Pubradio contenders dominate radio division of Sigma Delta Chi Awards

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Public radio reporters took all nine awards for radio reporting in this year’s Sigma Delta Chi Awards, which recognize outstanding reporting on radio, TV and the Web by national and local news organizations.

NPR’s Ina Jaffe, Quinn O’Toole and Steven Drummond won for breaking news reporting (network syndication) for “Los Angeles VA Has Made Millions on Rental Deals.” For investigative reporting, John Ryan and Jim Gates of KUOW in Seattle were cited among stations in markets 1–100 for “Shell’s Arctic Oil-Spill Gear ‘Crushed Like a Beer Can,’” while Sandy Hausman of WVTF and Radio IQ in Roanoke, Va., won in the 101+ market category for “Naming the Fralin,” about naming the University of Virginia Art Museum.

In the feature categories, Linda Lutton, Cate Cahan and Sally Eisele of Chicago’s WBEZ won for “The weight of the city’s violence, on one school principal,” and Lance Orozco of KCLU in Thousand Oaks, Calif., for “My Cancer.”

NPR‘s State of the Re:Union, co-distributed by Public Radio Exchange, won the syndicated documentary award for “As Black as We Wish to Be,” which explored an Appalachian foothills town in Ohio where residents who look white identify as African-American; it was reported and produced by Lu Olkowski, Laura Spero, Taki Telonidis and Al Letson. Alabama Public Radio’s “Winds of Change,” coverage by Pat Duggins, Ryan Vasquez, Maggie Martin and Stan Ingold of a Tuscaloosa tornado, won for smaller-market documentary. The public service in radio journalism winners were “If it’s legal: Five ways legal pot could affect your life,” by the staff of Seattle’s KPLU (markets 1–100); Charles Lane and Naomi Starobin of WSHU in Fairfield, Conn., for “State struggled at fire prevention ahead of Manorville blaze.”

In the television categories, San Francisco’s KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting won for large-market (1–50) documentary for “Heat and Harvest,” a report on the effect of climate change on California agriculture by Mark Schapiro, Serene Fang, Gabriela Quiros and Craig Miller. “Crossing the Line at the Border,” a probe into the use of force by the U.S. Border Patrol by John Larson, Brian Epstein, John Carlos Frey and Marc Rosenwasser of Need to Know/WNET in New York in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, was cited for investigate reporting (network/syndication service/program service). “Endgame: AIDS in Black America,” by Renata Simone for Frontline,won for public service in television journalism (network/syndication service/program service).

In online reporting, “Big Sky, Big Money,” a report about campaign finance in Montana prepared by WGBH/Frontline, ProPublica and American Public Media’s Marketplace, was cited for investigative reporting (affiliated); while “Skin & Bone: The Shadowy Trade in Human Body Parts,” by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Center for Public Integrity won for investigative reporting (independent).

The prize for non-deadline online reporting (independent) went to “Hard Labor,” a study of workplace injuries by Jim Morris, Chris Hamby and Ronnie Greene of the Center for Public Integrity. The Center for Investigative Reporting, KQED and independent reporters and producers won for the audio-slideshow “Suburban junkies.” The prize for digital video went to “Fertile Ground,” an examination of the effects of Texas state funding cuts by Thanh Tan, Emily Ramshaw and Justin Dehn of the Texas Tribune, and the award for public service in online journalism (independent) was presented to “Mystery in the Fields,” an investigation of kidney disease in India by Sasha Chavkin, Anna Barry-Jester and Ronnie Greene of the Center for Public Integrity. “Black Gold Boom: How Oil Changed North Dakota” by Todd Melby, Prairie Public, Zeega and the Association of Independents in Radio won the prize for specialized journalism site.

Award winners will be honored at a June 21 banquet at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

This news item was first published in Current, May 13, 2013.

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