MOORE — OETA will air “Hell in the Heartland,” a news magazine program produced by students at the Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma, at 10:30 p.m. on May 27.
The upcoming first anniversary of the May 20 tornado that leveled parts of Moore brings with it lots of uneasiness and emotions for those that lived through it, but for journalism students at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College it also marked the first breaking news event they ever covered as journalists.
In the hours and days immediately following the storm, students and faculty scrambled to provide on-the-ground eyes and ears for multiple national media outlets that continued throughout most of the summer. One class, Routes TV, continued their coverage into the fall 2013 semester following stories of heartbreak and recovery. Their interviews will be broadcast as a 30-minute special, “Hell in the Heartland” on OETA as part of the station’s week of remembrance.
The stories from their interviews include a mother who lost her son at Plaza Towers Elementary, an OG&E lineman who was a first-responder, Moore high school students traumatized by the storm who found therapy through football, an OU student who wrote a soul-full ballad called “Oklahoma Strong,” and OU administrators making plans for improved safety on campus.
The episode was produced by Nick Dyer and Hannah Bacher (December 2013 graduates) and edited by Karl and Erik Macias. Hosts of the program were Justin Voda and former Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton. Segment reporters were Melodie Lettkeman, Sam Higgins, Erik Macias, Karl Macias, Mackenzie Mann, Doug Murray and Lindsay Webster. The students were led by Professor Kathleen Johnson and Professor Mike Boettcher.