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WJCT News Team Wins 2 National PRNDI Awards

staff photo
Vince Kong, Karen Feagins, Kevin Meerschaert, Melissa Ross, David Luckin, Cyd Hoskinson and Ryan Benk (left to right) all contributed to the "First Coast Connect" episode "Morning After Hurricane Matthew"

The WJCT News team is celebrating two national awards from Public Radio News Directors, Inc.

PRNDI award entries are judged by public media news professionals, who evaluate peers’ work with a well-trained ear.

The 2017 Best Arts Feature is “Folklife Council Calls on Jacksonville Artist to Teach Younger Generation” by WJCT News reporter Lindsey Kilbride. Lindsey profiled Jacksonville hip-hop artist Mal Jones, whom the state cultural council selected to teach his craft to a young apprentice. Lindsey’s piece includes samples of his rapping, including an original freestyle about WJCT performed in our studio.

Lindsey with award
Credit WJCT News
Lindsey Kilbride's story won Best Arts Feature.

WJCT News also took home the award for Best Call-In Show for “First Coast Connect,” the program’s fifth national PRNDI win since 2010.

The winning episode, “The Morning After Hurricane Matthew,” was truly a team effort. In the early morning hours of Oct. 8, 2016, after Hurricane Matthew had just skirted the First Coast, host Melissa Ross, producer Karen Feagins and other staffers made their way to the radio station, which had been evacuated during the storm. Reporters and even Music Director David Luckin called in with reports from various neighborhoods, and listeners heard live updates from local officials who were just beginning to assess the storm’s damage.

Awards are given out in four divisions according to staff size. WJCT News is in Division B: newsrooms with between four and seven full-time news staffers.

Click here for the full list of this year’s PRNDI award winners.