NHPR Wins Top International Journalism Honor

Mar 22, 2018

An NHPR series that examined the complicated history of clean energy in the province of Quebec and its impact on energy planning in New England is the winner of a prestigious award for international 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?”

During an exhaustive six-month investigation, Evans-Brown and McCarthy traveled to Quebec to learn more about the complicated history of clean energy in the province. Judges from the OPC deemed the NHPR documentary both illuminating and ambitious, citing the hours of audio Evans-Brown and McCarthy collected, involving challenging translations from both French and indigenous languages. Judges also noted how the NHPR team managed to explain decades of history and Canadian government policies, while immersing listeners in a real sense of discovery through the clever use of sounds from nature. 

According to the OPC, judges also especially liked the team’s conclusion that “no energy source, no matter how clean, is free of victims – a fact that is too often lost in the coverage of climate change.”

“We are so proud of Sam and Hannah for the work they did bringing this ambitious series from idea to investigation to final production,” said Maureen McMurray, NHPR’s Director of Content Innovation & Audience Development. “This recognition from the Overseas Press Club is a real testament to the quality of the work we are committed to doing here at NHPR: illuminating, in-depth, enterprise journalism.  It also reinforces the power of the podcast medium for reaching audiences beyond New Hampshire’s borders.”

Through this achievement, NHPR finds itself in the company of some of the nation’s most accomplished journalism organizations, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN. The Associated Press and Reuters led all media outlets with three OPC awards each.

“Three years ago, NHPR’s Campaign for Innovation launched with the goal to significantly boost our ability to produce multi-platform, impactful journalism,” said Betsy Gardella, President & CEO of New Hampshire Public Radio. “Outside/In was one of three key initiatives we focused on to expand through online stories, web-based videos, podcasts, and interactive tools. This award validates the approach we are taking. It also validates the commitment of many supporters in New Hampshire and beyond that believed in the mission of the Campaign and believe that vibrant and trusted media can help us build strong and healthy communities.”

The Overseas Press Club of America is the nation’s oldest and largest association of journalists engaged in international news. International journalism awards winners will be honored at a dinner April 26 in New York City.

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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 190,000 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.