Commercial journalism may be in trouble, and nonprofit startups may still be too small and new to know what’s going to happen to them in the long haul, but in the meantime it seems like public radio stations are filling in at least some of the void. No surprise then that there were scads of education stories and reporters among the winners at the recent Public Radio News Directors Inc. awards ceremony in Cleveland, including lots of recognition for WBEZ’s education team. Ironically, WBEZ may lose Becky Vevea from the education desk and media coverage of schools is under attack from NYU school reform critic Diane Ravitch.
Chicago Public Radio’s Linda Lutton won the Best Writing award, and she was part of the team that won the Breaking News category for the WBEZ stories covering the teachers strike last year (and also part of the team that did the This American Life you remember from earlier this spring).
Other examples: Georgia Public Radio won 2nd place for News Features for its story on Georgia schools making Mandarin mandatory, and WLRN Miami won for its story on spanking in rural Florida schools. WSHU won 2nd place for Breaking News coverage of the Sandy Hook elementary shooting, which WBEZ won for its strike coverage.
Click the link above to see the full list, which unfortunately doesn’t include links to the pieces. Or, click the Soundcloud above and listen to one of Luttons’ other pieces, about the impact of violence on a Chicago principal.