On August 22, The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation presented the 2020 Service to America Awards, recognizing outstanding community service by local broadcasters. Winners were announced during the Celebration of Service to America Awards program, which aired on hundreds of stations nationwide.
“Over the past year, America’s local radio and television stations have demonstrated unparalleled devotion to helping families and communities in need,” said NAB Leadership Foundation President Michelle Duke. “We are pleased to honor these exceptional stations and to celebrate this year’s winners with viewers and listeners during the first ever broadcast of the Celebration of Service to America Awards.”
Two Michigan broadcasters are recipients of the 2020 Service to America Awards:
To help curb increasing homelessness in the area, 100.5 and 790 Newsradio WSGW hosted the 14th annual Sharing Hope Radiothon to raise money for the Rescue Ministries of Mid-Michigan and its local shelters. With cross promotion from sister station 94.5 The Moose WCEN, this 12-hour campaign exceeded its fundraising goal and raised more than $47,000 while also educating the community. To show continued support for their sister station, WSGW partnered once again and helped raise awareness and donations for the two-day St. Jude Kids Radiothon to raise another $83,250. These two campaigns strengthen the ties of local radio and continue to better the community through the sharing of hope and resources.
Service to Community Award for Television – Ownership Group
Gray Television, “Measure of Hate”
Gray Television owns WJRT-TV (Flint), WILX-TV (Lansing) and WLUC-TV (Marquette)
Gray Television’s “Measure of Hate” campaign exposed significant flaws and omissions in the FBI’s annual hate crime report, ultimately leading the FBI to overhaul policy and ending the agency’s decades-long illegal practice. Through the investigation, Gray Television discovered that the FBI wasn’t accurately reporting its own hate crime cases and that national statistics were based on voluntary reports from local agencies. Throughout 2019, several “Measure of Hate” stories aired in newscasts on all 93 Gray Television stations. Gray also aired a 30-minute “Measure of Hate” documentary. Due to this investigation the FBI, public officials and law enforcers were required to change their reporting procedures and reevaluate the information and data available to accurately measure hate crimes across this country.
A complete list of 2020 Service to America Award winners can be found here.