If you followed Oklahoma Watch closely in 2013, you saw a nonprofit journalism organization begin to come into its own.
Among our journalistic highlights:
• An end-of-year investigative exclusive on how a historic justice reform initiative was weakened after actions in state government.
• A first-person Twitter narrative that foreshadowed the troubles with healthcare.gov on the state and national levels.
• The first school-by-school look at how many students may be held back in third grade in 2014 for failing the state’s reading test.
• An investigation into the failure of the state’s Marriage Initiative to increase marriage and reduce divorce.
• Data visualizations on the makeup and key votes of the state Legislature, mapping the uninsured, tuition costs, subsidized home storm shelters, violent crime and suicide rates, obesity and firearm deaths.
• An in-depth look at the generous health benefits enjoyed by state employees, including by leaders who supported rejecting Medicaid expansion for the poor.
• A project on the decline of the penitentiary in McAlester as more inmates are shifted to private prisons.
• A powerful examination of the growing waiting list of people with developmental disabilities who seek state-paid help with care.
• A two-part series, with never-before-seen data, on the financial and charity-care profiles of every hospital in Oklahoma.
We also sponsored our first two community forums in Oklahoma City and Tulsa on important, timely topics — the Affordable Care Act and mental health. More events are being planned. To cap off the year, we received official recognition from the IRS as an independent, tax-exempt charitable organization.
Our goal is for 2014 to be even better. And to accomplish that, we need your help. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation, large or small, to Oklahoma Watch by going to this site. Donations are processed through our fiscal sponsor, the Tulsa Community Foundation.
We wish all of you a fulfilling and happy new year.