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Our Stories, Our News: A Conversation with Local Journalists and Community Members

Our Stories, Our News: A Conversation with Local Journalists and Community Members
Together with Magic City Books, the Tulsa Literary Coalition, and the Tulsa Press Club, PEN America held a gathering of local journalists and community members in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event—part panel, part small-group discussion—brought together those who consume the news and those who report it. A community’s stories are essential to building a resilient and robust free press, and we look to local journalists and news outlets to report the information that most impacts our life. Alongside representatives from the Tulsa World, Channel 6 News, KWGS News, and TulsaPeople, this event presented an opportunity for community members and journalists to discuss how narratives in the news shape our understanding of specific issues, what can journalism do to elevate unheard and endangered voices, and how we can create an open dialogue between journalists and citizens.

The event was free and open to the public.

Anne Brockman is a native Tulsan and graduate of the University of Oklahoma where she majored in journalism and mass communications. In 2014, she graduated from Oklahoma State University-Tulsa with a master’s degree in environmental science. In her professional career, she has worked at the Tulsa World, Gilcrease Museum, and Langdon Publishing. Currently, Anne is editor of Langdon Publishing’s TulsaPeople Magazine, Tulsa’s city magazine since 1986. Anne is a member of the Tulsa Press Club and serves on its board of directors. She also co-chairs the club’s Great Plains Journalism Awards and Conference, a regional competition that celebrates professional journalism and awards scholarships to student journalists. Anne is a citizen forester and volunteers with Up With Trees, along with serving on its board. She also serves on the board of directors for Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma.

Jeromee Scot is the Emmy award-winning executive producer of 6 in the Morning, KOTV’s AM broadcast. Since joining KOTV in 2008, he has served as an executive producer, newscast producer, digital producer, reporter for Newson6.com, and coordinated daily content for on-air and online platforms in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City markets. Prior to his roles at KOTV, Jeromee worked as an associate producer at KTUL. Jeromee has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, Jeromee served as a reporter for The Oklahoma Daily and OU Nightly, the university’s nightly newscast. Jeromee also traveled to the Poynter institute in St Petersburg, Florida, for week-long training in news producing and management. Jeromee won an Emmy award in 2017 for coverage of a deadly semi-truck fire in Tulsa. He’s been honored in Oklahoma Magazine’s 40 Under 40 and the Tulsa Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. He also won three awards for Best Morning Show, two from the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters and one from the Tulsa Press Club. In addition to his role at KOTV, Jeromee serves as Director of Communications and Special Events for Komen Tulsa, where he also served as a member of their board of directors from 2016 to 2018. Jeromee will serve on the board of directors for the Tulsa Press Club beginning in January 2019. In his free time, Jeromee volunteers for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma’s Food for Kids program and for Oklahomans for Equality.

Matt Trotter joined Public Radio Tulsa in 2013. He reports on a wide variety of issues but has carved out a niche with stories on city government and policy, state politics, and opioid addiction in Oklahoma. Matt grew up in Southern California and went to grad school in Phoenix. He lives in the vast swath of Tulsa known as midtown with his wife, a lifelong Tulsan. He is on Twitter @mbtrotter.

Claire Johnson is a marketing and communications professional and the current president of the Tulsa Press Club. Raised in Tulsa, OK, Claire returned in 2008 after 10 years in Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia where she worked as a government contractor to the National Institutes of Health. Currently she works on the marketing team of CareATC, a national healthcare provider. Claire graduated from George Mason University and the University of Paris—Sorbonne.

Ginnie Graham has been a writer and editor with the Tulsa World since 1994, covering social issues, education and criminal justice.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of public administration degree from the University of Oklahoma. She is a fifth-generation Oklahoman, spending her childhood in Grove and graduating high school in Perry. Her past honors include four sweepstakes/first place awards from the Associated Press/Oklahoma chapter, two Reporter-of-the-Year awards from the Great Plains Tulsa Press Club multi-state contest and numerous other awards for personal column and enterprising writing. Graham’s notable stories have been investigations into issues of child abuse and neglect, mental health, female incarceration, immigration, homelessness and racial disparities in public services. Other groups honoring her work are the Oklahoma Bar Association, National Association for Social Workers Oklahoma Chapter, Oklahoma Education Association and the Dan Allen Center for Social Justice. She is a Pinnacle Award recipient from the Tulsa Mayor’s Commission on Women and YWCA.

Graham was named as a news columnist for the Tulsa World in October 2012 with pieces appearing at least three days a week. Her topics include personal stories, hard-hitting news and interesting community features. In February 2018, she was named an editorial writer: continuing her columns, contributing editorials and taking on the letters-to-the-editor community forum. She is married, and the couple has two children.

Jeff Martin of the Tulsa Literary Coalition will also join us for the event.