University of Wisconsin Oshkosh radio station WRST-FM was recently honored at the Midwest Journalism Conference in Bloomington, Minnesota with awards in two regional journalism contests.
WRST was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in their four-state “Mark of Excellence” competition. WRST was awarded first place in the radio feature category for a segment by student Katharine Garcia, a native of Puerto Rico. Her piece was an outgrowth of her work hosting WRST’s weekly Spanish language program “La Mezcla” (The Mix). Her segment — done completely in Spanish – was called “Latino Assimilation.” In it, Garcia spoke with Latinos in the area to get their thoughts about the difficulties of assimilating into the culture of northeastern Wisconsin and the guilt they sometimes feel about abandoning their own culture to do so. By virtue of its first place showing, Garcia’s segment is automatically entered into the SPJ’s national competition, which will present its honors this September in Orlando.
In the category for radio in-depth reporting, Andrew Dunlap was honored as a regional finalist for a long-form segment he produced for UWO’s Advanced Radio Production course called “Modern Dairy Farming.” Dunlap visited a family-owned dairy farm in Winneconne and his interviews highlighted the challenges faced by farmers in the present day and served to dispel some misconceptions about their work.
The six-state Midwest Broadcast Journalism Association (MBJA) honored WRST with a total of eleven awards of the 29 won by college radio. The awards are named for and honor Eric Sevareid, the longtime CBS News reporter and commentator.
WRST swept the category for radio documentary/special, with the first place award going to Garcia’s “Latino Assimilation” piece mentioned earlier. An Award of Merit was given in this category to WRST student program director Alex Crowe for a long-form piece called “Suicide Prevention,” which he produced for the Advanced Radio Production course. Another Award of Merit in this category went to WRST student news director Mariah Tralongo for her WRST Election Night Special broadcast from last fall. Tralongo garnered another Award of Merit in the Hard Feature category for an interview piece she conducted with a local woman undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Tralongo also took a first place award in the general reporting category for a piece on the inappropriateness of Halloween costumes using Native American images. An Award of Merit in this category went to Alex Crowe for another piece from the Advanced Radio Production class outlining a “healthy neighborhood” initiative in Oshkosh. Dunlap’s “Modern Dairy Farming” piece received an Award of Merit in the Soft Feature category.
Crowe also took home a first place award in the sports reporting category for “Titan Baseball Preview,” a program he produced in advance of the 2014 UWO baseball season. An Award of Merit in this category went to Greg Peterson for an interview segment he conducted with Fox Sports college football analyst Charles Davis. Peterson also took home another Award of Merit in the sportscast/sports program category for an episode of “Oshkosh Sports Saturday.” Finally, Crowe and student sports director Tony Bettack received an Award of Merit in the radio play-by-play category for a live football broadcast from The Beef Bowl when UWO faced South Dakota State University.
In the MBJA’s professional competition, UWO Director of Radio Services Randall Davidson was honored for a long form piece he produced about a restored 19th century sawmill. It received first place honors in three categories: soft feature, broadcast writing and use of audio.
WRST can be heard in the Oshkosh area at 90.3 on the FM dial and worldwide at www.wrst.org.
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