Daily News

New England Public Media Journalists Win Four Awards

SPRINGFIELD — New England Public Media (NEPM) recently announced four awards won by journalists with the organization.

At the recent Health Journalism Conference hosted by the Assoc. of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) in New York City, NEPM reporter Karen Brown earned second place in the Public Health category for her three-part series, “Safe Bet: Is Mass. Fulfilling Its Problem-gambling Mandate?” Brown is also the host and producer of NEPM’s new podcast, “The Secrets we Keep.”

In addition to AHCJ’s recognition, the NEPM newsroom received accolades from the Public Media Journalists Assoc. (PMJA). The PMJA awards recognize the best in public-media journalism produced in one year from across the country. Stations competed against others with similar-sized newsrooms; NEPM competed in Division A, representing stations with 8 to 15 full-time staff.

NEPM reporters Dusty Christensen and Nirvani Williams both won PMJA awards. Christensen’s investigative piece, “Records Obtained Under New Mass. Law Show Holyoke Police Dismiss Nearly All Civilian Complaints,” secured second place in the Digital Writing category, while Williams’ feature, “New Law Takes Effect, but Still Not Easy for Undocumented Immigrants to Get Mass. Driver’s Licenses,” earned first place in the Government and Democracy Feature category.

“This year, we had over 1,450 entries from 144 different organizations in our awards contest,” PMJA Executive Director Christine Diers said. “We’re proud to be able to recognize the great journalism across the country through this contest.”

Reporter Nancy Eve Cohen’s outstanding work on clergy sexual abuse was recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Assoc. (RTDNA) with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in the Hard News category. Her story, “‘I Don’t Know Who Is Stopping This’: Advocates Urge Mass. AG to Issue Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse,” on the apparent delay in an attorney general report on what had occurred at the Springfield, Worcester, and Fall River dioceses, was honored. Cohen followed her award-winning work with “‘Another Level of Coverup’: How a Mass. Law Prevents Clergy Abuse Survivors From Getting Justice” and “Western Mass. Actor Depicts Clergy Abuse Survivor Who Rejects Church Settlement — Like He Did.”

The regional Murrow Award winners are chosen from all stories in a designated region, in this case Region 10, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Cohen will now advance to the national RTDNA Murrow Awards competition, winners of which will be announced in August.

“All four of these award-winning stories are great examples of enterprise reporting: reporters talking to sources, examining documents, and digging for more information,” NEPM News Director Sam Hudzik said.

Hudzik added that he is grateful to NEPM’s staff and listeners for their support, emphasizing the importance of sustaining in-depth reporting in Western Mass.