Swiss Legacy: WRS wins 3 Murrow awards after privatization!

I am proud to give some bitter-sweet news today:
my work for World 2014_MurrowAwardsLogoFINALRadio Switzerland won the station three Edward R. Murrow awards from the RTDNA!  This is a huge honor.  It is bitter-sweet, though, because the WRS that won these awards is no more: the station was privatized in 2013, and now lives on as a privately-held, commercial, local station for the Lake Geneva region.  The news department which won these awards was disbanded along with the previous public service member WRS.

As I pointed out last year, when our work won an incredible five Murrows, World Radio Switzerland won in the international category, Region 14, for a small market station.  “Small market” is defined (under one description I found) as one serving an audience of fewer than 1.4 million people.  WRS’s main market is Geneva, served by FM, and has about 190,000 residents.  Before privatization, it also had listeners elsewhere in the country through digital radio.

Here’s a list of the award-winning stories:

Davos talks about how to close the gender gap (Vincent Landon/Tony Ganzer)

Taking Stock of a Destroyed Swiss River (Tony Ganzer)

First Stand-Alone Temple Opens in Switzerland (Tony Ganzer)

Hindu temple story wins National Headliner, Religion Reporting Award!

UPDATE: This story also won first place Radio or Podcast Religion Report of the Year from the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA)!!  I am humbled and honored to have won this award, and to have been welcomed by the Hindu community in Trimbach to share their temple and puja with the world.

A bit of good news on this Friday evening: my story profiling the first stand-alone Hindu temple in Switzerland as won a third place National Headliner Award!  The awards were announced today by the Press Club of Atlantic City.

As readers of this site might already know, my previous station was sold and turned into a commercial, local station, focusing its resources on sales instead of journalism, leaving me to rediscover my homeland.  Despite this, our work produced before the sale–and my inevitable exodus from Switzerland–is still eligible for some awards.  This temple story is a version of a WRS story I expanded for Deutsche Welle, which distributes some program offerings to US public radio stations…hence my eligibility in this US prize!

Horns and drums are used to purify the air in this newly inaugurated Hindu temple in Trimbach—about halfway between Zurich and Basel.
Listen to the story from Deutsche Welle

Awards are, of course, not the most important thing in life.  But given that WRS as I knew it is no more, this recognition from my peers is a nice tribute to work done in my former life.

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