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VPR wins National Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting, podcast

Vermont Public Radio has won two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for its journalism in 2020 from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

Vermont Public Radio has won two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for its journalism in 2020 from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

The winning coverage includes:

Feature Reporting: ‘Our Moms Have To Talk’: Pocket Dial Connects Grieving Moms: Reporter Nina Keck shared the story of two women, living a couple dozen miles away from each other, who both lost a child in the last decade. Both children, oddly enough, were named Sam F. And both have mothers connected through an inadvertent phone call.

Elodie Reed
Samantha Forrest, left, and Sam Francoeur, right, both died as young adults. A pocket dial phone call connected their two grieving mothers.

“Nina uses words and sounds beautifully together to tell stories,” said Sarah Ashworth, senior vice president of content. “She has a way of drawing people toward her and finding the small, shared moments that connect listeners to each other.”

Podcast: Brave Little State: As the urgent stories of 2020 compounded, Brave Little State, VPR's people-powered journalism show, continually pivoted to address listeners' curiosity about COVID-19, racial reckoning and the role of disinformation in the 2020 presidential election.

"This award belongs to our audience — because Brave Little State does,” said Angela Evancie, the executive producer of the show and VPR’s director of engagement journalism. “At every turn, we seek to bring our listeners closer to the center of our reporting. And now, with our expanded team in place, we are poised to produce even more inclusive and impactful journalism, in partnership with our colleagues across the VPR newsroom."

Aaron Shrewsbury

Brave Little State has been recognized by RTDNA every year since its launch, five years ago, in 2016. This is the show's third National Murrow Award; the show won in 2018 for its episode exploring the history of Vermont’s whiteness, and in 2017 for its program on the status of the Abenaki in Vermont.

VPR was honored with three regional Murrow Awards earlier this year.

The Radio Television Digital News Association is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. Among the most prestigious awards in news, the Murrow Awards recognize local and national news stories that uphold the RTDNA Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community.

“In a year when daily, breaking news has been so important and meaningful to people, it's also an honor to be recognized for our journalism that steps outside of daily coverage,” Ashworth said. “Both Nina's feature reporting and Brave Little State put storytelling at the center of their work and aim to build connections and understanding. As we move forward as a new organization and find new ways to enhance our public service, storytelling will remain essential to the work we do.”

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