Michigan Radio added to its list of awards received in 2017 this weekend with recognition from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham was honored with a Salute to Excellence Award in the Radio Documentary: Top 15 Markets category for “Separate and Unequal.” This documentary examined the findings of the Kerner Commission, which was created to address the inequities that were the root cause of the riots and civil disturbances of the summer of 1967. The commission’s recommendations were largely ignored, which has contributed to an ever-more divided country. The documentary also examined attitudes about race in today's America, including its impact on education and police relationships.
Lester Graham was also a finalist for another Salute to Excellence Award in the Radio News: Long Form category for the story “The Kerner Commission and why its recommendations were ignored.”
Both of these pieces were produced in cooperation with the Detroit Journalism Cooperative (DJC). The DJC is a partnership of five media outlets reporting on the city’s future after bankruptcy. The partnership includes Michigan Radio, WDET, Detroit Public Television, Bridge Magazine and New Michigan Media. Support for the DJC comes in part from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism, and the Ford Foundation.
The NABJ’s Salute to Excellence Awards recognize journalism that best covers the black experience or addresses issues affecting the worldwide black community during the year. The awards were presented at the NABJ’s annual convention this past weekend in New Orleans.