Rowan Radio wins Gracie Award for election coverage

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Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM’s trophy case is continuing to fill up.

Station members Alyssa Compa, Kelly Green, and Geneva Gerwitz won a Gracie Award for their election-coverage radio show, Decision 2016, which aired Nov. 6, 2016. This will be Rowan Radio’s seventh Gracie Award.

Hosted and produced by Green, one of the station’s co-operations managers, Decision 2016 included the best content that the three women received while attending the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia this past summer. The program also won a Broadcast Educator’s Association award.

The Gracie Awards—named after radio and television star Gracie Allen—are given by The Alliance for Women in Media. The organization aims to support women across the media field who have made an impact in the industry. Robin Roberts, America Ferrera, and Drew Barrymore are a few other women who also won Gracie Awards.

“The decision to enter into the Gracies competition was easy,” said Station Manager Derek Jones. “The Alliance for Women in Media honor the amazing work of females every year in that competition. Plus, the good work of young journalists should be respected and valued as much as possible.”

Two of Rowan Radio’s previously-won Gracie Awards on display in the radio station’s trophy case. -Staff Photo/Eric Conklin

Every year, Jones analyzes the best content Rowan Radio puts out that year and submits it for awards. The decisions have paid off, as the station has won 272 regional and national awards since 1993.

The station’s first Gracie Award was won by Kelly King in 2006. King won the award for a show in which she interviewed Oberta Obler, a breast-cancer survivor-turned-volunteer for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Compa, Green and Gerwitz spent four days at the DNC over the summer, surrounded by large media organizations such as Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post and The Washington Post. Green recalled following reporters around the event to find interviewees to produce the best content.

“I remember at one point, we were chasing down people,” Green said. “We were talking to protesters and people inside the convention.”

Each member got to interview a public figure attending the convention. Compa, public affairs director of Rowan Radio, had the chance to interview Florida politician Dwight Bullard. Gerwitz, the station’s news director, chatted with political commentator Dr. Julianne Malveaux. Green spoke to recording artist Wycleaf Jean, who attended the event to support Hillary Clinton.

“I’M HOPING [THIS AWARD] INSPIRES MORE WOMEN TO PUT OUT PROGRAMS THAT WILL WIN MORE GRACIES.” – GENEVA GERWITZ

Jones saw the opportunity to get Rowan Radio into the DNC and decided to apply for approval. Extensive amounts of paperwork needed to be filled out and signed to be given approval to attend.

When the opportunity came to cover the DNC, Gerwitz said she was determined to cover as much of the event as possible, whether inside the Wells Fargo Center or outside covering protesting.

“[The award] signifies that I’m able to contribute to a piece that is able to reach many listeners,” Gerwitz said. “Since this is the seventh Gracie Award the station has received, I’m hoping it inspires more women to put out programs that will win more Gracies.”

Kelly, Gerwitz and Compa will travel to New York City to accept their award on June 27, 2017.

Click here to listen to highlights from the award-winning program Decision 2016.

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