The station’s documentary I’m Still Here: My HIV Life was chosen as the best audio documentary in the Small Market division by the Radio Television Digital News Association.
In the program, five East Tennesseans, all of whom have been diagnosed with HIV, lead listeners on an emotional journey through their day-to-day lives, a journey mined with moments of grief, shock, acceptance, and hope. Listeners hear their stories of discrimination, physical pain, loneliness, and the sobering prospect that their lives could be cut short by this crippling and incurable disease.
“Advancements in the treatment of HIV and AIDS have lulled many in the United States into a state of complacency,” WUOT Director of News Content Matt Shafer Powell said. “But there are more than a million people in this country for whom every day is another battle against this disease. Worldwide, that number is closer to 35 million.”
I’m Still Here: My HIV Life was produced by Powell and freelance producer Leslie Snow, with critical assistance from Positively Living, a Knoxville-based agency that offers housing and care to lower-income people with HIV and AIDS. The show also features a custom soundtrack composed by local musician and WUOT Jazz Coordinator Todd Steed.
This is the second time WUOT has received a National Murrow Award in its sixty-five-year history. The station received the award in the Best Writing category for a compilation of different pieces in 2009.
“It’s extremely gratifying to receive national recognition for our work from such a respected organization,” WUOT Executive Director Regina Dean said. “WUOT’s mission, first and foremost, is to inform, educate, entertain, and enhance the lives of our listeners and others we serve. This award is a testament to the staff’s dedication to achieve that with locally-produced, community-inspired journalism.”
WUOT aired I’m Still Here: My HIV Life on November 6, 2013, followed by a live call-in program during which some of the program’s participants answered questions from listeners.
The documentary also received Best Documentary from the Tennessee AP Broadcasters as well as top honors for Documentary/Public Affairs and Best Use of Medium at the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press Card awards.
Listener-supported WUOT 91.9 FM is a member of NPR and a Public Radio International affiliate. The station’s primary format is classical and jazz music, news, and public affairs. WUOT serves listeners throughout East Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. The station broadcasts twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and streams on the web at wuot.org. WUOT offers a second audio channel, WUOT-2, on HD Radio and on the web.
C O N T A C T :
Regina Dean (865-974-5375, email@example.com)
Matt Shafer Powell (865-974-9354, firstname.lastname@example.org)