Inside Appalachia, Us & Them Win National Awards

EmmaandSon_1.JPG Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two award-winning West Virginia Public Broadcasting programs — Inside Appalachia and Us & Them — can each add a Public Media Journalists Association 2020 Award to their lists of achievements.

Inside Appalachia, WVPB’s weekly news magazine show, which broadcasts to the world the beautiful complexities of life here, won second place in the Audience Engagement Program category for its episode, “Without Enough Support, Working Moms Struggle to Make Breastfeeding Work.” Roxy Todd is the show’s producer. She had help on this episode from Appalachia Health News Reporter Kara Lofton, Assistant News Director Glynis Board and Associate Producer Eric Douglas.

A graphic showing shoes/legs of people standing over a yellow line with text Us & Them: Abortion Divides and the WVPB logo.

Credit WVPB
For this story, host Trey Kay visited the protest line at West Virginia’s only center that offers affordable access to abortion to see if people can talk across this divisive topic. He also sat down with Margaret Chapman Pomponio, executive director of West Virginia Free, and Karen Cross, the political director for the National Right to Life Committee. This story won a second-place Public Media Journalists Association 2020 Award in the Podcast category.

Us & Them won second place in the Podcast category for its episode, “Abortion Divides.” The podcast is a joint project of WVPB, PRX and Trey Kay Productions that explores all sides of the cultural issues that too often divide us with the intent to make us rethink our opinions and bridge divides. Trey Kay is the podcast and radio show’s creator and host. Marisa Helms co-produced this episode.

Executive Director Chuck Roberts said he’s proud of the work that goes into both programs.

“We continue to see great things come out of each of these programs,” Roberts said. “Inside Appalachia brings our region to the world, and Us & Them continues to take on divisive topics in a way that promotes conversation rather than confrontation. We are so proud of these programs and the talented people behind them.”

At its first-ever Virtual Awards Gala, PMJA announced the awards for work done in calendar year 2019.  WVPB’s awards were given in Division A, which includes organizations with reporting staffs of eight to 15 people, for stories published/aired in 2019. The awards recognize the best work in public media journalism from across the country.  Stations compete against others with similar sized newsrooms. Overall, judges reviewed nearly 1300 entries.

PMJA is an association representing those responsible for the day-to-day direction, reporting and editing of local public media newsrooms with the mission to enhance news and information services and programming throughout public media.