Vermont Public Radio has won three 2021 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for its journalism in 2020 from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).
The winning coverage includes:
- Excellence in Innovation: But Why Live Broadcasts For At-Home Learning—Last spring, But Why, VPR’s podcast for curious kids, worked with the Vermont Agency of Education to broadcast a series of live, interactive educational programs for elementary school students. The eight-week series helped families finish the academic year from home regardless of whether they had access to high-speed internet.
- 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.
- 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.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by RTDNA for our work, especially after a year of major challenges in our communities,” said Sarah Ashworth, vice president of news at VPR. “The events of last year demonstrated the pressing need to increase our service, engage more people in our content and cover issues more inclusively—despite the obstacles presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Our journalists found creative ways to report the news and host shows—from microphones on hockey sticks to blanket tents in living rooms. It’s especially exciting to win for Excellence in Innovation for our But Why special, which responded to an immediate need for kids in our state and beyond.”
The Radio Television Digital News Association is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. More than 750 awards recognize over 350 local radio and television stations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and four countries. VPR competes in Region 10, encompassing Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
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.
Regional winners are automatically considered in the National Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be announced later this year.