Oklahoma Watch, Inc.

Kick-ass Journalism

Oklahoma City, OK   |  https://oklahomawatch.org

Mission

Oklahoma Watch is organized for the specific purpose of gathering and disseminating information in a nonpartisan manner about important public-policy issues facing the state and its communities, using investigative, explanatory, data-driven and multimedia journalism. Oklahoma Watch also fulfills an educational role for emerging journalists through internships and collaborative activities with university journalism and other university departments. Funding is provided by grants from private foundations and donations from individuals.

Notes from the nonprofit

Through investigative, fact-driven journalism, we dig deep and examine significant issues facing our state. Our work engages all Oklahomans, amplifies the discussion of important issues and leads to change. We help develop the journalists and journalism of the future. We are… Trustworthy. Trustworthiness and reliability form the cornerstone of journalistic integrity. Relentless. We relentlessly pursue the truth and hold those in power to account. Ethical. Our coverage is honest, accurate, independent and fair. We adhere to a code of journalistic ethics. Innovative. We experiment with new ways to cover issues and share information. Engaging. We connect in different ways with a diverse audience statewide to inform and have impact. Inclusive. Our organization and coverage bring a voice to issues and people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.

Ruling year info

2013

Executive Director

Ted Streuli

Main address

100 W Main St Suite 202

Oklahoma City, OK 73102 USA

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EIN

27-3721498

NTEE code info

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Investigative Reporting

Too many Oklahomans are impoverished, ill, depressed, under-educated, incarcerated, addicted or abused. Yet many people don't know what they can do, or why these problems persist. As news outlets shrink, media coverage tends to be superficial, never getting to the heart of the issue. And so the troubles deepen, solutions wait, and public leaders feel less compelled to take action. Oklahoma Watch is out to ignite a sense of urgency. Through investigative and in-depth reporting, Oklahoma Watch is revealing the hidden facts and trends behind the state's critical issues and the effects of public policies on the hardships of Oklahomans. Our reports are penetrating yet balanced and fair. Oklahoma Watch stories are distributed to about 100 newspapers and broadcast stations in Oklahoma, extending our reach to hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Oklahoma Watch-Outs are public forums that engage policymakers, civic leaders and the communities they serve in conversations about critical public policy issues, including education, health care, poverty, and mental health. Events are made relevant and accessible to all Oklahomans through radio and television broadcasts and our 100 media partners statewide. In addition, videos of the events are posted to the Oklahoma Watch website, which now attracts close to 70,000 page views monthly.While past events have been proven successful, the occurrence of events has been sporadic. Oklahoma Watch is seeking resources to increase and support their public forums.

Population(s) Served
Adults

How much do state officials and employees make? How much money per student does your school district spend? Is crime going up or down in your city or town? Good questions. Oklahoma Watch regularly examines public money, education and many other issues, raising questions and, in some cases, alarms. Through the Data Center, Oklahoma Watch provides readers a one-stop place to search for useful and revealing facts about public agencies, cities and towns, and the state as a whole. Is your hospital losing money? How many tornadoes strike in your area? What is the makeup of the Oklahoma Legislature? Readers can follow the money themselves.Data Center funding would help Oklahoma Watch maintain and expand collections.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Institute for Nonprofit News 2016

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The primary focus of Oklahoma Watch’s journalism is to illuminate how decisions and trends affect the lives of the disadvantaged and impoverished in Oklahoma in a wide range of areas, including education, health care, the criminal justice system and corrections, natural resources, immigration, tribal affairs and public money. Oklahoma Watch’s findings nevertheless are made relevant to the lives of all Oklahomans. Our goals are to increase and deepen the discussion of issues in these areas and to heighten awareness of how decisions affect the lives of people who are struggling economically, health-wise and in other ways, while carrying out journalism in a nonpartisan, fair and balanced way. In three to five years, we aim to be a destination source for sophisticated, investigative news reports and analysis and a recognized catalyst for civic discussion of critical issues in Oklahoma.

In terms of content, we are gradually building a small staff with the skills and drive to produce first-rate investigative and explanatory journalism that is revealing and compelling to Oklahomans. As news continues to shift to digital and mobile, we are pushing to deliver content to where readers and viewers are, be it on smartphone or televisions. We are aggressively promoting more awareness of our brand, through live-tweeting and other social-media promotion, public events, video Q&As, and appearances. We plan to launch a data center that provides useful and meaningful information about the state and localities. We are moving to formalize our partnerships with other media, pursue additional grants, and seek sponsorships to diversify our revenue sources.

Influence is our greatest asset. When we reveal problems that live in Oklahoma's shadows, be that low-income housing and evictions, prison conditions and incarceration rates, legislative loopholes that allow public money to line private pockets, lack of support for mental health programs or other concerns, we are able to grow public interest and apply pressure to those in positions to fix -- or at least improve-- the problems. That can take the form of new or amended legislation, a change in budget allocations, the termination or prosecution of specific people, the creation or termination of programs, increases in private funding and other efforts to improve our state.

In just one example, when we turned a light on problems with Epic Charter Schools' fiscal formulas, for example, other media outlets followed our lead and increased the exposure. Over several years, that swelled public and legislative concern, eventually resulting in the resignations of the school's founders and a complete board makeover.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve residents of Oklahoma

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email, Story feedback on our site and social media,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We changed a reporter's beat to specifically cover diversity in Oklahoma

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    By learning which issues our readers consider most important we are able to direct our news coverage and investigations to topics of importance to them. Their input also informs us of topics we want to investigate that were previously unknown to us.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

Oklahoma Watch, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Oklahoma Watch, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 06/28/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Joe Hight

University of Central Oklahoma

Term: 2022 - 2025

Sue Hale

Consultant

Gerald Adams

Henry-Adams Companies LLC

Ed Kelley

University of Oklahoma

Vince LoVoi

This Land Press LLC

Lonnie Isabel

Self-employed journalist

Adam Nemec

New Medio

Suzanne Schrieber

Tulsa Community Foundation

Nathan Shirley

Cemplex Group

Mautra Jones

Oklahoma City Community College

Philip Busey

The Busey Group

Craig Freeman

Oklahoma State University

Gregory Anderson

Bureau of Indian Education

Susan Ellerbach

Retired (Former Executive Editor, Tulsa World)

Elizabeth Payne

Center for Sovereign Nations

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/28/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/26/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.