WFSU wins big for news coverage

The WFSU Public Radio news team won a record number of awards for its reporting of local, state and national news at the 2016 Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Contest and days later topped that off with two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

“WFSU is focused on enriching the lives of our listeners and viewers, and connecting our community through the content we produce,” said WFSU General Manager David Mullins. “These Associated Press and Edward R. Murrow awards are evidence of the commitment that the staff in the WFSU newsroom has to this mission. It is always gratifying and humbling to be honored like this by peers in the industry. I am so proud of our team.”

Reporter Nick Evans led the news team with five AP awards, four of which were first-place finishes. He also received a regional Murrow for reporting on the first same-sex marriages performed in Florida. WFSU News Director Lynn Hatter was a finalist in five categories, including best overall. She also received a Murrow for her story about a school district going against the trend by adding music classes even as it faced budget cuts.

“2015 was a fantastic year for WFSU as a newsroom,” Evans said. “And not just the number of awards, but the diversity of categories and recognition shows that.”

For this year’s AP awards, 32 television and radio broadcasters across Florida submitted 459 entries in categories of news, sports, weather, features and photography. Entries were judged by broadcasters nationwide. For the regional Murrow awards, WFSU competed against stations from Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“This is the level of journalistic excellence that this news team works to provide to listeners every day,” said Caroline Austin, FM station manager. “‎I am so very proud to have had an opportunity to work with these talented reporters.”

This is the highest number of awards WFSU News has won in a single year. The team is still awaiting the results of the Sunshine State Awards. The contest is sponsored by the Florida Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

We are so proud of our news team and their accomplishments,” said Tom Flanigan, program director for news at WFSU. “Given the ever-increasing competitiveness in today’s coverage climate, accolades of this magnitude are more difficult to attain than ever. It’s a true testament to the quality of work and the dedication to the principles of top-notch journalism that our folks demonstrate every day.”

Region 13, Edward R. Murrow Awards

•Nick Evans, Breaking News “Marriage Equality Comes To Florida”
•Lynn Hatter, Feature Reporting “Jefferson Elementary Turns To Music For Academic Inspiration”

2016 Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Awards

Breaking News
•First Place: Nick Evans “SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Gay Marriage

Continuing Coverage
•First Place: Sascha Cordner “Dozier School for Boys: A Dark Legacy

Cultural Historical Feature
•First Place: Nick Evans “Despite Languishing in the Statehouse, ERA Supporters Still Pushing for Passage

•Second Place: Nick Evans “State Lawmaker: Replace Statue of Confederate General in D.C.

General Assignment
•Second Place: Regan McCarthy “Food Insecurity Growing in Leon County

General Assignment Long Format
•First Place: Jim Ash “House Rules Chair is an Uber Mensch
•Second Place: Lynn Hatter “The 2015 Legislative Budget Process In Song

Hard News Feature
•Second Place: Lynn Hatter “Shootings, Violent Crime Taint a Hot Tallahassee Summer

Individual Achievement Multi-Stories
•Second Place: Lynn Hatter “Medicaid Loopholes, Violent Crime and Violins for Inspiration

•First Place: Regan McCarthy “Did Pastor Protection Act Get LGBT Support in Other States?”

•Second Place: Lynn Hatter “FAMU President Mangum’s Travel Hiring History Behind Clash With Board Chairman

Light Feature
•First Place: Nick Evans “Fasten Your Seat Belts: Fat Albert & the Blue Angels Put on a Show in Pensacola

Public Affairs
•Second Place: Lynn Hatter “Apalachicola Bay: An Estuary in Decline

Sports Feature
•First Place: Regan McCarthy “To Curb Bear Population, Florida Reinstates Hunting Season”’

Use of Sound For Radio
•First Place, Nick Evans “Florida Hospital Serves Concerts in Bed