Pubcasters take home 17 NABJ honors, and more awards in public media

By Sean Meehan

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK JOURNALISTS

Public broadcasters received 17 Salute to Excellence Awards from NABJ with NPR, Chicago’s WBEZ and Milwaukee Public Television taking home multiple awards.

NPR won two awards in the network radio category and one in digital media. NPR’s coverage of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington won best long form news, while the article “USC Students Allege Racial Profiling by LAPD” won best short form news. The story “Science Rap B.A.T.T.L.E.S. Bring Hip-Hop Into the Classroom” was recognized for best digital media feature story.

Two other radio programs won awards among network radio. “Reconciliation Way,” a documentary produced by State of the Re:Union and WJCT in Jacksonville, Fla., won for best radio documentary, and “Moments of the Movement,” produced by the Baltimore-based Next Tier Solutions for the CPB-funded New Visions, New Voices series, won for best public affairs segment.

WBEZ won two awards among the top 15 radio markets. The station topped the radio investigative category with “In Cook County Courts: Not Guilty? Go To Jail Anyway,” and its story “Is the Face of Marriage Equality in Illinois Too White?” won for best public affairs segment.

Five other radio stations or programs received Salute to Excellence Awards among stations in the top 15 markets:

  • Long form news: KUOW in Seattle for the report “Black in Seattle”;
  • Radio feature: WNYC in New York for the story “The Mary Jane Mindset: Teenagers and Marijuana”;
  • Short form radio news: WLRN in Miami in cooperation with The Miami Herald for the story “Sistrunk Boulevard”;
  • Radio documentary: Michigan Radio for “Race and Racism: A State of Opportunity Documentary”; and
  • Public affairs interview/discussion: WAMU in Washington, D.C., for “Howard University and the Challenges Facing Black Colleges” on The Kojo Nnamdi Show.

Milwaukee Public Television took home the most TV awards, with three first-place finishes among markets below the top 15. All three awards went to the station’s program Black Nouveau. The show’s special episode “For Jobs and Freedom” won best television documentary, the special episode “Soldiers’ Stories” won for best public affairs program and the show’s segment “Pullman Porters” won best public affairs segment.

Two public TV stations won awards among top 15 TV markets. KQED in San Francisco won for public affairs program for its special “Oakland Tries to Even the Odds for African American Boys,” and Atlanta’s WPBA won for public affairs interview/discussion for its show “Black Women & Reality TV.”

NABJ honored awardees Aug. 2 at its annual convention in Boston.

SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS

The Center for Public Integrity was one of two organizations to receive the SPJ Sunshine Award for contributions to open government.

SPJ lauded the Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit news site for 25 years of investigating corruption, citing in particular “Consider the Source,” the center’s recently unveiled database of campaign contributions and investigations of campaign financing.

Recipients of the annual Sunshine Award are chosen by SPJ’s Freedom of Information Committee. The award takes its name from SPJ’s Project Sunshine, which promotes greater transparency in government at the local, state and national level.

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS & SCIENCES CHICAGO/MIDWEST CHAPTER

Maryann Lazarski, producer and director of Milwaukee Public Television’s Outdoor Wisconsin, was inducted into the Milwaukee Silver Circle, honoring her more than 30 years in television.

Lazarski became supervising producer of Outdoor Wisconsin, MPTV’s oldest locally produced show, in 2012 and also produces documentaries for the station. Before working at MPTV, Lazarski spent 20 years in commercial television as a producer for Milwaukee ABC affiliate WISN-TV. For the past four years, she has produced videos about inductees into the Hall of Fame at the Milwaukee Broadcasting Museum.

The Milwaukee Silver Circle is a lifetime achievement award reserved for those who have worked in television for 25 years or more.

PUBLIC RADIO ASSOCIATION OF DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS

Renee Dillard, marketing and corporate support director at WSIU in Carbondale, Ill., was named Development Professional of the Year by PRADO.

Dillard has quadrupled WSIU’s corporate support since 2005 from $150,000 to more than $600,000.

“Her success is grounded in detailed research, sound prospecting, and a customer-first focus,” WSIU Executive Director Greg Petrowich said. “She doesn’t talk people into underwriting on our station — she talks them through underwriting on our station, and they willingly commit.”

The honor was presented at this year’s Public Media Development and Marketing Conference last month in Denver.

NATIONAL PRESS CLUB

The Center for Public Integrity was honored by the National Press Club at an awards ceremony July 30.

“Breathless and Burdened,” a co-production of the center and ABC News about the coal industry’s tactics against miners suffering from black lung, won for best consumer journalism among periodicals in the NPC’s annual competition.

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS & SCIENCES

Los Angeles–based KCET took home five statuettes at the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards July 26.

The station’s local news magazine program, SoCal Connected, won three Emmys, including one for best information/public affairs series. “Stray Cat Strut,” a story about feral cats in Los Angeles, won for best feature segment, and an investigation of Compton’s city government won best information segment.

The station also took home Emmys for Los Angeles local color for its coverage of the 54th annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration and for best entertainment programming for its story “Invisible Cities: An Opera for Headphones.”

PBS SoCal also won an Emmy for arts and culture/history segment for its story “The Hollywood Reporter in Focus: The Wolf of Wall Street.”

THE ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN IN COMMUNICATIONS

Public broadcasters won 12 Clarion Awards from the Association for Women in Communications in radio and TV categories.

The biggest winner was Boston’s WGBH, with three radio awards and one TV award. “Witness to History: The March on Washington 50 Years Later” won best radio documentary, and the series “Underground Trade: From Bangkok to Boston” won best women’s issues radio program.

WGBH also won in the radio feature story category for its collaboration with the New England Center for Investigative Reporting about men who hire prostitutes, and in the local or regional television talk show category for “Basic Black: Charles Ramsey, Race, Class and Social Media.”

PBS took home two Clarion awards, both for episodes of the all-women’s news analysis program To The Contrary. The episode “New Americans” won for best national television investigative feature, while “Women of the House” won best national documentary series.

Two additional national TV awards went to WETA in Arlington, Va. Washington Week with Gwen Ifill’s retrospective “Stories that Shaped 2013” won for best public affairs program, while the Ken Burns documentary Central Park Five won for best national documentary program.

New York’s WNET won best local or regional television documentary program for The Real Mad Men and Women of Madison Avenue.

In the radio category, NPR’s Intelligence Squared U.S. won best regular feature program, and American Public Media’s The Splendid Table won best regular talk or interview program. Michigan Radio also received a Clarion Award for its documentary “Shooting in Muskegon shed light on hero, and problems.”

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