February 27, 2009
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

NPR NEWS WINS 2009 GRACIE AWARD®
FOR TWO-PART REPORT ON MUSLIM POLYGAMY IN AMERICA

NPR’S BARBARA BRADLEY HAGERTY AND CINDY JOHNSTON
RECEIVE “OUTSTANDING SERIES” HONOR



February 27, 2009; Washington, D.C. – The American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT) has honored NPR News Religion Correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty and National Desk Supervising Editor Cindy Johnston with a 2009 Gracie Award® for “Outstanding Series,” for a two-part report on Muslim polygamy in America. The Gracie Awards recognize and encourage the realistic representation of women in the news and entertainment.

The series, which aired in May 2008 on NPR News’ All Things Considered, reported on the varying experiences and perspectives of Muslim women living in plural marriages in New York City and Philadelphia. Polygamy, while illegal in the United States, is permitted in the Muslim faith, where men can marry up to four wives. Complete audio of the award-winning series is available at: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90857818

In part one, Hagerty visited a non-profit women’s center in New York City where she spoke with women, mostly West-African immigrants, in polygamous marriages. Many said that they did not have a say in their husband’s decision to marry again. “Sometimes he say, ‘OK, I am going to be married tomorrow,’ or ‘I am going to be married today.’ He’s going to ask you like that. It happened to me,” one woman told NPR. The series continued in Philadelphia, where polygamy is becoming increasingly common among the city’s orthodox Black Muslim community. Hagerty profiled one young couple where the husband recently took on a second wife with not only the approval, but also the assistance of, his first wife.

The 34th Annual Gracie Awards will be presented at a ceremony on June 3 in New York City. The Gracies are granted by AWRT, a non-profit supporting educational programs, public service campaigns and scholarships to benefit the public, mass media and allied field. NPR has been the recipient of eight Gracies since 2002.