NPR’S MICHELE NORRIS NAMED "JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR" BY NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK JOURNALISTS
NPR NEWS ALSO FINALIST FOR SEVEN NABJ “SALUTE TO EXCELLENCE” AWARDS
FOR COVERAGE OF RACE IN ELECTION, DARFUR AND ZIMBABWE
April 28, 2009; Washington, D.C. – NPR’s Michele Norris, host of the afternoon newsmagazine All Things Considered, has been named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists, it was announced this morning. In addition to her body of work as host of the daily news program, NABJ is specifically recognizing Norris for her coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign – when she co-hosted NPR’s Democratic presidential candidate debate, anchored multi-hour election and inauguration live broadcasts, reported from swing states and moderated a series of candid conversations with voters on the intersection of race and politics.
NPR News is also a finalist for seven 2009 NABJ “Salute to Excellence” Awards in the radio documentary, feature, news and new media-interactive categories for a range of stories. Finalists include reporter Allison Keyes’ coverage of rising gun sales following the election of President Barack Obama, and foreign correspondent Gwen Thompkins’ report on the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. The winners will be announced at a gala on August 8, 2009, in Tampa. More information is available at: www.nabj.org
NABJ’s “Journalist of the Year” is awarded for work that is “extraordinary in depth, scope or significance to people in the African diaspora.” In its announcement this morning, NABJ cited Norris for “reporting [that] was crisp, bold, assertive and heartwarming.” “Michele had the best year hands down, one full of accomplishments,” said NABJ President Barbara Ciara. “Journalists should look to people like Michele Norris, who shows that through determination, intelligent analysis and careful investigation come journalism’s highest level of respect.”
The candidacy of President Obama brought the issue of race in America to the forefront of the election. Historically, it’s been a topic that is rarely openly discussed. Norris set out to change that, when she and Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep traveled to the city of York in central Pennsylvania for a series of conversations with a diverse group of area residents about race, in the context of the election, and in their daily lives. Norris and Inskeep spent more than 15 hours with the group over three meetings in September, October and November, addressing voting preferences and the role of race in public life, as well as voters’ own experiences with race. What resulted were conversations remarkable for their candor and, at times, for illustrating enduring prejudices and misconceptions. The entire York Project, including personal essays by Norris and Inskeep, is available at:
Norris joined NPR in 2002 to host, together with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block, the two-hour weekday program All Things Considered – bringing the program’s trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries and reviews to more than 13 millions listeners weekly on 660 NPR Member stations nationwide. In the time since, Norris has interviewed countless newsmakers, ranging from all of the leading 2008 presidential candidates to Queen Rania of Jordan. She frequently travels nationally and internationally to report from the communities affected by the day’s news, reporting from China in 2008 on efforts to reduce pollution and the roadblocks preventing such change; from New Orleans on the individual stories of residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; and from Mississippi on the continued existence of rural poverty.
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