NSPR Reporting On Camp Fire Wins Prestigious Journalism Awards

Apr 24, 2019

Credit RTDNA



CHICO, CA – North State Public Radio’s news team has won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Continuing Coverage for After Paradise, a weekly show giving recovery information to Camp Fire survivors and community members. The Murrow Awards are among the most respected in broadcast news.

The show is produced weekly by News Director Sarah Bohannon and Reporter Marc Albert. It was honored in the Small Market Radio category. Veteran journalist Tess Vigeland, who volunteered at NSPR during the early days of the Camp Fire, created the show and anchored it for its first three weeks as it aired daily.

The regional award means that NSPR is under consideration for a National Murrow Award. Those will be announced in late June. Murrow Award-winning work demonstrates the excellence that Edward R. Murrow made standard for the broadcast news profession and are given out annually by the Radio TV Digital News Association (RTDNA).

“To receive an award named for Edward Murrow is an honor,” Bohannon said. “I’m so proud our coverage has been recognized as embodying his values of public service. I hope our listeners, especially those directly affected by this disaster, feel the same.”

Separately, Vigeland has received a national Gracie Award for Best Host/Anchor for her work on After Paradise. She's being honored in the Non-Commercial Local category. The Gracie Awards, hosted by The Alliance for Women in Media and named for radio host Gracie Allen, have honored the achievements of women working in media and the strides made to advance their position in the medium.

With a long and successful career as a host and editor at NPR shows, Vigeland guided After Paradise from idea to on air in less than 72 hours.

“We are humbled by this extraordinary honor and thank RTDNA for recognizing this important story,” she said. “I hope this might also serve as a reminder for the nation of the pain still felt by victims of the Camp Fire, who are so courageously rebuilding their lives in the shadow of tragedy.”

Albert spent days in the field reporting the horrific impact the deadliest wildfire in California history had on the people and the landscape.

“The Camp Fire left a horrendous death toll and continues as a slow-moving, gut-wrenching tragedy that will leave Butte County changed,” he said. “I have been awed by the endurance of my neighbors in the face of tragedy and moved that we have been able to help survivors share their stories while offering insights, context and real human narrative to listeners across interior Northern California and the world beyond.”

This year’s winners were judged in 14 regions and represent 309 local radio and TV newsrooms. Since 1971, RTDNA has been honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast and digital journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards.

“Public trust in journalism is threatened by a lack of understanding about the reporting process,” RTDNA Chairman Jerry Walsh said. “The Edward R. Murrow Awards are an opportunity for our industry to showcase what well-trained, ethical local journalists are doing to better our community.

NSPR can be heard across Northern California on the following frequencies: KCHO 91.7 FM Chico, KFPR 88.9 FM Redding, 91.9 FM Burney, 89.7 FM Chester, 92.3 FM Dunsmuir and Mount Shasta, 100.9 FM Greenville, 99.7 FM Hayfork, 92.3 FM Oroville, 89.5 FM Weaverville and 98.3 FM Westwood. NSPR broadcasts online at mynspr.org.