KUNC Wins National Sigma Delta Chi Award For Investigating Sexual Harassment At Colorado Capitol
The Society of Professional Journalists has recognized KUNC with a national Sigma Delta Chi award for excellence in journalism. The award is in the Radio Investigative Reporting (Market 101+) category for their entry, "Allegations of Sexual Harassment Surface at Colorado Capitol."
The award covers the initial stories in what has become a six-month series of 40 web and broadcast stories that led to the expulsion of one state representative (Steve Lebsock, a former Democrat) amid allegations of sexual harassment and a failed vote to expel another lawmaker (Sen. Randy Baumgardner, a Republican).
Reporter Bente Birkeland, KUNC Managing Editor Brian Larson and News Director Michael de Yoanna led KUNC's groundbreaking reporting, which first broke allegations of workplace/sexual harassment involving five lawmakers from both political parties. The reporting prompted leaders in the House and Senate to call for a new process for handling allegations and a possible pathway is outlined in a 235-page independent report that identified many of the same themes revealed in the reporting.
The award will be presented at the Sigma Delta Chi Awards banquet at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Friday, June 8.
The Sigma Delta Chi Awards date back to 1932, when the society honored six individuals for their contributions to journalism. The current program began in 1939 as the Distinguished Service Awards.
Birkeland was also recognized as Journalist of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists (Region 9) "Top of the Rockies" awards ceremony at the Denver Press Club. "Top of the Rockies" is a regional, multi-platform contest for reporters and news organizations in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Birkeland's coverage of Colorado's Capitol is aired by 15 public radio stations across the state, including KRCC in Colorado Springs, through a collaboration called Rocky Mountain Community Radio.
KUNC, 91.5 FM, is Northern Colorado's NPR affiliate, bringing "Stories That Matter and Voices You Trust" to a network of 19 stations and translators around the state--including 102.7 FM in Boulder, and 91.7 FM in Golden and the west metro area. KUNC carries news, information and storytelling 24-hours a day. KUNC serves the Front Range and other areas around the state including Breckenridge, Buena Vista, Estes Park, Grand County, Haxtun/Holyoke, Julesburg/Ovid, Leadville, Morgan County, North Park, Salida, Steamboat Springs, Sterling, Vail/Minturn & Eagle Valley, Wray, and Yuma.