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2021 Ohio SPJ Awards - Best News Operation - WKSU

2020 was a year that tested the resolve and stamina of journalists all over the world. WKSU's news team, which had already had ambitious plans in the works for special projects and coverage of a critical national election for our listeners and online audience, quickly pivoted to the needs of our audience to get the latest about COVID-19 and to adapt to the new realities in safely covering the news during a pandemic. But the year was about more than just reporting about the pandemic. We brought our listeners special programming, giving them a chance to ask their owns questions about COVID and connect them with top health officials to get the answers they needed. We interrupted regular programming to provide live regular briefings from Ohio's governor and other top state officials and also from national officials.

Beyond the pandemic, WKSU's reporters covered the calls for racial and social justice and WKSU launched two special projects to highlight the challenges underserved communities face in two very important issues, infant mortality and evictions, connecting them with the information and resources they might have lacked. In addition to our coverage of the 2020 elections, WKSU put together an Election Protection team to ensure that voters knew everything they needed to vote and be confident their vote would be counted.

To improve and increase the news and information we provide to our audience, WKSU joined an "alpha" group of NPR affiliates to pilot a new content management system for websites, which resulted in a move to a new and much more dynamic online presence for WKSU.