April 28, 2015

WSIU Public Radio captures key awards

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- WSIU Public Radio earned major honors at the Illinois Associated Press Broadcast Journalism Excellence Awards this weekend. 

The station is the 2015 Illinois Associated Press Station of the Year and won first place in the “Best Newscast” category. WSIU received the awards April 25 at the Illinois News Broadcasters Association convention in Bloomington. 

This is the first time that WSIU has received Station of the Year honors. The award is given to one radio station and one television station in the state for its work with the Associated Press. WSIU also received “Best Radio Newscast” honors in 2012. 

“WSIU Radio has a long history as a contributing member of Associated Press in Illinois,” WSIU Radio Station Manager Jeff Williams said. “It is a privilege to receive these high honors and a testament to the excellence of our WSIU news staff. Succeeding at this level requires a team effort every day. Our success is a reflection of our commitment to community service.”     

WSIU Radio produces more than 320 hours of local news and public affairs programming annually.  “Jennifer Fuller, Brad Palmer, Kevin Boucher, and Benjy Jeffords are among the best multi-media journalists in the business,” Williams said. “We are fortunate to have them. They work every day to make a difference in the lives of our listeners. They are also extremely dedicated to working with the students at SIU Carbondale and helping to train the next generation of journalists.” 

Jeffords received several individual Illinois Associated Press awards for his radio and television reporting.  Jeffords won second place for “Best Radio News Writing,” also with first place for “Best Light TV Feature” and second place in “Best Videography” for his work with WSIU-TV. 

Dafna Lemish, dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts (MCMA), said the awards are significant for several reasons. 

“The recognition of the high quality of WSIU radio is another confirmation of how valuable it is to MCMA, SIU, and the region to have such a thriving broadcast station, and how important it is to preserve this cultural asset especially at hard times,” she said. “Public radio, independent of political bias, free of advertising, devoted to fair and responsible journalism and to equal access to information and culture to all is needed for our region today more than ever.” 

Lemish said it is important that students in the college “work hand-in-hand with talented and dedicated professionals who serve as role models as they prepare for their own successful careers in the media world. We are very proud of our colleagues for their wonderful achievements.” 

WSIU Radio has received numerous awards of excellence from the Illinois Associated Press over the past two decades. In 2011, Fuller was the Associated Press News Finder of the Year.