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Press Releases

Friday, June 12, 2009

SU Senior Earns Associated Press Award for Public Radio Delmarva Broadcast

SALISBURY, MD---From coverage of the Democratic National Convention to an exploration of life as a homeless person in Salisbury, stories told by Public Radio Delmarva recently earned praise from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association (CAPBA).

WSCL 89.5 FM and WSDL 90.7 FM garnered a record-high four awards in the non-metro radio category during the association’s annual summer convention in Ocean City.  For the first time ever, one went to a Salisbury University student.  The stations, which broadcast from the SU campus, have now won 16 awards in the past five years.

“We’re very proud of News Director Don Rush and our volunteer contributors, especially SU senior Mike Piorunski, said General Manager Gerry Weston.  “We greatly appreciate they work they do for Public Radio Delmarva.  We are strongly committed to bringing high quality, insightful stories like these to the Delmarva Peninsula.”

Winning the category of documentary and in-depth reporting was Rush’s week-long, morning and afternoon coverage of the Democratic National Convention.  Reporting from Denver, CO, Rush followed everything from the protests outside to the speeches inside, interviewing attendees including Salisbury Mayor Barrie Parsons Tilghman and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

“The award is gratifying because of the historical significance of the story,” he said.  “It had such great dimensions politically and that was reflected among the supporters.  It was a very emotional moment for them.”

Rush was also honored for use of sound in his story about the Maryland Food Bank and its food distribution and Kids Cafe  programs at two area churches.

“I tried to utilize the sounds of people going through the lines and talking about their experiences and how they wound up there,” he said.  “Some had been out of work for a long time and others just lost their jobs.  You could almost see the economic downturn churning.  I wanted to show a human dimension of rising food and fuel prices.”

Piorunski was honored by the AP for outstanding feature or human interest story.  Chronicling wintertime living conditions for local homeless people, he spent one night—without a quarter in hand—touring downtown Salisbury with a man he met at the Joseph House, and two others, who live on the streets.

“They told me stories about what they have to do, where they have to go, what they’ve seen,” he said.  “Near the train tracks, I crawled into this space where someone had made a camp.  There are resources for them, but there’s not much.”

Public Radio Delmarva earned its fourth award for the editorial “Getting By” told by volunteer contributor Penny Hartman.  A commentary on changing life perspectives of retirees who only have shrinking IRAs to live on, Hartman sums up a lesson learned from the financial crisis:  “Excess is an ugly thing, and it’s the little things that count.”

Public Radio Delmarva was selected from among some 70 radio and television stations in Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C.  For more information call 410-543-6895 or visit the Public Radio Delmarva Web site at


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