Sridhar Supriya covers blight in northeast Oklahoma for Oklahoma Watch, an investigative non-profit news organization based in Oklahoma City. She was a magazine intern at Politico in 2019 where she fact-checked, researched, coordinated projects and reported for Politico’s policy team. After interning she headed off for an adventure, hiking over 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail. During her time on the trail, she walked through communities with a lack of adequate news sources, deepening her belief in the necessity of local news. In college, Supriya interned at The Oklahoman, The Wichita Eagle and the Louisville Courier-Journal as a Chips Quinn Scholar. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in December 2018 with Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, and held several leadership positions at her student paper.
Beat: Blight in northeast Oklahoma City
This Reporter explores all aspects of blight in northeast Oklahoma City. The goal is to illuminate the causes and impacts of abandoned and neglected homes, apartment complexes and other structures on the quality of life in these neighborhoods. Coverage includes identifying property ownership and the economics that incentivize boarded up or empty structures; why the city will not or cannot force structures to be rehabilitated and property owners to be penalized; and why the state legislature allowed the realtors association to preempt cities from passing laws that force a crackdown on owners of blighted properties. Importantly, this Reporter covers various dimensions of blight, including profiles of people in close proximity to these properties, investigation of the cost barriers of tear-downs, and consequences of schools sitting vacant for a decade.