Public Radio News Directors Inc. and emcee Korva Coleman of NPR handed out 173 awards to 72 organizations at its conference in St. Louis over the weekend for work done at stations and other outlets during calendar year 2015. The annual PRNDI Awards pit local public radio stations against one another in an effort to find the very best public radio reporting in a variety of categories from Arts Reporting to Spot News. "This year's competition was fierce with over 1,200 entries submitted," according to George Bodarky, PRNDI President. New in this year's competition was the Podcast category, which also invited independent podcast producers to enter the awards. "It's the first time we've invited anyone who is not directly associated with a public radio station to enter our contest," said Bodarky. Another change this year was the splitting of the largest stations into two distinct divisions. Division A is now a competition among those stations that have between 8 and 15 full-time news staff, while Division AA is for the largest of the stations - those who have 16 or more full-timers.
In addition to the annual awards, PRNDI teamed up with the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) to present the "Excellence in Consumer Financial Reporting Award." For the second year in a row, that award was presented to Courtney Collins from KERA in Dallas Texas for her story, "A Tale of Two Shoppers, Making Tough Decision at the Register."
The PRNDI Annual Awards Banquet wouldn't be complete without the organization's lifetime achievement award, the Leo C. Lee Award. This year, the award was given to John Barth of PRX. A long-time public radio professional, Barth is considered by many to be a mentor and visionary. Bodarky said, "John is extremely deserving of this award, and we were happy to be able to present it to him in his own hometown of St. Louis."
A full list of the PRNDI Awards is available here.