March 7, 2007
Contact:
Leah Yoon, NPR
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NPR NEWS WINS 2007 GRACIE AWARD®
FOR “OUTSTANDING NEWS SERIES”
EXAMINING THE STATE OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
IN THE NATION’S PRISON SYSTEM

NPR NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT LAURA SULLIVAN
RECOGNIZED FOR “SUPERIOR QUALITY
IN WRITING, PRODUCTION AND PROGRAMMING”



March 6, 2007; Washington, D.C. – The American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT) has selected NPR News and National Correspondent Laura Sullivan for a 2007 Gracie Award® for “Outstanding News Series” for a three-part examination on solitary confinement that aired in July 2006 on the NPR news magazine All Things Considered. Sullivan took listeners behind the scenes of some of the nation’s largest and least known solitary confinement units, where inmates spend years isolated in small cells for 23 hours a day. In explaining its selection to NPR, the Gracie Award® jury noted: “In a year with a record-breaking number of entries, your submission displayed superior quality in writing, production and programming.”

The practice of solitary confinement has grown dramatically over the past two decades, and while few prison systems were willing to discuss the matter or allow access to their facilities, Sullivan traveled across the country, going inside isolation units and speaking with inmates through the nickel-sizes openings in their prison doors. For some prisoners, their interview with Sullivan was their first human contact in years.

The 32nd Annual Gracie Awards® will be presented at a ceremony on June 18 in New York City. The event benefits the Foundation for American Women in Radio & Television, a charitable non-profit supporting educational programs, public service campaigns and scholarships to benefit the public, mass media and allied field.

Recognized for its excellence in broadcast journalism, NPR continues to be honored with professional awards. In January, NPR News received its second DuPont-Columbia “Silver Baton” Award for its Iraq coverage, the only news organization to be twice honored by this competition for Iraq reporting, and NPR’s 21st DuPont-Columbia Award.

All Things Considered
For two hours every weekday All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present the evening newsmagazine’s trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews and offbeat features to 11 million listeners each week.

About AWRT: The year 2007 marks the 56th Anniversary of American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT), the longest established professional association dedicated to advancing women in media and entertainment. AWRT carries forth its mission by educating, advocating and acting as a resource to its members and the industry at large. Founded in 1951, AWRT works to improve the quality of electronic media; promote the entry, development and advancement of women in the field; foster communication and idea exchange; and give back to the community we serve.

About The Foundation of AWRT: The Foundation of AWRT is the philanthropic arm of American Women in Radio and Television, supporting educational programs, charitable activities, public service campaigns and scholarships to benefit the public, the electronic media and allied fields. The Foundation of AWRT has created partnerships and joint-initiatives with the National Middle School Association, the Emma Bowen Foundation, the American Red Cross and other organizations that are philosophically aligned with the mission of the Foundation of AWRT. The Foundation supports several public service campaigns including most recently AWRT Empowering America which pays tribute to many of America’s most pioneering and inspiring women. Through this initiative, the Foundation of AWRT has adopted needy urban middle schools around the country and provided educational donations derived from collateral based on the Empowering America program. The Foundation also produces nationally acclaimed recognition programs including the Gracie Allen Awards®, a live, New York-based gala that awards exemplary programming created for, by, and about women.

-NPR-