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Topic: Disaster Relief and Recovery
When a series of deadly tornadoes hit the South on Super Tuesday, broadcasters across the region provided a lifeline to their viewers and listeners, including KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Ark. The station started with breaking weather coverage before the tornados hit and brought in a satellite from Shreveport, La., so live coverage could continue for the days following the destruction. Across the state, 13 people lost their lives. Homes and buildings were devastated. Within 48 hours of the storm, KAIT teamed with Jonesboro radio stations KDXY-FM, KEGI-FM and KJBX-FM to get relief to those who needed it. In a single day, the stations rallied the community to donate 40 pickup trucks and four trailers worth of supplies. The minute a vehicle was filled, it left for delivery. The stations broadcast live cut-ins during the drive and raised an additional $30,000, which was given to the American Red Cross Tornado Relief Fund.
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More than 2.47 million American jobs depend on broadcasting, and the local broadcast radio and television industry - and the businesses that depend on it - generate $1.17 trillion annually for the nation's economy.