Award-Winning Week for NHPR Newsroom

Apr 25, 2018

New Hampshire Public Radio is the winner of four regional 2018 Edward R. Murrow Awards, while also placing in two other prestigious national journalism competitions earlier this month.

Each year, the Murrow Awards are presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. Regional Murrow Awards are presented to small and large radio, television and digital outlets based in 14 geographic regions across the U.S.; NHPR resides in Region 10, encompassing Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Regional winners are automatically considered for awards in the National Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be announced later this year.

In the category of Small Market Radio, NHPR earned a top honor for Overall Excellence. The comprehensive accolade considers multiple aspects of a robust broadcast news organization: newscast, breaking news, continuing coverage, features reporting, and web and digital media presence. 2018 marks the second consecutive year the regional Murrow Awards cited NHPR’s newsroom for an overall award of distinction; last year the NHPR newsroom won the regional award and then went on to win the national award for Overall Excellence.

“Awards are terrific endorsements for the work our dedicated team of journalists performs every day,” said NHPR News Director Dan Barrick. “Our newsroom continues to innovate – adding new beats, expanding our regional reporting, and producing more special series and long-form pieces. I’m proud of the entire team for continuing to raise the bar and focus on new ways of storytelling that resonates with our listeners and performs a public service.”

Also from the Murrow Awards, the program and podcast Civics 101 was cited for “Excellence in Innovation.” Civics 101 began in January 2017 as a short-term series. With generous support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), it expanded into a regular program – explaining the practices, principles and foundations of American democracy. Lessons from the twice-weekly podcast have now reached 50 states and 210 countries, with more than six million downloads. The program continues to expand, through a weekly e-newsletter; lessons and videos for use in the classroom setting; and audience participation where listeners submit their questions.

“The genesis of Civics 101 came about from our own realization that the inner workings of the U.S. government can often prompt confusion," said Maureen McMurray, Director of Content Innovation and Audience Development at NHPR. “Since the program started, we’ve explored a range of topics including foreign aid, the national anthem, lobbying, and Native American reservations, with a rich pipeline of other topics in the works. We've been able to reach a broad audience by focusing on the principles and practices of democratic government, instead of 'hot take' political coverage. CPB support has been crucial to the expansion of the program, and we look forward to bringing it to more educators and curious citizens throughout the U.S. and wherever there's an interest in American civics education." 

Other winners for NHPR in the regional Murrow Awards competition included:

According to the RTDNA, The Murrow Awards embody the values, principles and standards set forth by pioneering broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow. The newsman became legendary for his broadcasts from wartime London in the 1940s, and for reporting on McCarthyism in the 1950s. Among the most respected journalism awards in the world, Murrow Award-winning stories put public interest above all else, provide a catalyst for public discussion, and adhere to the RTDNA Code of Ethics, says RTDNA.

In addition to the regional Murrow Awards, NHPR also recently learned that it was a finalist for a 2018 Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, given out yearly by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Former NHPR Reporter Jack Rodolico produced an extensive audio reporting piece called "The Heroin Diaries” – focusing on the story of one Portsmouth couple’s harrowing experience with addiction. Daniel Couzins died of a fentanyl overdose in May 2015; his wife Jennifer, a nurse, found his body. A “video diary” left behind by Daniel on his mobile phone forms the basis of Rodolico’s report, part of a project by Reveal, the public radio program and podcast from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

Finally, on Thursday, April 26 in New York City, NHPR Reporters Sam Evans-Brown and Hannah McCarthy will accept an Overseas Press Club Award for International Environmental Journalism. The Overseas Press Club (OPC) awards the Whitman Bassow Award for “Best Reporting in Any Medium on International Environmental Issues.” This year, the organization honored the NHPR Outside/In reporting team of Sam Evans-Brown and Hannah McCarthy for Powerline, a four-part series billed as “who has power, who wields it, and when you’ve got none…how do you take it?”

“These commendations are another indicator of the truly special things going on in our newsroom here at New Hampshire Public Radio,” said Betsy Gardella, President & CEO of NHPR. “Through the generosity of our donors and supporters, we have been able to fund several innovative journalism projects that are bolstering our resources, helping train our staff, and giving our reporters the freedom to pursue worthy news gathering and storytelling projects. I’m so proud of the team we have created here and the leadership we continue to show in independent, public service-minded journalism.”

For a complete list of Edward R. Murrow Regional Award winners, click here.

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About NHPR

Since 1981, NHPR has shaped the media landscape in the Granite State and beyond. Our mission is “Expanding minds, sparking connections, building stronger communities.” NHPR is broadcast from 14 different sites, making it by far New Hampshire’s largest (and only) statewide radio news service. Every week, NHPR is the choice of more than 177,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage, with thousands more viewing NHPR.org and NHPR social media sites. Each day, New Hampshire Public Radio delivers several hours of local news reported by its award-winning news team. Locally-produced programs include The Exchange, Word of Mouth, The Folk Show, Outside/In, Civics 101, and numerous podcasts. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR News in the Granite State and broadcasts national weekly programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and This American Life.