88.5 KNKX was a big winner at the 2017 PRNDI (Public Radio News Directors, Inc.) Conference on June 24, garnering five national awards, all from the station’s locally-produced culture magazine, Sound Effect—“Your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live.” Each week the show (which airs Saturdays at 10 a.m.) explores a different theme and presents provocative and smart conversations with insight and humor, capturing the warmth of community radio with the gleam of professional polish. Segments are produced by the KNKX news team and other contributors.
KNKX won the following in PRNDI’s 2017 Awards Competition for stories that aired in 2016:
·1st Place in the Soft Feature category for “An Epic Game Of Tag That Involves Alliances, Cross-Dressing And Sneaking Into Bathrooms” produced by KNKX’s Jennifer Wing, about a group of middle-aged men in the Northwest who have been playing an intense game of tag during the entire month of February for decades. The games involve planning, forming alliances, sleight of hand and sometimes a little cross-dressing.
·1st Place in the Short Documentary category for “Can’t We All Just Get Along, Neighbor to Neighbor?” produced by Wing, about a retired captain with the Seattle Fire Department who’s been living next to a nuisance home for years, and has made many attempts to somehow make a dent in the chaos.
·2nd Place in the Nationally-Edited Soft Feature category for “Parent Support May Help Transgender Children’s Mental Health” produced by Gabriel Spitzer, about an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington whose research into transgender youth showed that attitudes toward trans people were changing, both in society and in science—specifically that anxiety, depression and even suicide could be countered by having a supportive family. The catalyst for her research was a friend’s 10 year-old who was transitioning from male to female. The story aired on NPR’s Morning Edition.
·2nd Place in the Commentary category for “To Punch A Celebrity Or Not To Punch A Celebrity, That Is The Question” produced by Kevin Kniestedt. When Kevin encounters an international celebrity in a Northwest bar acting obnoxiously, he ponders the question of punching out the young man in the face, which would make him a good guy to a few millions—and the bad guy to billions of the celebrity’s followers. (“And who, I ask, of you out there wants to be the bad guy to billions of people?”)
·2nd place in the Short Documentary category for “The Storm That Would Last A Lifetime: Activist Charlene Strong Remembers How Her Fight Began” produced by Arwen Nicks, about the night that changed Charlene Strong’s life and broke her heart: losing her wife when their basement was flooded during a vicious windstorm in 2006—and the integral role Charlene played in getting marriage equality passed in Washington State
“Character-driven stories with a strong sense of place are the weight-bearing pillars of our show, Sound Effect,” says KNKX News Director Erin Hennessey. “The reporters who produced these award-winning stories are also committed to giving voice to the humanity, wit and wisdom of everyday people in the Pacific Northwest. I’m grateful that our community is responding so favorably to these in-depth stories and appreciate the national recognition from our professional peers at PRNDI.”
KNKX is in Division A, which comprises public radio stations with 8-15 full-time news staff. KNKX is an ambassador for jazz and blues, and a vital source of quality, non-commercial news, including NPR and regional coverage. The KNKX programming staff are storytellers who reach deeply into the community to reflect the voices of our people, our region and beyond. KNKX is funded by a loyal community of listeners who value the station’s independence.
– Brenda Goldstein-Young, Director of Community Outreach and Events, KNKX