It’s fair to say that daily life in Texas and our nation has radically changed in the last ten days. The spread of coronavirus has touched our schools, places of work and worship, entertainment venues, hospitals, public transportation and more. With dazzling speed, friends and family members are losing jobs or are seeing their business struggle. Some are already dealing with sick family members. The ramifications of this public health crisis are deep and will probably leave lasting effects on America.
As Texas’ daily statewide public media news program, produced by KUT in Austin, Texas Standard belongs to a system of independent, listener-supported stations created exclusively to serve local communities and our statewide audience. In our case, we are affiliated with local NPR stations across the state, which means we adhere to high journalistic standards to fulfill our mission.
Notice I used statewide twice in the preceding paragraphs, and that’s not by coincidence. We are deeply rooted in communities across Texas, and in our hometown of Austin. In fact, chances are that if you live in Austin you might have met somebody from our staff. We live here, and frankly, we love it.
We understand that our responsibility is to keep you informed and, in an environment full of competing and strident voices, help you discern what’s important for you and your family to know to make what could be life-saving decisions.
In practice, this means:
– We’ll bring you confirmed facts only. What matters most to us now is not to get it faster than anybody else but to get it right. That’s why you might hear or read things in other web sites or media that you might not find at Texas Standard.
– We do not take confirmation and fact-checking lightly. We contact official and unofficial sources to make sure that the information we have on our airways and our digital platforms is accurate and updated (that’s confirmation). And then we go deep into the details of a story to make sure we got it right at all levels. (To do that we follow this fact-checking list from NPR.)
– We’ll bring you this confirmed information in a timely way. We understand the need for our state to have access to reliable news as fast as it’s available and work hard to provide it.
Our high journalistic standards apply to all of our platforms: on air and digital. We are broadcasting from Austin on 90.5 FM; you can listen to us around the state each morning; you can read our work at KUT.org and TexasStandard.org; stream us on our app; follow us on social media @KUT and @TexasStandard; check KUT’s Facebook page and Instagram or Texas Standard’s Facebook page and Instagram. You can also ask your smart speaker to play KUT or your local public radio station.
– If mistakes are made, we will correct them quickly and thoroughly in the platforms where that content was published.
– We are working with other news organizations to bring you the most complete picture of the coronavirus crisis in our state and our nation. Texas Standard is part of The Texas Newsroom, an initiative to coordinate coverage and work amongst four NPR stations in the state: KUT in Austin, KERA in Dallas, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio and Houston Public Media. We also work with our partners at the Texas Tribune and get national perspective from NPR and the Associated Press.
Most importantly: We are partners with everyone in this endeavor. We want to hear from you, our audience, what we can do to better serve you. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on social media @TexasStandard,or on Texas Standard’s Facebook page and Instagram.
Teresa Frontado is executive editor for KUT News and Texas Standard.