KOSU names new agriculture and rural issues reporter
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
KOSU is expanding its newsroom staff with a new reporter to cover agriculture and rural issues.
Reporter Seth Bodine comes to KOSU as a member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. It is an initiative of the GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit news organization.
“At a time when so many people are looking for accurate information about where their food comes from, we are excited to be able to provide this service with the help of the GroundTruth Project and matching dollars from Oklahoma,” said Rachel Hubbard, KOSU executive director.
Report for America pays half of its member’s salary while encouraging and supporting local news partners to raise money for the other half.
“This is a leap of faith at a time when advertising dollars are shrinking for traditional media outlets, forcing them to furlough reporters,” Hubbard said. “However, we feel compelled to build the bridge between Oklahoma’s rural communities and food producers and the people who consume it. We believe providing this information is part of the land-grant mission of Oklahoma State University.”
Bodine will join the Harvest Public Media collaborative, which reports on food systems, agriculture and rural issues. His coverage will air in nine states, elevating the work of Oklahoma producers and experts.
“It’s so important to communicate accessible information about where we get our food,” Bodine said. “The urban-rural divide is real. It’s important to tell the stories that are happening in rural towns to make sure they get their stories told just like everyone else.”
Bodine recently graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. He was chosen for KOSU’s Report for America position in a highly selective national competition that drew more than 1,800 applications.
In Missouri, he covered agriculture, business and culture for KBIA, the NPR station in Columbia, and the 2020 session of the Missouri Legislature for the Missouri Broadcasters Association and KMOX-St. Louis. His work has been picked up by dozens of publications, including U.S. News and World Report, the Associated Press and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
“There is still time to contribute to this important work of telling Oklahoma’s story,” Hubbard said. “We have committed to one year with Report for America, but we hope to make covering agriculture and rural issues a permanent part of KOSU’s newsroom.”
To find out more about how to contribute or to see Bodine’s first story on Oklahoma’s wheat harvest, visit kosu.org.
CONTACT: Rachel Hubbard | KOSU executive director | firstname.lastname@example.org| 405-896-4324