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Check Out NPR's Award Winning Journalism Of 2016

Jan 6, 2017
Originally published on January 23, 2017 8:15 am

NPR journalists provide great storytelling and rigorous reporting. And that gets noticed. In 2016 many NPR journalists and programs were recognized with awards for investigative reports, outstanding features and series, digital innovations and bodies of coverage. This year's honors include the George Foster Peabody Award presented by the Grady College of Journalism, the Alfred I. duPont­-Columbia University Award presented by the Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The list of laurels is long. Here's a quick look at some of the award-winning work of NPR's journalists in 2016.

Lifetime Achievement Award

This year, Nina Totenberg received the Radio Television Digital News Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding body of work as NPR's legal affairs correspondent. Totenberg's many achievements over her career include her ground-breaking coverage of the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings and exclusive interview with Anita Hill, for which she received a George Foster Peabody Award. She has also been honored with the George Polk Award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award, the Carr Van Anda Award and the prestigious Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based national affairs/public policy reporting. She was named Broadcaster of the Year, honored with the 1998 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from the National Press Foundation and has received the duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton.

Missed Treatment

The NPR series "Missed Treatment" reveals how the Army subverted the spirit of the law when it kicked out more than 22,000 returning disabled veterans for "misconduct" – after they came home from war with mental health problems and brain injuries. NPR's Daniel Zwerdling, Barbara Van Woerkom, Robert Little, Courtney Mabeus, Jani Actman, and Colorado Public Radio partner Michael de Yoanna won several awards for reporting, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and the American Psychiatric Association's Warren Williams Award.

World War II Secret Mustard Gas Testing

NPR's special investigation series, "World War II Secret Mustard Gas Testing" chronicles the mistreatment of thousands of U.S. veterans. The series even led to Congressional action after it uncovered thousands of veterans who were exposed to toxic mustard gas and were not compensated by the VA. NPR's Caitlin Dickerson, Barbara Van Woerkom, Nicole Beemsterboer, Robert Little, Ariel Zambelich and Christopher Groskopf received several awards for their reporting including the Radio Television and Digital News Association's Edward R. Murrow Award and the George Foster Peabody Award, and the Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

#15Girls

NPR's "#15Girls" profiles the lives of 15 young women from around the world, exploring the systemic discrimination and unique obstacles of different regions. NPR's Nurith Aizenman, Jason Beaubien, Peter Breslow, Rebecca Davis, Edith Chapin, Ben de la Cruz, Michaeleen Doucleff, Robert Duncan, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, Jasmine Garsd, Malaka Gharib, David Gilkey, Jane Greenhalgh, Anne Gudenkauf, Rebecca Hersher, Jennifer Liberto, Michel Martin, Kelly McEvers, John Poole, Sara Sarasohn, Didrik Schanche, Marc Silver, Laura Starecheski, Vikki Valentine, Gregory Warner and Janaya Williams received two Gracie Awards presented by the Alliance for Women in the Media for their work on the series.

The Tiny Desk Concert Series

Every music fan should be aware of The Tiny Desk Concert Series, a collection of intimate performances recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen. Boilen received The ASCAP Foundation's Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award for his work on the 2016 concerts.

Rain Forest Was Here

Check out some of the amazing photojournalism and audio in NPR's special series, "Rain Forest Was Here." NPR's Kainaz Amaria, Claire O'Neill, Wes Lindamood, Tyler Fisher, Becky Lettenberger, Lauren Migaki and Lourdes Garcia-Navarro received two awards for this series including the Society for News Design Silver Medal and the Radio Television and Digital News Association's Edward R. Murrow Award. "Rain Forest Was Here" documents the devastating effects of deforestation in the Brazilian rain forest and around the world.

Drowned Out

NPR's Wes Lindamood received a silver medal from the Society for News Design for his piece "Drowned Out." This story takes viewers on an audio-visual journey of what life is like for whales and how mankind has affected their underwater experience.

NPR: Pope Francis, Catholicism and His visit to Cuba and the U.S.

