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KNOXVILLE — National Public Radio member station WUOT 91.9 FM, licensed to the University of Tennessee Knoxville, received a station-record four awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI) at the organization’s annual conference in New Orleans July 21. PRNDI holds the only national contest recognizing outstanding public radio news reporting at local stations.

Matt Shafer Powell
Matt Shafer Powell
WUOT swept the Small Newsroom Writing category by winning both first and second place. The station also won a first place award in the Soft Feature category and took second place in the News Feature category.

“Finding Life in the Shadows” examines the work of photographer David Habercom, who has established himself as a prolific reporter of the homeless experience in Knoxville. This story won two awards, including first place for Soft Feature and second place for Writing.

“Santa’s Gun and Knife Shop” takes listeners to a small knife and gun store in Oak Ridge, where a former shopping mall Santa has found an unusual place to ply his winter trade. This story won the first place award for Writing.

In “Last Stop at Deer Lodge,” listeners get an inside look at how troubled teens from around the country find hope among the towering oaks and pines at Camp E-Sun-Alee in Deer Lodge, Tenn. This story won a second place award in the News Feature category.

Each of the winning entries was produced by WUOT News Director Matt Shafer Powell and aired during 2006.

“The annual PRNDI awards are particularly gratifying,” Powell said. “It shows how the work we’re doing here in Knoxville stacks up against the best public radio stations in the country.”

“Public Radio is a format in which the art of storytelling is still held in high regard,” WUOT Executive Director Regina Dean said. “At WUOT, we always strive to present the news from a human perspective. We try to capture the ways in which real people respond to the world around them and then we find the best way to tell that story to our listeners.”

WUOT also was recognized in 2007 with awards from the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Radio-Television News Directors Association, including these first and second place awards:

Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters Association
– “Dialogue” produced by Matt Shafer Powell and Ann Lloyd, First Place, Best Radio Talk Show
– “Public Notice” produced by Matt Shafer Powell, First Place, Best Hard News Story

Society of Professional Journalists
– “Fontana Lake” produced by Ann Lloyd, Award of Excellence, General Reporting
– “Amendment One” produced by Matt Shafer Powell and Chrissy Keuper, Award of Merit, General Reporting
– “Finding Life in the Shadows” produced by Matt Shafer Powell, Award of Merit, Features
– “Dialogue” produced by Matt Shafer Powell and Ann Lloyd, Award of Merit, Documentary/Public Affairs Programming

Radio-Television News Directors Association
– “WUOT Writing Compilation” produced by Matt Shafer Powell, Edward R. Murrow Regional Award, Writing

All of WUOT’s news stories and features are available on the WUOT Web site at

Listener-supported WUOT 91.9 FM is a 100,000-watt station broadcasting from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Qualified by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WUOT is a member of National Public Radio, and a Public Radio International affiliate. WUOT’s primary format is classical and jazz music, news and public affairs. WUOT serves listeners throughout East Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and streams on the Web at

CONTACT: Regina Dean, Executive Director (865-974-5375)
Matt Shafer Powell, News Director (865-974-9354)