KUAR Reporters Receive Honors in 2021 Diamond Journalism Awards

KUAR News 2021 Diamond Journalism Award recipients - (clockwise from top left) Sarah Kellogg, Michael Hibblen, Daniel Breen, Alexandria Brown

UA Little Rock Public Radio is celebrating the success of its KUAR News Team for its honors in the 2021 Diamond Journalism Award contest.

The contest, sponsored by the Arkansas Pro Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists considered work from journalists in Arkansas and six neighboring states.

“Independent and local reporting is vital to the health of our democracy. We have seen the evidence of this first-hand in the pandemic and in the run-up to the 2020 election,” said Nathan Vandiver, general manager of UA Little Rock Public Radio. “It’s an honor to serve our community in this way, and it’s especially an honor for the hard work of our news team to be recognized among such an impressive group of journalists from across the region.”

KUAR News received honors on six stories from the past year.

“It’s great to see KUAR’s news department being honored for its reporting, especially when competing against radio and television stations from states within this region of the country,” KUAR News Director Michael Hibblen said. “I’m extremely proud of the work of our news staff.”

Daniel Breen, KUAR Morning Edition host and reporter, received second place honors in Political Coverage, Broadcast and Education Coverage, Broadcast for his stories, Super Tuesday Arrives In Arkansas, And So Do Democratic Presidential Candidates, and, As School Closures Stretch On, Business, Nonprofits Work To Feed Students.

“The breadth of what you covered, while focusing on the volunteer, is impressive,” judges said of his political entry, and of his education story, “This was a very strong entry. The story included a lot of voices with different perspectives on the problem and how to address it. Well done.”

Sarah Kellogg, KUAR’s politics and government reporter received third place honors in Political Coverage, Broadcast for her story, Campaigns Shift To More Pandemic-Friendly Voter Outreach Efforts. Judges called her work, a “really smart use of natural sound.”

KUAR News Director Michael Hibblen received second place honors in Health/Science Coverage, Broadcast for his story, Challenges Facing Arkansas Healthcare Workers Testing For The Coronavirus. Judges also made note of Hibblen’s “nice use of natural sound throughout” the story.

Alexandria Brown, who reports and hosts All Things Considered and Weekend Edition for KUAR received third place honors in Features, Broadcast, for her story, As Judge Considers Challenge To Early Census Deadline, Arkansas Officials Consider Impact. Judges called Brown’s story “straightforward and interesting.” Brown is a student in UA Little Rock’s School of Mass Communication.

Judges also recognized freelance reporter Anna Stitt, who produced a series, Covid-19 Inside Arkansas Prisons, for KUAR News. This series was supported by the National Geographic Society’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists. Stitt’s series received third place honors in the Documentary/Investigative, Broadcast category. Judges gave Stitt’s reporting high marks for accomplishing “the basics of what we do – give voice to the voiceless, and hold the powerful accountable.”

UA Little Rock Public Radio is a listener-supported public service department of UA Little Rock based in the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education.

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