NPR's Andrea Bruce, Didrik Schanche, Marisa Penaloza and Tom Gjelten won the Religion Communicators Council's Wilbur Award for their series, "NPR: Pope Francis, Catholicism and His visit to Cuba and the U.S."

Injured Nurses

They take care of us, but who's looking out for them? NPR's "Injured Nurses," series looks at the occupational hazards of nursing, and how many debilitating injuries could be avoided. NPR's Daniel Zwerdling, Robert Little, Nicole Beemsterboer, Barbara Van Woerkom, Robert Benincasa, Samantha Sunne and Lydia Emmanouilidou received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award presented by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and the NIHCM Foundation's Television and Radio Journalism Award for their reporting.

Order of Lincoln Award

NPR's Scott Simon received the Lincoln Academy of Illinois's Order of Lincoln Award for Professional Achievement and Public Service.

Amid Mourning, Life in Paris Goes On

NPR reported on what life is like for the average Parisian following the devastating terrorist attacks in November of 2015. NPR's Robert Siegel, Greg Dixon, Melissa Gray and Andrea Hsu received the Radio Television Digital News Association's Edward R. Murrow Award for their story, "Amid Mourning, Life in Paris Goes On."

The Truth About America's Graduation Rate

NPR explored how statistics on America's highschool graduation rates can be inflated and how real success rates can be achieved in the series "The Truth About America's Graduation Rate." NPR's Anya Kamenetz, Elissa Nadworny, Cory Turner and Becky Vevea (WBEZ) received the Education Writers Association's National Awards for Education Reporting for their reporting.

The 1965 Immigration Act & The Transformation of America
NPR's Tom Gjelten and Vickie Walton-James received the Press Club of Atlantic City's National Headliner Award for their series, "The 1965 Immigration Act & the Transformation of America."

Apocalypse Chow: We Tried Televangelist Jim Bakker's 'Survival Food'

NPR received the American Copy Editors Society's National Headline Contest for the clever headline in the story, "Apocalypse Chow: We Tried Televangelist Jim Bakker's 'Survival Food'."

Insult to Injury: America's Vanishing Workplace Protections

NPR's Howard Berkes, Robert Little, Courtney Mabeus and Michael Grabell and Lena Groeger of ProPublica received multiple awards for their series, "Insult to Injury: America's Vanishing Workplace Protections," including the Radio Television Digital News Association's Edward R. Murrow Award and Deadline Club's Public Service Award. They also received the Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc.'s IRE Medal, as well as two awards from Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) for innovation and digital investigation. Their investigation explores tragic stories of workers injured on the job, and the eroding benefits of worker's compensation in states around the country.

Look At This

NPR's Kainaz Amaria, Brian Boyer, Hannah Bloch, Tyler Fisher, Becky Lettenberger and Wes Lindamood received the National Press Photographers Association's 2016 Best Of Photojournalism Multimedia Contest for "Look At This," their collection of stories about how you see the world.

Kathleen Kennedy: From Standing In Line For 'Star Wars' To Producing It Herself

NPR's Mandalit Del Barco and Nina Gregory received the Alliance for Women in the Media's Gracie Award for her piece "Kathleen Kennedy: From Standing In Line For 'Star Wars' To Producing It Herself," a story of how one fan of the original Star Wars movie came to take over George Lucas' film franchise.

Life After Death

The world may be starting to forget about Ebola, but NPR found one village that can't. NPR's John Poole, Sami Yenigun, Wes Lindamood, Tyler Fisher, Becky Lettenberger, Ben de la Cruz, Anne Gudenkauf and Vikki Valentine received Pictures of the Year International's Award of Excellence for their piece, "Life After Death."

Fun with Physics: Finding the Speed Of Light With Peeps

NPR's Adam Cole, Ryan Kellman, Alison Richards and Ben de la Cruz received a White House News Photographers Association's Eyes of History Award for their video "Fun with Physics: Finding the Speed Of Light With Peeps." In this video, NPR's Adam Cole is the mad genius and science reporter who shows viewers how to calculate the speed of light with a plate of microwaved marshmallows.

