Blog: The Educated Reporter

EWA National Seminar: Live From Nashville

We’re at Vanderbilt University this week for “From Ideas to Action: Making It Happen in Newsrooms and Schools,” EWA’s 67th National Seminar. Keep tabs on the daily sessions via Twitter: The hashtag is #ewa14. 

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be sharing content from our workshops, panels, and keynote speakers (including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, AFT President Randi Weingarten, and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. 

The big news out of our first evening: The winner of the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Education Reporting went to This American Life and the team from WBEZ Chicago for “Harper High,” which examined life in a struggling Chicago high school plagued by gangs and violence. Linda Lutton of WBEZ accepted the award on behalf of the reporting team. (The broadcast is also the recipient of a Peabody Award.)

From the judges’ comments about the project:

“This is one of the most compelling broadcast education stories I’ve heard. It can be challenging to focus on one place (a school in this case) and make it relevant to a wider audience, but this story accomplishes that. Dedicating a team of reporters to cover the story had a powerful effect. As much ground as these reporters were able to cover, they still left the listener wanting to know more.”

 “I heard this story when it was initially played early last year. Listening back to the program reminded me of how brilliant the storytelling is here. A great story wasn’t a given just because This American Life committed 3 reporters and 5 months of their time. It certainly helped, but really it is how these stories are written, crafted and edited that make the difference. … [T]his is just journalism at its finest.”

Catch up on the fine work of all our prize winners honored at National Seminar here. 



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