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Central Florida's WMFE Receives Top Honors from the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists



ORLANDO — Community-based WMFE’s investigative series on the TSA in Orlando was one of three works named best in the state by the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists on Saturday.

Reporters Danielle Prieur and Abe Aboraya launched "TSA in Turmoil", a six-month-long investigation after a TSA agent’s public suicide at the Orlando International Airport (MCO) in February 2019. Photography for the series was done by Isaac Babcock. The investigation revealed a toxic workplace culture and a pattern of abuse and retaliation among TSA workers in Orlando and at other airports across the country. A couple of weeks after the series aired, the TSA elevated suicide prevention to a top priority.  “WMFE is committed to in-depth reporting that follows the story beyond the breaking headlines,” WMFE President and CEO Erika Pulley-Hayes said. “We are proud that our reporters’ work has been recognized and celebrated with these honors.” The 2019 Excellence in Broadcast News Professional Contest winners were announced through a Facebook Live presentation on May 9. WMFE, a public media organization licensed to Community Communications Inc., was one of the thirty-seven radio and television stations who entered the contest. Over 500 stories from 2019 were submitted. WMFE is in the Radio I category. Other reporters from WMFE won best in the state or were finalists for their reporting: "Reporting On TSA & Talking Solutions To Workplace Problems"by Matthew Peddie, Abe Aboraya and Danielle Priuer won best public affairs/documentary. Peddie, host of WMFE’s weekly public affairs show, hosted an episode the week the "TSA in Turmoil" series aired that included an interview with TSA acting deputy administrator Patricia Cogswell, the first and only interview granted by TSA  — and it was only after the series started airing. It also featured interviews with U.S. Reps. Ted Yoho and Darren Soto, and reporters Prieur and Aboraya.

"Endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrows Released Into The Wild Despite Concerns"by Amy Green won best environmental story. WMFE environmental reporter Green chronicled a significant milestone in the recovery of North America’s most endangered bird, the Florida grasshopper sparrow. At the time, there were fewer than 80 of the birds left in the wild. As researchers released more into the wild, there was a fight brewing about whether that was the best plan to save them. The story was also picked up by NPR and aired nationally. State Attorney: No Civilians Hit By Friendly Fire In Pulse Shooting by Nicole Darden-Creston, Brendan Byrne, Amy Green was the finalist in the Team Coverage category. Fifty Years After Apollo, Nasa Targets Moon Once More by Brendan Byrne was the finalist in the Feature | Cultural / Historical category. The Alliance Of American Football: The League That Wasn’t by Talia Blake was the finalist in the sports feature category. See all of the winners here. About Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists (formerly the Florida Associated Press Professional Broadcasters) is a not-for-profit organization whose membership includes broadcast journalism professionals employed by commercial and public television and radio stations, as well as those employed by and/or enrolled in college-level broadcast journalism operations. The mission of the Board of the Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists is to advocate the advancement of broadcast journalism through various means. Visit floridanewsawards.org for more information. About Community Communications Inc.: Community Communications Inc. is a locally owned, and operated, non-profit public media organization that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Leesburg and The Golden Triangle. Listener-supported Community Communications has been serving the community since 1980 with trusted news and programming from a local, national and international perspective. Visit wmfe.org and wmfv.org for more information. # # # MEDIA INQUIRIES: Please contact Communications & Marketing Specialist Jenny Babcock at jbabcock@wmfe.org or 407-273-2300 ext. 112.