Springfield, Mass. (May 20, 2020)—On Tuesday, May 12, New England Public Media, the new alliance of NEPR and WGBY, received the coveted Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for “Hard News” in the Small Market Radio category in Region 10 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont). The winning story, “Testimony Raises Questions About Drinking by Police at Springfield, Mass., Headquarters,” produced by NEPM Senior Reporter Karen Brown, first aired on November 6, 2019. The story now moves on to the RTDNA’s national round for consideration.
The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism.
Brown’s story included an interview with Stephanie Barry, a reporter with The Republican newspaper who has written extensively on allegations of misconduct by Springfield police.
“Karen’s story, on top of the strong reporting from The Republican, really speaks to the importance of having robust newsrooms across the region,” said Sam Hudzik, News Director at New England Public Media. “Alcohol use at the police station was a key allegation contained in grand jury testimony, and we’re proud of Karen’s persistence to find out what – if any – policy steps the department had taken in response.”
On Thursday, April 30, New England Public Media’s Connecting Point, which airs on WGBY weeknights at 7 p.m., was nominated by the National Academy of Television and Arts Sciences for Boston/New England Emmy® Awards in four categories. “Holyoke’s Hal Blaine” was nominated for News Specialty Report-Arts/Entertainment, “Avery Saffold: 1 Of 7” for News Specialty Report-Sports News, “From Pittsfield To Pearl Harbor” for Historical/Cultural-Feature/Segment, and “The Climbing Connection” for Video Journalist-No Time Limit. All four segments were produced by Connecting Point’s Ross Lippman as “field pieces.”
Connecting Point Executive Producer Tony Dunne commented on the value and popularity of field pieces. “We’ve always prided ourselves on our storytelling work out in the field here at Connecting Point. We take people to places they can’t go and introduce them to things they normally wouldn’t see. It’s wonderful to see our work in the community recognized by our peers in the industry.
The 43rd Annual Boston/New England Emmy® Awards Ceremony, was originally planned to be held as a live event on Saturday, June 13. This year it will be presented as a virtual event.
For Martin Miller, President of New England Public Media, the award and nominations point to the value of bringing NEPR radio and WGBY TV together. “It’s gratifying to see acknowledgement of the value of what we do, particularly now when trusted local news is more important than ever. And looking to the future, I’m excited about what we are planning to accomplish as we continue to integrate our TV and radio news teams.”
ABOUT NEW ENGLAND PUBLIC MEDIA
Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, New England Public Media is the new alliance of NEPR and WGBY-TV. Through a deep commitment to independent local journalism, trusted educational content, inspired cultural offerings, and civic engagement, NEPM endeavors to share new voices and inspire new conversations. It provides audiences with a broad array of local and national programs across all media — TV, radio, online, and mobile, including PBS and NPR programs as well as locally produced series, podcasts and specials. Its four digital TV channels, and two radio networks present news, jazz and classical music, documentaries, talk, drama, plus cultural and educational programming. New England Public Media is a community-supported, independent non-profit organization. nepm.org
With four digital television channels, video on demand, and streaming video, WGBY brings quality public broadcasting programs to audiences across western New England. WGBY is available over the air on digital channel 57-1 and on cable throughout western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut and can be seen in high definition in western Massachusetts at Comcast 857, Time Warner 1221, Spectrum 782, and over the air on channel 57.
NEPR’s flagship signal, 88.5FM WFCR (and 5 repeating stations in Berkshire County), presents news, jazz, and classical music, while the six stations of the NEPR News Network provide the region with news, talk and cultural programming 24/7. NEPR.net offers three streams including an all-classical selection, NEPR-produced podcasts, and other digital offerings.