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Dispatches From Within Earns Multiple Journalism Awards

WFDDJuly 21, 2022 – The student-led radio program focused on teen mental health Dispatches From Within proved its merit once again this year by bringing home several major journalism awards.

The series was recognized with a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Innovation, a Public Media Journalists Association Second Place award in the series category and another PMJA First Place award for Multi-Media Presentation in the student category. The North Carolina Scholastic Media Association also awarded the program with their Tar Heel Award and the All-North Carolina Award, and they gave the Radio 101 class section awards in Audio (First Place), Editing (First Place) and Production (Second Place). Several students earned individual honors in the Feature Story category, including Thomas Hunter and Phillip McCallister in first place, Melvin Abuaku and Chase Orie in second place, Chloe Patterson, Shaelyn Sebastian and Bailey Wickline in third place and Watson Carter, Janay Brokenborough and Sophie Welch as honorable mentions.

Radio 101 started in 2011 as a function of WFDD’s Hive youth education initiative as an after-school program that has since become a fully realized honors-level course offered at RJ Reynolds High School. It includes some of the best and brightest young journalists in the state, and the development they show during their time with the program holds great promise for their futures. Program Manager Gabriel Maisonnave is proud of the awards the students have won, especially given the stiff competition they faced from some other well-funded and well-equipped teams.

“For over three months, they spend every single day contacting sources, setting up interviews, writing scripts, and mixing audio just to produce a five-minute piece and start over again for three more months,” said Maisonnave. “It’s extremely labor-intensive, but they are gaining skills that they’ll take with them wherever they go.”

RJ Reynolds Principal Calvin Freeman says that Radio 101 and Dispatches From Within are golden opportunities for students to uncover passions for real world subjects. Participating in the program fosters freedom of discovery and gives every student something to feel proud of.

“The Radio 101 class is a place where students can explore subjects that have an impact on their daily lives,” Freeman said. “This is learning in its purest form… I look forward to continued greatness!”

Jake Browning
(336) 727-8213 Ext. 70545