By Stephanie Doroba, staff for the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication
JULY 9, 2020—The National Agenda 2019 podcast, Direction Democracy, won a first-place award in the National Federation of Press Women's 2020 National Communications Contest. Delaware Public Media News Director Tom Byrne received the award in the category of "Web and Social Media: Podcasts." The NFPW presented honors to nearly 300 professional communicators during a virtual celebration on June 6, 2020.
"Delaware Public Media is excited that the Direction Democracy podcast received this national recognition," said Byrne. "It's another indication that our 10 year-old partnership with UD Center for Political Communication continues to deliver the kind of smart, timely, and civil political analysis that resonates with audiences and is a crucial piece of the quality political coverage we are committed to providing the First State." Delaware Public Media's news team won six awards, including two first-place awards, three second-place awards and an honorable mention.
In each episode, Byrne discussed emerging national and local issues in politics with Lindsay Hoffman, Ph.D., the National Agenda series director and a professor of communication and political science. Invited University of Delaware political experts offered insight on a range of topics, from the U.S. Constitution, gun control, and conspiracy theories, to voter engagement and upcoming elections.
"I'm so delighted the podcast received this award," said Hoffman. "It demonstrates that in times of crisis, people are looking for experienced voices on the pressing issues facing our nation."
Contest winners first competed in statewide contests, then advanced to the national contest. In Delaware, Byrne and CPC Director Nancy Karibjanian earned first place in the podcast category of the 2020 Delaware Press Association Professional Communications Contest for the second consecutive year. The DPA contest supports excellence in communication and is open to all professional communicators in print and electronic broadcasting fields in Delaware.
"It is an honor to receive this award from the National Federation of Press Women," said Karibjanian. "The Center for Political Communication is proud to be a part of this important podcast series for the First State and partner with Delaware Public Media."
"One of the great things about the podcast is that is available across multiple platforms," said Byrne. "In addition to being available as a podcast, it airs on Delaware Public Media's weekly show The Green and is available at our website—delawarepublic.org—expanding its reach and allowing us to meet audiences wherever they get their news and information." Byrne received a third-place award for editing and managing the Delaware Public Media website, which makes programs available both online and on air via three radio stations (91.1 WDDE, 91.7 WMPH, and 88.1 WMHS).
In 2019, the Delaware Press Association awarded second place in the category of "Radio and Television, Special Programming" for Delaware Debates 2018 (U.S. Senate), also produced in a partnership with Delaware Public Media and UD's Center for Political Communication. University of Delaware graphic designer Lukas Emory received third place in the "Graphics and Design" category for his National Agenda 2018 "Midterm Matters" logo.