The New York Festivals International Radio Competition named Alabama Public Radio winner of the Silver Radio Award for the documentary “Civil Rights Radio.” The half-hour program chronicles the 50th anniversary of the anti-segregation protest called “the children’s march” in Birmingham. Teenaged demonstrators were met by fire hoses and police dogs after playing hooky to oppose racial discrimination. Their efforts helped pave the way for the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
“The APR news team is especially honored to be recognized internationally,” says news director Pat Duggins, who produced and hosted “Civil Rights Radio.” “We also owe a lot of credit and thanks to the young marchers, and to Birmingham disc jockey Shelley ‘The Playboy” Stewart.” They all very kindly and patiently shared their stories from those days, which were the heart of the program.”
According to the New York Festival website, radio networks and stations from thirty countries entered stories for consideration. “The beauty of the Radio Awards Competition is that the judges truly listen to the entries in their own time,” says NYF Radio awards advisory board member John MacCalman. “They can devote the care and attention that the programs merit.” APR competed alongside entries from England, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States in the documentary category.
In addition to this generous award, the Radio Television Digital News Association honored APR’s civil rights coverage with the national UNITY award for outstanding diversity coverage. The team also won a national Gabriel award, two national PRNDI awards from the Public Radio News Directors’ Association, five regional Edward R. Murrow awards and, three first place Alabama Associated Press awards, among others.