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West Virginia Public Broadcasting won 11 Associated Press awards this weekend, including a public service award for coverage of the historic 2016 floods in southern West Virginia.
The WVPB news team earned the Associated Press of the Virginias Broadcasters’ Douglass Southall Freeman superior award for public service for its coverage of the devastating flooding that hit southern West Virginia in June 2016.
The awards were announced on Saturday, April 1, during a luncheon in Roanoke, Va.
WVPB’s flood coverage included stories and contributions from every reporter in the newsroom, but it was a true organization-wide effort. The news team got help in its coverage from every other department at WVPB, and collaborated with the video production team for a 1-hour Inside Appalachia TV special about the flooding and its aftermath.
The Associated Press of the Virginias also recognized individual parts of WVPB’s flood coverage. Inside Appalachia was honored with a long documentary superior award for its episode titled, “Can We Rebuild? Many Flood Survivors Grappling With a Long Recovery”.
Dave Mistich also received a spot news superior award for his story about looting and curfews put in place following the flooding.
Energy and environment reporter Glynis Board earned a superior award for her story titled “Hot Mess: How Radioactive Fracking Waste Wound Up Near Homes And Schools”. It was the first story to come out of the Ohio Valley ReSource — a regional public media collaborative reporting project supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly received a best radio
news anchor superior award. WVPB also won a meritorious newscast award for an episode of West Virginia Morning filed during the flood coverage and hosted by Liz McCormick.
McCormick also received a meritorious award for her feature called “Drug Epidemic Takes Toll on Foster Care System” about one dramatic way the heroin epidemic is affecting West Virginia.
Assistant news director and statehouse reporter Ashton Marra, and Appalachia Health News coordinator Kara Lofton each earned meritorious awards for outstanding effort by an individual reporter, having both made significant personal contributions to WVPB’s news coverage during 2016.
The Front Porch team — WVPB CEO Scott Finn, Laurie Lin and Rick Wilson — earned an editorial meritorious award for an episode titled “When Everyone Is a Felon, Who Will Do the Work?”.
Chad Matlick and Dave Mistich were recognized for their outstanding digital talent with a meritorious award for best website, which included live view updates of the 2016 elections on a state and national level.