TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama Public Radio, housed in The University of Alabama’s Digital Media Center, is making waves in the broadcast news industry for its coverage of the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” attacks on voting rights marchers in Selma in 1965.
In recent weeks, APR has received the national “Kaleidoscope Award” for outstanding achievements in coverage of diversity presented by the Radio-Television Digital News Association, the “Bronze Radio Award” from the New York Festivals International Radio Competition, two first place Public Radio News Directors Incorporated awards for “best short documentary” and “best use of sound” in addition to being named the “Most Outstanding News Operation” in the state by the Alabama Associated Press for the fifth year in a row.
“I’m especially proud and flattered by the recognition for APR’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ coverage,” said Pat Duggins, APR news director. “It builds on our 2013 civil rights coverage of the 50th anniversary of 1963 events like ‘the stand in the schoolhouse house door’ and the ‘16th street Baptist Church bombing,’ which won international awards as well.”
The program, “More Bridges to Cross,” recounts the events that occurred in 1965 when a sheriff’s posse used tear gas and clubs to attack voting rights marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Fifty years later, 70,000 people gathered to remember the historic moment in the civil rights movement. APR combined breaking news coverage of the event with enterprise stories from its news department.
The APR news team shares these national and international awards with former student intern Sarah Sherrill who produced a segment on Selma from a young person’s perspective. Her story included interviews with the Reverend Frederick Douglas Reese, who invited Dr. Martin Luther King to Selma, as well as the daughter of civil rights photographer “Spider” Martin.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.