Two 2SER 107.3 programs featuring the work of UTS researchers and an investigative series on coal led by UTS journalism academic Tom Morton have won awards at this year's New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.
Announced on 19 June in New York, the awards honour the world's best radio programs, receiving entries from radio stations, networks and independent producers from around the globe. This year 336 finalists were selected from entries submitted from 32 countries.
Community station 2SER was awarded a gold medal in the Health/Medical category for Think: Health and silver for Think: Digital Futures in Science and Technology. The Think: Sustainability program received a finalist certificate in Environment and Ecology.
Associate Professor in UTS's journalism program Tom Morton was the reporter for Beyond the Coal Rush, broadcast in August and September last year as part of The Science Show on ABC Radio National. It was awarded a bronze medal in the Climate Change and Sustainability category.
"I am thrilled and honoured to receive this prestigious award," Associate Professor Morton said. "Given the debates we're having in Australia right now about energy policy and the need to transition to a future beyond coal, it's especially timely."
2SER Station Manager Melanie Withnall said, "Up against large national and international radio broadcasters including the ABC, SBS, CBC, BBC and Swedish Radio we are over the moon to be recognised for making some of the world's best work in radio broadcasting.
"The collaboration between 2SER and UTS academics has allowed us to make such great quality programs and we look forward to making more into the future.
"We know there is a demand for this unique content that you won't get anywhere else. UTS academics are at the cutting edge of research and with the careful and considered crafting of this information by our producers at 2SER, who turn the research work into weekly relatable and interesting audio, we are able to produce content that is both notable and compelling," Ms Withnall said.
2SER is supported by UTS to produce the Think programs to showcase innovative UTS research in an entertaining radio format. The programs are made by a team of producers including current and graduate journalism students from UTS and Macquarie University – 2SER is jointly owned by UTS and Macquarie University, but is largely self-supporting.
The 2SER team includes Ellen Leabeater (former Think: Health and current Digital Futures reporter) Jake Morcom (Think: Sustainability reporter), Josh Nicholas (former Think: Digital Futures reporter), Ninah Kopel (former Think producer), Miles Martignoni (former Think Supervising Producer) Emma Lancaster (Think Supervising Producer) and Station Manager Melanie Withnall. UTS staff members also work closely with the reporters to source story ideas.
Associate Professor Morton said Beyond the Coal Rush was also "the work of many hands".
"I particularly want to pay tribute to the ABC Science Show production team: Executive Producer David Fisher for his meticulous editorial guidance, researcher Emma Lancaster, a graduate of the MA Journalism program at UTS, who has been recognised with a number of other New York Festival awards for her work at 2SER, sound engineer Judy Rapley whose aural imagination brought the series to life on the radio, and composer Stuart Brown who wrote the music which gave it a pulse – and of course The Science Show's presenter Robyn Williams, whose father was a coal miner.
"The series is also the product of three years of on-the-ground research collaboration and vigorous intellectual debate between our team of academic researchers – including UTS academics James Goodman, Devleena Ghosh and Jon Marshall, Linda Connor and Stuart Rosewarne (University of Sydney), Ortwin Renn (Potsdam), Dipesh Chakrabarty (Chicago), Katja Műller (Halle), Kanchi Kohli and Manju Menon (CPR, Delhi).
"It's one of the outcomes from our Australian Research Council Discovery Grant 'The Coal Rush and Beyond: Coal Reliance, Climate Change and Contested Futures in Australia, India and Germany' – and a great example of how academic research and creative practice can work hand-in-hand."