The Radio & Television News Association of Southern California has honored Valley Public Radio with two prestigious "Golden Mike" awards. The station received the honors in Los Angeles Saturday night at the organization’s 66th annual gala at the Universal City Hilton.
Valley Public Radio’s Jeffery Hess received the Golden Mike award for "Best News Reporting (Division B)" for his report on education reform efforts at Lindsay High School in Tulare County. The piece titled “One Valley School District's Unorthodox Educational Approach: No More Grades” tells how students are now evaluated using a system that eliminates both traditional letter grades and grade levels. It explores how the change has improved student performance and discipline.
Valley Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero won the Golden Mike award for "Best Radio Feature News Series Reporting" for his coverage of California’s drought. His reports included the stories of people who have lost water in their homes due to the drought, the effects on local beekeepers and forest restoration projects inspired by Native Americans. Ezra’s award is especially significant in that it came in a category that included both large and small stations, meaning Valley Public Radio beat out big market stations such as KPCC, KNX, KFI and KPBS. Counting Ezra’s wins from last year, this is his third Golden Mike Award.
It’s the second straight year the station has been honored at the awards ceremony. The event honors a “standard of excellence” in the Southern California broadcasting industry, for both large stations (Division A) and small stations (Division B).
Valley Public Radio's Director of Program Content Joe Moore says the awards underscore the station's commitment to local news. "We're thrilled that for the second year in a row, the RTNA has honored our reporters. Even though our newsroom is small compared with many of our colleagues in LA and San Diego, we work just as hard to produce work at the highest level. It's a great feeling to be recognized by your industry peers and I couldn't be more proud of our staff and everyone who helped make it possible."