventive minds that have made Houston the energy capital of the world are central to this important endeavor.”

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