AWARDS - Outstanding News Operation - WHQR

Jul 13, 2020

It’s been a very busy year in the Cape Fear Region, and for WHQR Public Media.

This 20-minute audio compilation highlights the news coverage of WHQR.

WHQR News is Rachel Lewis Hilburn, Katelyn Freund, Hannah Breisinger, Rachel Keith and Vince Winkel. Doc Jarden is acting News Director.

Included are examples of election coverage, Hurricane Dorian, GenX & PFAS contamination, COVID-19, George Floyd protests, issues of race, New Hampshire Regional Medical Center, health & wellness, regional economic development, opioid addiction & treatment, public transportation, County & City Governments, confederate monuments.

LETTER FROM NEWS DIRECTOR

WHQR -- Outstanding News Operation submission

We are a small station with just 7 full-time employees, 6 part-time employees, and 4 graduate fellow/interns. 

Our News Division has a staff of 5...an Acting News Director;  a Senior Journalist, who also hosts CoastLine—our hour-long weekly news and interview program; a part-time producer for Coastline who also reports; one full-time reporter; our All Things Considered host who also reports; and a graduate fellow/intern.  Our Morning Edition host is our station's Programming and Traffic Manager, and is rarely available in a reporting role.

With that staff, we're now covering one of the fastest growing regions in North Carolina and in the country.  A region that in the last few years has seen more than its share of news—including serious questions about contamination in our drinking water, a year-long debate about the sale of the largest county-owned hospital in the country, constant development battles over the speed and scope of growth, a wave of teacher and school administration firings over alleged sexual misconduct, and issues of race based on Wilmington's long history of conflict and division.

With the struggles of our local paper and a limited number of other local news sources, we're committed to providing in-depth coverage of the meetings and public hearings that affect our residents' lives—whether it's the City Council, the County Commissioners, the School Board, the Planning Boards, or the Public Utility Authority. We recognize that public scrutiny is the best defense against governmental mischief.

We're also committed to covering the lighter side of life—with feature stories that focus on the arts, music and culture of our vibrant and historic downtown. With all that, we’re also covering our growing university, and the environmental issues that go with the beaches and waterways that attract both tourists and retirees.

With news budgets under pressure everywhere, we've made it our mission to do more with less...to provide major-market quality coverage as our region grows into that category.

We are challenged every day by our ambitions, but we are very proud of the scope and the quality of our work with the staff and the resources we have.

Thank you for your consideration,

Doc Jarden, Acting News Director, WHQR