WSHU Reporters Honored With Two National, Six State Broadcasting Awards

News Story: September 7, 2008

WSHU Public Radio, based on the campus of Sacred Heart University, was recently honored with eight state journalism awards, including two from the Associated Press.

Two WSHU reporters won first prizes from the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters Association, in the enterprise and feature categories: Erik Campano for his story on the controversy surrounding the Bridgeport home of the late baseball Hall-of-Famer James Henry O’Rourke; and Craig LeMoult for his two-part series on home heating-oil prices.

Station reporters also won six awards from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists:

  • Radio, investigative: first prize for “Commuting Series” awarded to reporters Ebong Udoma, Campano, Dick Roberts, LeMoult, Tom Kuser, Alison Freeland, Jim Cameron and Phil Maymin;
  • Radio, in-depth: first prize for “Home Heating” awarded to LeMoult;
  • Radio, commentary: first prize for “Teenage Boys” awarded to Jessica Bram;
  • Radio, feature: first prize for “Stratford Cleanup” awarded to LeMoult;
  • Radio, feature: second prize for “Iraq Play” awarded to Campano; and
  • Radio, feature: honorable mention for “Coliseum Implosion” awarded to Stu Kennedy and Naomi Starobin.

“I think it’s phenomenal that we were honored with these awards,” says George Lombardi, WSHU’s general manger. “While we have been pleased with the positive, informal feedback we’ve been getting from our listeners, it’s always nice to receive formal recognition, especially from our peers.”

Lombardi notes that the recognition came as a result of the whole WSHU news staff working toward the goal of improving coverage of the surrounding community. “One of WSHU’s priorities over the last couple of years has been to strengthen our local news department, which we have been able to do thanks to the Local News Initiative Fund and some generous individual donors,” he says. “What it meant, first of all, was getting a couple more reporters in the field, but more important, giving them the resources and the training necessary to bring the quality of our local reports up to the level that you would hear on a national report.”

Starobin, WSHU’s news director, appreciates the accolades as a recognition of the hard work of her staff. “It kind of says what I already knew: that they are talented reporters with good ideas and they know how to carry them out,” she says. “Any time you do a story, especially a good one, you work very hard to find the right people to talk with, to structure the story in a way that’s accurate and compelling for the listener, and to create something that gives our listeners something new, something they didn’t know, and something that they’re happy to find out about — something that’s important in their lives.”

WSHU Public Radio Group is a non-profit service organization whose mission is to be a unique and independent voice in the community.