PRNDI Awards for local journalism

KPCC and Vermont Public Radio led public radio news rooms in PRNDI’s three-tiered contest honoring outstanding local news coverage. In the competition among stations with the largest news staffs, KPCC in Pasadena, Calif., and VPR each won four first-place prizes. Top winners in other divisions included WBGO in Newark, N.J.; Wyoming Public Radio; KLCC in Eugene, Oregon; and WCAI in Woods Hole, Mass., each of which won at least three PRNDI awards. In Division A, comprising stations with five or more full-time news staffers, Vermont Public Radio took four top prizes for its coverage of the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene. Two of three first-place awards presented to WBGO in Division B recognized its reporting on the hurricane.

PRNDI honored former NPR news chief Ellen Weiss for significant contributions to public radio news.

Weiss worked at NPR for 28 years, rising to senior v.p. of news in 2007, a post she held for four years. Before that she was senior editor of the network’s National Desk from 2001 to 2007. She also served as executive producer of All Things Considered from 1989 to 2001. “Ellen’s leadership and commitment to public radio journalism resulted in stronger stories from NPR reporters, as well as from newsrooms around the country,” said George Bodarky, newly elected president of PRNDI and news director at WFUV in New York, in an email to Current. “During her time at NPR, Ellen consistently took time out to share her knowledge and expertise with member station newsrooms. Her wisdom has helped many newsroom managers sharpen their skills and strengthen their departments.”

“Ellen was among those who worked hard to get more member station reporters on the air,” said Bob Beck, PRNDI treasurer and news director at Wyoming Public Radio. “She also helped get NPR reporters, hosts, and editors to help with PRNDI and other trainings.

Public Radio News Directors Inc. Awards, 2011

KJZZ, WBEZ, WBGO and KLCC led the annual contest among local pubradio newsrooms.
Each took three or more first-place PRNDI awards in a competition among peer-group stations. PRNDI groups stations into tiers based on the number of full-time news staffers they employ. In division A, comprising stations with the largest newsrooms, KJZZ in Phoenix and Chicago’s WBEZ each received three top prizes. All three PRNDI awards to WBEZ recognized Inside and Out, a special series on juvenile justice that aired across a six-month period in 2010. WGBO, a news and jazz station in Newark, N.J., won six first-place awards in division B, including stations with three or four full-time journalists.