KPLU wins five 2012 national PRNDI awards

Jun 28, 2013

The KPLU News team continues to garner awards for work produced in 2012.  Most recently, the station received five national awards from the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. at their banquet in Cleveland on June 22.

First Place—News Feature

“Is taking over the world?” by KPLU Business and Labor Reporter Ashley Gross’ story about how the growth of the company is spreading way beyond retailing.

Judges’ comment: “This piece flies in the face of conventional story telling. It grabbed us from the beginning--even without a scene. The reporter got the right quotes from the right people for a story that really moves. We could have easily gotten bogged down in potentially dry business concepts. Instead the energetic delivery, conversational writing and good, concise explanation offered us tons of information without leaving us overwhelmed…Who would have expected to go to a construction supply company? Yes, Amazon sells pipes too. We remember what the reporter said all the way through!”

This story also won third place for General News Reporting in the 2012 Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) Excellence in Journalism Competition.

First Place—Spot News

“Marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in WA” by KPLU Law and Justice Reporter Paula Wissel, which aired the day after certification of voter-approved legalization of same-sex marriages in the state.

Judges’ comment: “This spot had all the elements of a good full length feature: we counted four scenes, multiple voices, use of tape to set the scenes and move the story forward, laughter and tears, good writing, a nice clear narrative arc and an affecting ‘why do I care?’ moment. The reporter captured a moment in history with a lovely, light touch.”

This story also won first place for Spot News Reporting in the 2012 SPJ Excellence in Journalism Competition.

Second Place—Commentary

“Super Bowl of seven-layer dip,” Seattle writer Tim Haywood’s musings on Super Bowl Sunday, America's premier "unofficial" holiday, a national fest of gluttony and television watching.

Judges’ comment: “Very funny!  Entertaining.  Laughed out loud.  Highlights some of the ridiculousness of our traditions in a non-offensive way.”

Second Place—Enterprise/Investigative

“If it's legal: Five ways legal pot could affect your life” by the KPLU News team.  The aim of the 2012 election series was to separate facts from rumors and explain what would change if Washington State ballot measure I-502 were approved, legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use. 

Judges’ comment: “Took what could have been a rote, dry and predictable story and found new angles that were compelling and relatable.  The reporters did a good job of taking the listeners to the scene.”

The series previously won a number of awards including the 2012 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Radio Journalism (SPJ), and the 2013 National Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA) for Best Audio News Series.

Second Place—Soft Feature

“How should you talk to your kids about marijuana?” by KPLU Education Reporter Jennifer Wing, a pre-election story that looked at how some families were figuring out what their boundaries would be if I-502 made marijuana legal for people 21 and older.

Judges’ comment: “I really enjoyed this story, it was both fun and informative. It shed some light on how the drug conversations will have to change, as marijuana gets legalized.”

At this year’s awards banquet, NPR Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon presented over 100 awards to local public radio stations from around the nation.  PRNDI has been honoring the best work in local public radio for over 25 years.

Pacific Public Media broadens the international content of KPLU to include all forms of listener-supported media including KPLU FM's "NPR News and All That Jazz" and its all-jazz webstream,  Ranked as one of the most popular public radio stations in the nation, KPLU provides local and National Public Radio news, and jazz and blues on 88.5 in Seattle/Tacoma, 89.3 in Port Angeles/Victoria, 88.9 in Sedro-Woolley and 90.1 in Olympia.  At, the station provides a live stream of NPR News and All That Jazz, which is also available on HD Radio.  Jazz24 is one of the most listened-to webstreams in the world and is available at and on KPLU's HD2 channel.  Pacific Public Media is a community service of Pacific Lutheran University.