In late September, WYSO general manager Neenah Ellis was awarded the 2017 Madison Hodges Innovator Award for Public Media Advancement. The award is given by the University-Station Alliance, which recognizes professionals who strengthen the public media system through their relationship with their licensee. Ellis was recognized for enhancing WYSO’s tradition of community engagement through the station’s Community Voices initiative.
Two WYSO staff members are the recipients of national media awards for their work.
WYSO managing editor Jess Mador received a First Prize award in the Topical Reporting, Small Newsroom category from the Online News Association for her “TruckBeat” project, produced independently in collaboration with Knoxville public radio station WUOT news director Matt Shafer Powell, prior to Mador joining WYSO in 2016. TruckBeat was one of 15 “Finding America” projects, part of the nationwide Localore initiative produced by AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio.
TruckBeat is an interactive multimedia health storytelling project featuring the voices and images of East Tennessee. Reporters take a bread truck turned mobile studio out on the road to report on community health topics in depth: addiction, obesity, mental health, access to health care – and why zip code may matter more to health than genetics.
“With TruckBeat we aimed to help document the impact of health disparities in rural and urban East Tennessee, and capture the complicated reality of the Knoxville region’s fierce opioid epidemic. It was critical to establish a relationship of mutual trust with underreported Appalachian communities,” Mador says.
TruckBeat was also nominated as an Online Journalism Awards finalist for Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Small Newsroom category.
Public radio station WYSO 91.3 is licensed to Antioch College with studios in Yellow Springs. It broadcasts on multiple platforms: 91.3 FM, live streaming at WYSO.org, on HD radio and on NPR One, a mobile application. WYSO is the Miami Valley’s only NPR News station with programming from NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media, PRX and the BBC as well as the work of local and independent radio producers.