A Fix For Gender-Bias In Animal Research Could Help Humans

Biomedical research on humans and animals is often skewed by gender, and that can have real implications on the effects of the drugs we take. NPR's Rae Ellen Bichell received the Foundation for Biomedical Research's Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award for her piece, "A Fix For Gender-Bias In Animal Research Could Help Humans."

Invisibilia

Now in its third season, NPR's Invisibilia received an Academy of Podcasters Award for their 2016 programming on science and medicine.

Embedded

NPR's Embedded received an Academy of Podcasters Award for their 2016 programming on news and politics.

From Selma to Eisenhower: Trailblazing Black Reporter Was Always Probing

NPR's Code Switch team takes a look back into the history and significance of Ethel Payne, the iconic so-called "First Lady of the Black Press," with her biographer James McGrath Morris. NPR's Alicia Montgomery and Karen Grisby Bates received the Salute to Excellence Award from National Association of Black Journalists for their piece, "From Selma to Eisenhower: Trailblazing Black Reporter Was Always Probing."

In Charleston, S.C., Racial Lines Redraw A Neighborhood

After a mass shooting at a historically black church, Charleston, S.C., finds itself in the middle of a national conversation about race. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang, Danyell Irby and Will Huntsberry received the Salute to Excellence Award from National Association of Black Journalists for their piece, "In Charleston, S.C., Racial Lines Redraw A Neighborhood."

Baltimore Rx: Story on Nathan Fields

NPR's Audie Cornish, Andrea Hsu and Bridget Kelley received the Salute to Excellence Award from National Association of Black Journalists for their piece, "Baltimore Rx: Story on Nathan Fields." See what it's like for an outreach worker with the Baltimore City Health Department fighting to make a difference in the sex and drug trade.

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful ... This Great Teacher Abides By The Scout Law

Meet Romy Vasquez, a Boy Scout leader with the daunting task of recruiting and teaching Scouts in the impoverished neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles. NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji received a Journalism Award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists for her piece "Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful ... This Great Teacher Abides By The Scout Law.

Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound

Biologists seeking to understand how animals communicate have created a culture of listening. In this special series by NPR, all sounds are considered. NPR's Christopher Joyce and Alison Richards, and Bill McQuay of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology received a Journalism Award from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine for their series, "Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound."

Human vs. Horse Marathon

NPR's Adam Cole, Ryan Kellam and Alison Richards received a White House News Photographers Association's Eyes of History Award for their piece "Human vs. Horse Marathon." In this lighthearted video, NPR's Skunk Bear (aka Adam Cole) explores physiology and the evolution of human ability by pitting man against beast.

A Fantasy Of A Fantasy: U.S. Fencer Jason Pryor on Reaching the Olympics

NPR's Emily Bogle won National Press Photographers Association's Quarterly Clips Contest for her piece "A Fantasy Of A Fantasy: U.S. Fencer Jason Pryor On Reaching The Olympics." Listen and watch Jason's inspiring story of making it to the Rio games.

Hidden Brain Podcast: When Great Minds Think Unlike: Inside Science's Replication Crisis

NPR's Shankar Vedantam, Kara McGuirk-Allison, Maggie Penman and Max Nesterak received the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Kavli Science Journalism Award for "Hidden Brain Podcast: When Great Minds Think Unlike: Inside Sciences Replication Crisis." In this episode, the Hidden Brain team explores the troubling inconsistencies of psychological science experiments.

Your Money, Your and Your Life

NPR dishes out practical financial advice for average Americans in the series, "Your Money, Your and Your Life." Chris Arnold, Uri Berliner, Neal Carruth, Lori Todd, John Ydstie, Heidi Glenn, Ariel Zambelich, Avie Schneider, Alyson Hurt and Annette Elizabeth Allen received a Loeb Award presented by the UCLA Anderson School of Management in recognition of their work in this series to inform and protect the private investor and the general public. Whether you are a novice, or looking to become more financially savvy these stories are informative for all listeners.

Congrats to all of this year's winners!

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