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This year (2022) KBIA celebrates its 50th anniversary - the station first went on air in May 1972.To mark that milestone our reporting team reached out to alums across the country and in a wide range of media. We spoke with them about the work of journalism and their memories of KBIA.The 50 Project was made possible through the support of our sponsors, long-term KBIA listeners David Black and Lee Wilkins.

KBIA alum Courtney Flatt says any story could be an environmental story

Courtney Flatt stands at the rail of a boat wearing headphones, a baseball cap, and a green puffer jacket. She's holding a mic and smiling at the camera. There is calm water and a mountainous shoreline in the background.
Jennifer Fisher
Courtney Flatt

Courtney Flatt is a reporter with Northwest News Network. She earned a Master’s in Journalism from The University of Missouri in 2009.

Flatt spoke with KBIA producer Adam Healy.

Adam Healy:
You cover a wide range of topics like everything from salmon to clams, and just everything you could think of related to the environment. Is there one in particular that interests you the most? Or maybe you think has the most importance?

Courtney Flatt:
Yeah, that's a good question, because it really is such a broad topic. And I think that you could make pretty much any story an environmental story, if you went at it by that sort of frame and angle.

But I think probably the most important—and sometimes one of the hardest to cover—aspects of the environmental beat is climate change.

And what makes it hard to cover is that it's so broad, and it affects everything, and people don't really care unless it's like affecting them here and now. And so I'm pretty interested in figuring out ways to make that more relevant to people right now and show people how it's, like, actually affecting things now, not 50 years from now. If that makes sense.

Adam Healy:
Where did your interest in the environment sort of begin?

Courtney Flatt:
When I was little, back home in Texas they had this huge campaign, and it was called Don't Mess With Texas. It was really like an anti-littering campaign.

And I think anybody from Texas probably remembers all of those ads.

And that's probably where I started thinking about it when I was little. And then when I came to KBIA, I got to work on several of the different shows. I hosted Business Beat, and I did some reporting for Under the Microscope and reporting on like, the Missouri River and cleanup areas there.

And that's kind of probably where I started becoming even more interested in it. And then I moved out here.

And it's been my whole brain for the past 10 years.

Adam Healy:
Kind of going back to KBIA. Is there something in particular that you found the most rewarding about your work with the station?

Courtney Flatt:
Yeah, um, I think probably one of the coolest things about KBIA is that you're really given latitude to, kind of—to experiment, and to find your voice and to just learn.

And I think one of the best ways to get better reporting chops is to just learn by doing. And you have to at KBIA.

Adam Healy:
Why should listeners support KBIA?

Courtney Flatt:
KBIA brings you news in mid-Missouri that you're probably not getting anywhere else.

And it really connects people, and supports students and the great work that they're going to go on and do in the future.

The 50 Project was made possible through the support of our sponsors, long-term KBIA listeners David Black and Lee Wilkins.

Caoilinn left KBIA in December of 2022.
Caoilinn Goss is the Audio Convergence Editor at KBIA. She trains and oversees student reporters, editors and anchors to produce daily afternoon newscasts. She's also a Missouri Journalism School alum.