In 2015, Oklahoma Watch and the University of Oklahoma teamed up to document poverty in Oklahoma City. They created a video project called Talk With Us.
With the use of mobile video, photos, geographic data and visualizations, students and journalists want to “create a conversation about poverty in Oklahoma City between residents of low-income neighborhoods and area leaders,” the project’s web page says.
The ongoing project has students and faculty from OU’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication as well as other university departments and high school students working together with journalists from the nonprofit investigative newsroom Oklahoma Watch.
The project was funded with a grant from the Online News Association Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education.
Students interview residents of impoverished neighborhoods and city leaders using “iPad Mini or iPod Touch devices with small boom microphones,” the website says. Geographic data and visualizations are used to illustrate the issues at hand.
University Libraries and the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work provided geographic information for the stories. The Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City, El Nacional and The Black Chronicle assisted in reporting on the city’s minority populations.
“The purpose was to employ grass-roots technology to reinforce the idea that residents’ voices could be easily captured and then presented to decision-makers,” the project’s web page says.
A typical story features a video with an Oklahoma city resident discussing an issue like abandoned schools, for example. A second video might show a city official’s response. Most stories are also accompanied by data visualizations such as maps.