A team of reporters, including four with Stony Brook University connections, have been nominated for a Peabody Award for their work on “Still Newtown,” an 11-episode podcast that tells the story of the Connecticut town and decade-long effort to recover from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
The podcast is one of the only pieces from a regional media outlet to be nominated for the Podcast and Radio category. It is up against eight other nominees from places like Spotify, American Public Media, This American Life and the Center for Public Integrity.
“We are exceptionally proud of the Peabody nomination,” said Rima Dael, WSHU station manager. “Davis (Dunavin) and his team worked incredibly hard to tell this story with great sensitivity, empathy and accuracy.”
It is the first WSHU piece to be nominated for a Peabody Award. The awards are hosted by the University of Georgia. Peabody winners are selected by a board of jurors through unanimous vote. They are chosen for their ability to reflect pressing social issues and powerful emerging voices.
The podcast is hosted by reporter Davis Dunavin. Two School of Communication and Journalism instructors served as executive producers of the podcast: Terry Sheridan, senior director of news and education at WSHU, and J.D. Allen ’16 journalism, WSHU managing editor. Melanie Formosa, a senior journalism student from East Northport, and Margaret Osborne, ’20 journalism, were fact checkers.
“Being recognized by a Peabody nomination is a tremendous accomplishment for any journalist or media outlet in the country,” said Laura Lindenfeld, dean of the School of Communication and Journalism and executive director of the Alda Center for Communicating Science. “Our School’s partnership with WSHU is one of our greatest assets as it gives such wonderful experiences to our students, and increasingly is being recognized by some leading organizations.”
Allen recently won an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Excellence in Science Communication Award, given by the National Academies for Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, for another WSHU podcast. “Higher Ground” tells the story of climate change and adaptation on Long Island and was produced with help from Stony Brook students.
Reporting from SoCJ students is also increasingly being recognized. In recent years, the School and its students have won several Hearst Journalism Awards, an Overseas Press Club scholarship, an award from the College Radio Foundation and a national Murrow Award.