Michigan Radio has won three national Clarion Awards from The Association for Women in Communications. The awards were received in the Best Radio Documentary Series, Radio Documentary-One Time, and Major News Event categories.
“One Company’s Toxic Legacy” was recognized as Best Radio Documentary Series. Produced by Rebecca Williams, Lindsey Smith, and Mark Brush, the five-part series examined the ripple effects left behind from Velsicol Chemical’s (formerly Michigan Chemical) accidental contamination of the state’s food supply over 40 years ago.
“Lake Erie Algal bloom shuts down Toledo water,” received the award for Major News Event coverage. Produced and reported by Tracy Samilton and Kate Wells, the reports covered the evolving crisis last August as more than 400,000 people in the Toledo area were without drinking water due to a huge cyanobacteria bloom in Lake Erie.
Lastly, “The Big Test” by reporter Dustin Dwyer received a Clarion Award for Radio Documentary-One Time. The documentary followed a third grade class at a low-scoring elementary school in Grand Rapids as they prepared to take the state's MEAP test. The story was part of Michigan Radio’s “State of Opportunity” project, a multi-year initiative looking at what can be done to break the cycle of poverty and improve opportunities for Michigan’s most disadvantaged children.
Since 1972, the Clarion Awards have honored excellence in more than 100 categories across all areas of communications, including advertising & marketing, magazines, newspapers, online media, photography, public relations, radio and television. Other winners of national Radio Clarion Awards were Capital Public Radio, based in Sacramento, CA, and the BBC World Service. The 2015 Clarion Awards will be presented at the AWC National Conference on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015.