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KUAR wins 10 awards from Society of Professional Journalists

News reports and two local programs aired on UA Little Rock Public Radio station KUAR 89.1 FM won 10 awards in the 2020 competition of the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists. 

“It’s extremely gratifying to see the hard work of the KUAR news staff be recognized by our peers,” said Michael Hibblen, news director at KUAR. “At a time when the news industry is contracting and there are fewer sources for objective news, especially local news, I think the work that we do is more important than ever. It’s great to be honored.”

Nathan Vandiver, general manager of KUAR and KLRE, thanked the award-winning reporters for providing an essential service to keep the public informed.

“This recognition from SPJ is an honor,” Vandiver said. “Every day KUAR provides an essential service to the community that informs and educates, and it’s very nice to be recognized. Thank you to Michael and the KUAR news department for their work and to our UA Little Rock partners who have also been recognized with awards.”

In the News-Radio category, Daniel Breen, host of “All Things Considered,” won first place for his report, “Protesters Flock to Arkansas Tech in Support of Re-Naming Controversial Scholarship.” Breen also won second place in that category for the report, “In Arkansas, Herbicide’s Damaging Effects Bring Research to a Halt.”

Sarah Kellogg, KUAR “Morning Edition” host, won third place for “Gov. Asa Hutchinson Sets Broadband Access as Priority.”

In the Feature-Radio category, former KUAR News intern Kelly Connelly, who graduated from UA Little Rock with a degree in mass communication in May, won first place for her report last fall “Livestock Showing Is Most Important Part of State Fair for Some Arkansas Teens.”

Hibblen and David Monteith, reporter, won second place for their report, “Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Nearing Completion of Digital Rollout.”

In the Politics-Radio category, Hibblen won first place for “Legislation to Place statues of Johnny Cash, Daisy Bates in U.S. Capitol Signed Into Law.” That included a report for KUAR and a segment in the music program “Not Necessarily Nashville” with Flap Jones. 

Second place went to Breen for “Arkansas House Committee Approves Execution Drug Secrecy Bill,” while third place went to Hibblen for “Arkansas Governor Says Trump Impeachment Questions Need To Be Answered.”

Hibblen won the Health-Radio category for his report, “Doctor Assisting Qualified Arkansans To Get Marijuana Offers His Advice and Concerns.”

UA Little Rock associate professor of English and host of KUAR’s program “Arts & Letters” Dr. J. Bradley Minnick won first place in the Documentary/Investigative Reporting-Radio for his show “They Like My Phras’n: The Life & Music of Rose McCoy.