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Public Radio Delmarva Wins Four AP Awards

SALISBURY, MD---From coverage of the Delaware State Fair to an exposition about heroin use on the Delmarva Peninsula, 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 four awards in the non-metro radio category during the association’s annual summer convention in Ocean City, MD.  For the second consecutive year, one went to a Salisbury University student.  The stations, which broadcast from the SU campus, have now won 20 awards in the past six years.

“We’re very proud of News Director Don Rush and our volunteer contributors, especially our intern and recent SU graduate Ryan Jackson, said General Manager Gerry Weston.  “We greatly appreciate the 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 best documentary was Rush’s look at the proposed Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway. The proposed interstate electricity transmission line, spanning the Chesapeake Bay to cover portions of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, has drawn criticism from environmental organizations, business organizations and the agricultural sector. Rush set out to speak to representatives from each field.

“You really did get to hear from the average person, the farmers, the people who have to live with this if it goes through,” he said.

Rush was also honored for use of sound in a story originating at the Delaware State Fair. The news director interviewed fair-goers about the U.S. economic decline and attendance at the annual festival, interspersing the report with sounds from the midway.

Jackson was honored by the AP for enterprise reporting. His three-part series, “Heroin on Delmarva,” took a deeper look at the problem of heroin—recently identified as the peninsula’s No. 1 drug of choice—in the area. He interviewed a number of experts, including addiction specialists and counselors, law enforcement officials, family members of addicts and even addicts themselves.

“It was a labor of love,” said Jackson, adding that the series’ final part explained how users and their loved ones can find help for the addiction. “I’ve had people close to me who have had problems with drugs. It’s not just a blue-collar crime, and I wanted people to see that.”

Jackson produced the series as a senior practicum student through SU’s Communication Arts Department. As a result of his work with Public Radio Delmarva, the recent graduate is now under contract with the organization.

Public Radio Delmarva earned its fourth award in the commentary category for the series “Why I Live on Delmarva,” produced by volunteer contributor Penny Hartman. She got the idea for the segment from a 1980s Esquire magazine series in which famous authors wrote about why they chose to reside in the towns they called home and pitched the series during a brainstorming session with PRD officials.

“We wanted something with a local focus,” she said.

So far, more than 20 essayists—who were invited to read their submissions on air—have contributed, citing everything from childhood memories to carrying on family businesses to finding true love as their reasons for living on Delmarva. Hartman is still accepting essays for the series. To submit an essay for review, e-mail

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