WTIP staff

WTIP News Department wins awards

When WTIP writes a news story it aims to highlight the human side of the issue in order to illustrate the impact and relevance to the area. Recently, WTIP’s News Director, Barbara Jean Johnson, received an award for two stories that exemplify that effort.

Two of WTIP’s pieces received 2009 Minnesota AP Broadcasters Awards: “Battling Extinction with Furry Critters and Chanel No. 5” earned first place in the Series/Special category, and “The Blowdown: A 10 Year Remembrance” received honorable mention in the Documentary/Investigative.

“Battling Extinction with Furry Critters and Chanel No. 5” looked at how wildlife agencies are cooperating across state lines to deal with the extirpation of animals. While the topic is important and interesting, the presentation of the story was not all serious. The story let the personalities of the researchers come through, allowing the listener to get to know the people behind this important work.

“The Blowdown: A 10 Year Remembrance” focused on a significant event in our community that marks our landscape to this day. The piece wove together the voices of different individuals in different ways, and it let those affected tell the story of what it was like to be in the midst of such a major natural event.

The Associated Press awards honored WTIP’s efforts to give its listening community well rounded and thoughtful coverage. WTIP covers everything from what happened at the latest county board meeting to bigger stories that not only have local significance but are of interest to a larger audience as well. Learn more about WTIP’s news efforts and the winning pieces by listening to the WTIP Spotlight, produced by Melanie Steele.

Listen to the the award winning stories

There are places where some wildlife that once thrived, are now gone. In Wisconsin, the Pine Marten has been wiped out. The shy animal looks a bit like a ferret. Pine Martens are members of the weasel family. The martens are abundant in Northern Minnesota and workers with the Wisconsin DNR have set out to trap and relocate a number of Minnesota martens to the wilderness of northern Wisconsin. WTIP’s Barbara Jean Johnson spent the day with two researchers from Wisconsin, driving the back roads and checking trap lines in search of the elusive critters.

On July 4, 1999 a historic storm swept across northern Minnesota. Straight-line winds blew with category 4 hurricane force through the Superior National Forest and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness flattening vast tracks of the Wilderness. Damage from the storm isolated more than 600 homes, resorts and cabins. In remembrance of that event, which marks our landscape to this day, WTIP’s Barbara Jean Meyers produced The Blowdown: A Ten Year Remembrace—a story that weaves together the memories of people whose lives were changed by the storm.