KERA won five awards from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. -- the station's best-ever performance in public radio's premiere national contest. The station also took home four Lone Star Awards from the Houston Press Club.
That brings KERA's award count for this year to 29 -- another record.
Here's a wrap-up of the winners:
Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI)
KERA collected three first-place awards and two seconds in competition with the country's largest stations. In all, Texas stations won 13 PRNDI awards -- including six for Marfa Public Radio among the smallest stations. The annual PRNDI awards dinner was hosted in St. Louis by NPR newscaster Korva Coleman.
- Newscast (first place) -- North Texans Left To Deal With Tornado Aftermath, a special report on the Christmas-weekend storms that tore through Garland, Rowlett and other North Texas cities.
- Long Documentary (first place) -- Surviving Ebola, an hourlong special hosted by KERA's Lauren Silverman that explored the lessons learned in the year since Ebola hit Dallas.
- PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting -- For the second year in a row, KERA's One Crisis Away project and reporter Courtney Collins won the top public radio prize for consumer financial reporting, presented by PRNDI and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). “Financial reporting is about real-life issues for every-day folks,” says Paul Golden, spokesperson for NEFE. “This story chronicles what just a couple of people are doing to manage their own personal finance. KERA did a great job following two shoppers and telling their stories.”
- News/Public Affairs Program (runner-up) -- One Crisis Away At The Holidays: A Special From Texas Standard, a co-production by KERA News and the statewide newsmagazine Texas Standard. David Brown and Collins hosted the hourlong special.
- Commentary (runner-up) -- Secrets in the Classroom, KERA contributor Bret Wooten's tale of what he learned in the classroom where his wife teaches.
Houston Press Club
KERA earned four Lone Star Awards from the Houston Press Club:
- Radio Series (first place) -- Growing Up After Cancer, reporter Lauren Silverman's look at childhood cancer through the eyes of one patient, his parents and their health care-givers.
- Radio Talk Show (first place) -- Dallas Vs. Houston: How The Two Biggest School Districts Match Up, a collaborative piece by Stella M. Chavez of KERA News and Laura Isensee of Houston Public Media.
- Radio Journalist of the Year (second place) -- Lauren Silverman.
- Radio Public Affairs (third place) -- Think: The Aftermath of Sandra Bland, hosted by Krys Boyd.
National Press Photographers Association
Videographer Thorne Anderson won best-short honors in the quarterly multimedia contest of the National Press Photographers Association. The video, part of the series One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life, focused on one of the victims of the Christmas-weekend tornadoes that tore through Garland and Rowlett. Single mom Jennifer Anderson had already rebuilt her life before: After her husband's suicide, she and her two toddlers moved to Texas. Then the storm hit.
Texas Medical Association's Anson Jones, MD, Awards
KERA won three awards, two of them for Lauren Silverman, the station's health/science/technology reporter. The awards were presented at the station's studios by Dr. Debbie Fuller of the TMA.
- Texas Health Journalist of the Year -- Silverman won for a portfolio of work that included her Breakthroughs series, Growing Up After Cancer, and stories about a Texas legislator who wants to allow people to carry guns in hospitals; the news that fewer black men are applying to medical school today than in 1978; and how picking up a hobby can help seniors avoid memory loss.
- In-Depth Radio -- Silverman tied for first with her story Understanding Autism: A Father's Search Beyond Genetics.
- In-Depth Radio (runner-up) -- The "Think" team of Krys Boyd, Stephen Becker, Lyndsay Knecht and Jeff Whittington was honored for The Power of Pills.
Headliners Foundation of Texas
The station collected two honors at ceremonies in Austin on April 9:
- Charles E. Green Award (finalist) – The Art&Seek project “Stagger Lee: Making A Musical” was a finalist for the Green Award, which is given every year to the best work by Texas journalists – print, broadcast or digital.
- Showcase Award For Enterprise And Innovation In Journalism (finalist) – The series “One Crisis Away At The Holidays” was named a finalist for the Showcase Award, which honors “outstanding professional Texas-based news providers—print, broadcast or digital—that distribute at least monthly and make a significant impact on government, public policy or the conduct of a business, nonprofit or other organization.”
The statewide public radio newsmagazine, Texas Standard, was the only other radio finalist for the Showcase Award. Texas Standard, which originates from KUT in Austin, is co-produced by KERA, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio.
Texas Associated Press Broadcasters
KERA's 14 TAPB awards were a record number for the station. That includes four first-place awards, eight seconds and two honorable mentions. Here are the station's winners:
- Special Series: Courtney Collins (1st place) One Crisis Away: Inside A Neighborhood; Bill Zeeble (2nd place), American Graduate: Homeless In High School.
- Online/Special Content: KERA Staff (1st place) Stagger Lee: Making A Musical; KERA Staff (2nd place) One Crisis Away: Inside A Neighborhood.
- General assignment: Christopher Connelly (1st place) With Recess In Decline, Some Schools Are Bucking The Trend; Stephanie Kuo (honorable mention) Oak Lawn Assault Victims Call For More Security.
- Documentary: KERA Staff (1st place) Surviving Ebola.
- Local Talk Show: KERA Staff (2nd place) Think.
- Spot News By A Reporter: Bill Zeeble (2nd place) Victims Recall Train Sound As They Sought Shelter.
- Use Of Actuality -- Production: Lauren Silverman (2nd place) New Technology Brings Sound To Little Girl; KERA Staff (honorable mention) The Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Reverberates Throughout Texas.
- Sports Story Or Sports Series: Lauren Silverman (2nd place) High Schools Seek Safer Path Back From Concussions.
- Continuing Coverage: KERA Staff (2nd place) Texas Tornadoes.
- Digital: KERA Staff (2nd place) www.KERA.org.