WGCU reporters have won 14 awards for news coverage in 2019.
The Radio Television Digital News Association announced winners of its annual Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards competition on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
The WGCU team won four Regional Murrow Awards in the following categories:
Excellence in Innovation: For WGCU News en Espanol, with reporter Andrea Perdomo.
Best Use of Sound: Andrea Perdomo, for Monitoring Poached Turtles Returned to the Wild.
Hard News: Andrea Perdomo, for Chinese Tariffs Dip into the Pocket of SWFL Nonprofit.
Sports: Victoria Alvarez, for SWFL Paralympic Fencer Trains for 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Regional Murrow Awards are presented to small and large radio, television and digital outlets based on 14 geographic regions.
Award recipients move on to be judged at the national level. Winners will be announced later this year.
The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971.
WGCU journalists also won awards from the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists, presented May 10, 2020, on a Facebook live broadcast followed with an announcement email.
The WGCU news team won eight first-place awards and two runner-up or “finalist” awards in the radio market category for smaller stations.
First-place broadcast awards:
General Assignment/Long Form: Andrea Perdomo, for Monitoring Poached Turtles Returned to the Wild.
Use of Sound: Bruno Halpern, WGCU intern, and Julie Glenn, WGCU news director, for SWFL Woman Rids Town of Toads.
Feature Cultural: Andrea Perdomo, for Port Charlotte Muslims Celebrate the End of Ramadan.
Environmental Reporting Single Story: Andrea Perdomo, for Invasive Bacteria Threatens Florida’s Palm Trees.
Education Reporting: Andrea Perdomo, for Immokalee School Wins National Math Competition.
Feature Hard News: Andrea Perdomo, for Chinese Tariffs Dip Into the Pocket of SWFL Nonprofit.
Feature Light News: Julie Glenn, for Wolf Dog Goes Viral as Shy Wolf Sanctuary Seeks to Expand.
Community Service: The WGCU news team, for WGCU News en Espanol.
Finalist broadcast awards:
General Assignment: Julie Glenn, for Red Tide Returns: Fish Kills on Marco and Beach Warnings in Collier and South Lee Counties.
Sports: Victoria Alverez, for SWFL Paralympic Fencer Trains for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Journalists have thrived in tough times before – on local, state and national levels. Before COVID-19 was even heard of, WGCU News Director Julie Glenn and her staff dealt with a difficulty close to home.
“2019 was not an easy year in our newsroom as we had to adapt to my sporadic absences for health reasons, but this team stepped up without missing a beat,” said Glenn. “They continued our award-winning tradition despite being short-staffed and having to communicate remotely with me during my absences, all of us unaware then that we were in training for COVID-related remote working conditions.”
“I’m not shocked that this team continues to provide such quality coverage of news that matters. Nor am I shocked that they are recognized for it by professional institutions. I am humbled that I get to be a part of it.”
The WGCU staff also noted the morale boost that this awards season has brought, as it – along with the rest of the world – carries on in the uncharted waters of this public health crisis.
“In the midst of covering COVID-19, recognition for last year’s reporting from these prestigious journalism organizations is more motivation to continue working diligently to bring unbiased, informative news to our listeners right now,” said Amy Shumaker, WGCU associate general manager for content.
General Manager Rick Johnson underscored another aspect of these changing times, in which fewer journalists are at work. “Once again the WGCU news team has shown that it punches above its weight! This statewide and regional recognition for excellence in broadcast journalism underscores the value of public radio storytelling in this era of shrinking local journalism outlets,” Johnson said.