June 29, 2022, Springfield, Mass. — New England Public Media won three awards at the Public Media Journalists Association (PMJA) conference in Seattle, Washington, on June 24. The awards recognized the best in public media journalism produced in 2021 from across the country. Stations competed against others with similar-sized newsrooms and, thanks to the expansion of its news team, NEPM competed this year in “Division A” representing stations with 8-15 full-time staff.
Jill Kaufman won first place in the Arts Feature category for her piece, “In Animated Series, A ‘Character Smoothie’ Based On Springfield’s Tanzanian Community.” The piece introduced audiences to a cartoon sitcom featuring a Tanzanian family living in a fictional western Massachusetts, written and animated by local comedian Zul Manzi.
Nancy Eve Cohen’s “Hiring crisis in child care: ‘We’re stuck in a market that’s broken’” won first place in the Audio Scripting category. The story revealed how, during the pandemic, the cost and availability of childcare was exacerbated by the difficulty in recruiting day care employees in western Massachusetts.
Coming in second place in the Commentary category is “Asians Are Humans Every Day, Not Just During Lunar New Year,” by best-selling Asian American author Grace Lin and edited by NEPM’s Tema Silk. This award marked the sixth consecutive year that a commentary edited by Silk has won a PMJA award.
“These award-winning entries are prime examples of the impactful stories our talented reporters, editors and commentators share each day with western New England,” said NEPM News Director Sam Hudzik. “Congrats to the winners, and I’m so excited to see what they come up with next.”
ABOUT NEW ENGLAND PUBLIC MEDIA
New England Public Media is a community-supported, independent non-profit organization based in Springfield, Massachusetts. 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.