Pubradio contenders dominate radio division of Sigma Delta Chi Awards

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.

RTDNA national Murrow Awards for 2009

NPR won four national Edward R. Murrow Awards in latest RTDNA contest honoring excellence in electronic journalism. Top winners among the 14 additional public radio newsrooms recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association for 2009  include Boston’s WBUR, honored for overall excellence among large-market radio stations, and Michigan Radio’s The Environment Report, cited for best news series in the radio network division. Among five public radio outlets that won in the small-market division, North Country Public Radio in Canton, N.Y., won a Murrow for investigative reporting by David Sommerstein and WSHU in Fairfield Conn., for Charles Lane’s continuing coverage of attacks against Latinos in Patchogue, Long Island. The national Murrow for overall excellence among broadcast-affiliated websites went to, which was redesigned last summer to highlight news headlines and feature more visual elements. NPR’s winning news reports include:

A Familiar Enemy for Platoon,” a two-parter reported by Tom Bowman and Graham Smith, sharing the national Murrow for hard news reporting;

“Friday Night Lives,” a series on high school football by Tom Goldman and Mike Pesca, for sports reporting;
“Can I Just Tell You?,” commentaries by Tell Me More host Michel Martin, for writing; and

“In the Kennel: Uncovering a Navy Unit’s Culture of Abuse,” an investigation of hidden abuses of homosexuals in the military by Youth Radio’s Rachel Krantz, aired on All Things Considered.