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WMFE WINS TOP HONORS FROM THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF BROADCAST JOURNALISTS

WMFE WINS TOP HONORS FROM THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF BROADCAST JOURNALISTS

REPORTING ON FLORIDA’S EVERGLADES, AMERICA’S RETURN TO HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT AND THE FRONT LINE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC NAMED BEST IN STATE

ORLANDO — WMFE’s podcast “Drained” was one of three works named best in the state by the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists on Saturday.

WMFE’s environmental reporter Amy Green spent months investigating the massive, complex plan to save the Everglades. In her four-part podcast, Green waded into the science and the politics behind one of the most ambitious- and costly- environmental restoration projects ever undertaken.

Winning in the digital programming category for statewide radio, “Drained” acknowledges a depth of information on an issue that is key to the very existence of the state of Florida: how water resources are managed. Amy’s exhaustive knowledge of a massively complex and critically important subject shines through in a story that is both meticulously researched and compellingly told.

Produced in partnership with the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, the podcast was edited by FCIR’s Trevor Aaronson and WMFE’s Matthew Peddie, with production support from Ryan Ellison.

“These awards recognize the significance of our service to the communities we serve,” said WMFE President and CEO Erika Pulley-Hayes.

“This is a tremendous honor for our news team and I’m proud to work alongside them to bring you the local stories impacting our region.”

The 2020 Excellence in Broadcast News Professional Contest winners were announced through a Facebook Live presentation on May 29. WMFE, a public media organization licensed to Community Communications Inc., was one of more than 40 radio and television stations which entered the contest. Over 550 stories from 2020 were submitted.

Other WMFE journalists won best in state or were finalists for their reporting:

Return to Flight: A Return to Human Space Travel” hosted and produced by Brendan Byrne, with editorial guidance from Matthew Peddie and production assistance from Ryan Ellison, won best public affairs. “Return to Flight” was a special presentation from WMFE that aired ahead of the historic first crewed mission of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon space craft, marking the first human launch from US soil since the end of the Space Shuttle program nearly a decade ago. Byrne interviewed space leaders and former astronauts about NASA’s commercial crew program, for a one-hour radio special that aired statewide.

Convalescent Plasma” by Abe Aboraya, won best health reporting series. In his reporting on what was considered an experimental but promising treatment for patients with COVID-19, Aboraya spoke to researchers about how Orlando area hospitals were using the therapy. He interviewed the family of a patient and their search for convalescent plasma while the patient was gravely ill on and a ventilator, and what the family went through as they focused on this unproven therapy for a new and deadly virus.

A Look Back at Mary McLeod Bethune’s Life as Bethune Cookman University Looks to the Future,” by Talia Blake, was a finalist for Feature | Cultural / Historical category. With a new statue of Mary McLeod Bethune set to be unveiled in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, DC, Blake took a closer look at Bethune’s legacy- even as Bethune Cookman University, the college she founded, continued to recover from financial turmoil.

See all of the winners here.

About Community Communications Inc.:

Community Communications Inc. is a locally owned, and operated, non-profit public media organization that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Leesburg and The Golden Triangle. Listener-supported Community Communications has been serving the community since 1980 with trusted news and programming from a local, national and international perspective.

About Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists

Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists (formerly the Florida Associated Press Professional Broadcasters) is a not-for-profit organization whose membership includes broadcast journalism professionals employed by commercial and public television and radio stations, as well as those employed by and/or enrolled in college-level broadcast journalism operations. The mission of the Board of the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists is to advocate the advancement of broadcast journalism through various means. Visit floridanewsawards.org for more information.



 

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