National Public Radio member station WUOT 91.9 FM received 10 awards at the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ (ETSPJ) Golden Press Card Awards, including the group’s highest honor for community service.
WUOT, which is licensed to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, received the 2009 Horace V. Wells Jr. Community Service Award for “My Life. My Vote.,” a series featuring the reflections of eight East Tennesseans who take their voting rights seriously and exercise those rights.
The community service award is named for Anderson County journalist Horace V. Wells Jr., whose long newspaper career was distinguished by his editorial integrity and community conscience. Each year, the ETSPJ honors one local media outlet for its impact on the community.
“This award is a great honor not only to WUOT but also to the University of Tennessee,” WUOT Director Regina Dean said. “WUOT is a public service component of UT. Our mission is to inform, educate, entertain and enhance the lives of the people in this community, and this award recognizes the hard work of our news department to accomplish that.”
WUOT News Director Matt Shafer Powell produced “My Life. My Vote.” in conjunction with UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.
“We wanted listeners to seriously consider what a great privilege voting is,” Powell said. “The people in this series, some of whom fought racism and sexism, or lost their rights and had to work to regain them, brought that privilege to life.”
WUOT also received the ETSPJ’s top honor, the Award of Excellence, in three other categories, including the “Radio Feature” category for the “My Life. My Vote.” segment featuring Knoxville civil rights pioneer Sarah Moore Greene, and the series took the top place in the “Radio Documentary/Public Affairs” category. The third top award came in the “Radio News Reporting” category for “In the Space of a Moment,” Powell’s story about one of the men who tackled the gunman during a fatal shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.
Other awards bestowed on WUOT at the Golden Press Card Awards included:
News Reporting – Radio
Third Place: Chrissy Keuper, “Hill vs. TVA”
Honorable Mention: Ann Lloyd, “Jefferson County schools struggle with funding”
Feature Reporting – Radio
Award of Merit: Ann Lloyd, “Ordnance training”
Third Place: Chrissy Keuper, “American wild ginseng”
Documentary/Public Affairs Programming – Radio
Award of Merit: Matt Shafer Powell, Chrissy Keuper and Greg Hill, “Dialogue 2008″
Honorable Mention: Ann Lloyd, “Financial roundtable”
The winning entries can be heard on WUOT’s Web site at http://wuot.org.
A complete list of ETSPJ winners can be found at http://etspj.org/.
Listener-supported WUOT is a 100,000-watt station. 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 http://wuot.org.