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KERA Adds 30 Awards In 2018, Six Of Them National Honors

KERA News staffers earned 30 awards in 2018. Six of those honors came from national journalism organizations. 

Here's a look at the station's winners in 2018:

Public Radio News Directors

KERA received two first-place awards and one second from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). Texas stations won 14 in all, including first place for the Texas Station Collaborative's coverage of Hurricane Harvey.

The KERA series "One Crisis Away: No Place To Go," reported by Courtney Collins and Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, was the state's only double winner, taking first in the Enterprise/Investigative category and second in Multimedia Presentation; Molly Evans was lead producer on the digital project. Reporter Christopher Connelly's story on the rowdy reception U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions got at a town hall was named best Nationally Edited Breaking News.

KUT in Austin won six awards in all -- the most of any large station in the country. Three of those were second-place honors for the statewide newsmagazine Texas Standard, which is co-produced by the Texas Station Collaborative partners: KUT, KERA, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio. Marfa Public Radio earned three plaques in the small-station categories, including two first places.

Here are KERA's winners:

Here's a complete list of the PRNDI awards, which were presented in Philadelphia in June.

Education Writers Association

Bill Zeeble, a 26-year veteran of KERA News, was named best broadcast beat reporter in the country by the Education Writers Association. Zeeble was honored at the EWA's national conference in May. 

The KERA entry -- its first EWA winner -- included Zeeble's contributions to the series Race, Poverty and the Changing Face of Schools, as well as stories on food insecurity on a college campus and a group of 1,300 dads who've come together to bolster a local high school.

"Bill Zeeble's best stories artfully weave together images, sounds and video to draw audiences into stories filled with people," one EWA judge wrote.

Two other public radio organizations also received EWA awards: WBEZ in Chicago and the investigative news program Reveal, which airs Saturday nights at 7 on KERA radio. 

Here's a complete list of EWA winners.

Religion News Association

KERA's Stella M. Chávez has won a national award for Excellence in Radio or Podcast Religion Reporting. Her reporting on the prayer room used by Muslim students at Liberty High School in Frisco, part of the series “Race, Poverty and the Changing Face of Schools,” earned third-place honors from the Religion News Association. Chávez was the only public radio reporter honored by RNA. You can see a full list of the winners here.

Headliners Foundation of Texas Awards

Christopher Connelly, who covers Fort Worth and politics for KERA, was named the state's best radio reporter by the Charles E. Green Awards from the Headliners Foundation of Texas. Connelly was the only public radio reporter honored with a Green Award. The Headliners Foundation selected 11 Green Award winners from a field made up of awardees from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and the Texas AP Managing Editors. Connelly was a double winner in the AP Broadcasters contest.

The Texas Station Collaborative also earned special-recognition honors from the foundation for its coverage of Hurricane Harvey.

Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

KERA's multimedia project "One Crisis Away: No Place To Go" won two of the station's three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. The series, reported by Courtney Collins and Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, earned top honors for news series and continuing coverage. KERA's Dane Walters was also honored for excellence in video for his Art&Seek Artist Spotlight profile of jazz saxophonist Brad Leali.

Texas Standard won three Murrows in Region 6, which covers stations in Texas and Oklahoma. The public radio newsmagazine, which airs weekdays at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., is a co-production of KUT in Austin, KERA, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio -- which make up the Texas Station Collaborative.

KUT won five other regional Murrows; TPR won two. That means Collaborative stations won 13 of the 15 Murrows in Region 6. KRLD earned the other two, including Overall Excellence.

In the small-station regional competition, Marfa Public Radio won nine of the 10 categories. The Texas Tribune, another KERA partner, won seven regional Murrows for small digital organization.

Here's the complete list of regional Murrow winners. And here are KERA's honors:

Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Awards

Journalists from KERA  won five first-place Texas Associated Press Broadcasters awards, and 12 honors in all. Christopher Connelly was a double winner, for reporter of the year and best serious feature. Jerome Weeks and the station's Art&Seek team also earned two first-place honors: Weeks for specialty or beat reporting and the Artist Spotlight series for online/special content.

The KERA project "One Crisis Away: No Place To Go" was named best investigative report and also collected two second-place honors.

Every current KERA reporter was honored in at least one category.

KUT in Austin -- a partner in the Texas Station Collaborative with KERA, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio -- won 16 Texas AP Broadcasters Awards this year. Eleven were first place, including overall excellence.

Here are KERA's winners:

Here's a complete list of Texas AP Broadcasters Awards.

Hugh Aynesworth Awards, Press Club of Dallas


KERA won three Hugh Aynesworth Awards from the Press Club of Dallas, part of a sweep of the statewide contest's radio categories by public stations.

The awards, named for the longtime North Texas news icon, were presented Dec. 1 at the Irving Convention Center. The public radio program Texas Standard won the fourth radio award, for breaking news; KERA reporters were runners-up in that and the feature reporting category.

Here are the radio winners:

Here's a full list of the finalistsfor the Aynesworth Awards. And here's a video of the awards ceremony

Legend Award, Press Club Of Dallas

Sam Baker, who's welcomed KERA listeners to mornings for more than a quarter-century, was honored as a "Legend" by the Press Club of Dallas.

Baker, the station's senior editor and Morning Edition host, was one of nine journalists honored at an Oct. 13 dinner. Other honorees included:

  • Jacquielyn Floyd, recently retired columnist for The Dallas Morning News.
  • George Getschow, longtime Wall Street Journal reporter and editor, who co-founded the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference.
  • Marty Haag (posthumous), who built a news powerhouse at WFAA-Channel 8.
  • Mercedes Olivera (posthumous), who wrote a column on Latino issues for The Dallas Morning News for 32 years.
  • Shaun Rabb, longtime reporter for KDFW-Channel 4.
  • John Sparks who worked as a leader in all four of the biggest TV newsrooms in North Texas.
  • Charean Williams, a groundbreaking NFL reporter who spent most of her career at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • David Woo, who spent four decades as a photographer at The Dallas Morning News.
Anson M. Jones, M.D., Awards

KERA earned two health-reporting awards from the Texas Medical Association. TMA representatives came to the station to present the Anson Jones, M.D., Awards:

Best Of Big D

KERA's Courtney Collins was named Best Reporter in the Best of Big D awardsfrom D Magazine.

First Amendment Awards

KERA's series One Crisis Away: No Place To Go was named a finalist for the First Amendment Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists' Fort Worth chapter. Courtney Collins, Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, Molly Evans, Justin Bowers and Christy Robinson were honored.