RTDNA is committed to increasing diversity in newsrooms, encouraging coverage of diverse communities and demonstrating the value of bringing diverse voices to the table by recognizing stations who are doing so.
RTDNA is proud to announce the 2019 recipients of the Kaleidoscope Awards.
The Kaleidoscope Awards honor news organizations demonstrating a commitment to covering the diversity of the communities they serve and showcase journalistic excellence in covering issues of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity.
These award winners were recognized on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, at the Excellence in Journalism conference "Honoring a Lifetime of Excellence in Journalism" session alongside 2019 John F. Hogan Award winner John Quiñones and Paul White Award winner Scott Pelley.
Small/Large Market Radio
Nuisance or Nonsense, from the “We Live Here” podcast
St. Louis Public Radio
For more than three years and across nearly 80 episodes, the We Live Here podcast from St. Louis Public Radio and PRX has harnessed the power of personal narratives to shed light on systemic racism in St. Louis, Missouri. Born out of the unrest following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, the podcast represents St. Louis Public Radio’s lasting commitment to covering diverse communities beyond episodic flashpoints.
The reach of We Live Here continues to extend outside the bounds of traditional audio journalism. Local government agencies now use episodes in mandatory equity training, professors have added episodes to their curriculum and some listeners have said they even use episodes as part of their self-care.
“Nuisance or Nonsense” exemplifies how the producers of We Live Here create episodes on continued racial disparities that are specific and deep. The episode is the first of four that examine allegations that the St. Louis suburb of Maplewood was using its nuisance ordinance in a way that illegally discriminated against victims of domestic abuse, people of color and the disabled.
By Right of Discovery
On Thanksgiving Day, hundreds of people gather on Alcatraz Island, the famous former prison and one of the largest tourist attractions in San Francisco, for a sunrise ceremony to honor Indigenous culture and history. Almost 50 years ago, an intertribal group of students and activists took over the island for over 16 months in an act of political resistance. Richard Oakes, a young Mohawk from New York, was one of the leaders in this movement dubbed the "Red Power Movement." Latino USA tells the story of Oakes' life, from his first involvement in activism to his untimely death at the age of 30.
On the air for over 20 years, Latino USA, distributed by NPR, is the only national, English-language radio program produced from a Latino perspective. Anchored by Maria Hinojosa, the mission of Latino USA is to chronicle how Latinos and other communities of color are living, shaping and changing America, with in-depth reporting and candid conversations.
Small/Large Market TV
Transgender Kids: A Changing Student Body
NBC Bay Area (KNTV)
An NBC Bay Area investigation exposed how a lack of teacher training across Northern California failed to prepare educators to deal with the growing number of transgender students. An estimated 1.6 million adults and teens in the U.S. identify as transgender, but little is known about the emerging population of trans children. The investigation showcased KNTV’s commitment to diversity and highlighted their responsibility to share stories involving communities not often featured in daily news stories. The reporting incorporated data-driven reporting, compelling interviews, and rare medical access. The series captured the attention of top school officials and state lawmakers, and spurred major policy changes across 61 schools, impacting roughly 60,000 students.
The film takes a look at a group of kids who went from awkward lacrosse neophytes to North Carolina state finalists in just three seasons. “Crossroads” captures not only the challenges and triumphs they share together, but also paints vivid portraits of the men and students behind the miracle. After Teddy Walker, the athletic director at Charlotte Secondary, saw the gift of used lacrosse equipment as a way to build character and spirit at his school, he was able to find the perfect coach in eye surgeon Bobby Selkin. The mission: use lacrosse to get the students out of their shells and into college. “Crossroads” follows a group of at-risk African American teenagers who fight through the pain and adversity of childhood trauma to find salvation through sports.
Digital News Organization
Abandoned in America
The Center for Public Integrity
“Abandoned in America” found fresh ways to tell the tales of places left behind – six places selected based on data, reporting and research and pressing issues of national importance of deep concern to these localities. It aimed to tell highly sophisticated, data-driven stories that didn’t read like data-driven stories, but instead, ones filled with humanity and that stood apart from any other big-bore news project a news organization would produce ahead of the 2018 midterm election.
The Center for Public Integrity’s stories got immediate results. For example, their initial investigation into Native American disenfranchisement, months in the making, was published less than a month before a hotly contested U.S. Senate election and days after the Supreme Court declined to stay a new voter identification requirement. It spawned a wave of national media interest, helped fuel a backlash against the law and contributed to record-level voting rates among Native Americans in North Dakota.
Hear from the winners at EIJ19.