WFUV, Fordham’s public media service, captured an impressive number of news and sports awards this year, with 29 accolades from organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Deadline Club, and the New York State Associated Press.

With the announcement on June 23 of the winners of the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated awards, the station officially surpassed last years’ haul of 21 accolades.

News director and Cityscape  program host George Bodarky said he was thrilled that staff and “young journalists” at the station are being recognized for telling good stories and being a voice for underrepresented communities.

“We don’t use the word ‘students’ because that’s not what they’re doing here,” he said of WFUV’s reporters—Fordham students who usually come to the station in their first year and go through an intense news training and internship program.

“We work really hard to see where there are issues that are underrepresented, and we look to bring those things to light,” he said.

“We really try to foster an environment of open ideas and experimentation and conversation and discussion. I think having that open conversation consistently in our newsroom leads to really solid reporting.”

When there are stories that have already been told, such as the opioid epidemic, Bodarky said WFUV journalists were great at finding new angles. An award-winning piece titled Addiction and the Brain, for example, addressed drugs effects on brain chemistry.

Stories With a Higher Purpose

He said he was especially proud of the stations’ Strike a Chord series, of which that episode is a part. The series is PSA campaign that focuses every quarter on issues such as affordable housing, job training, music education, senior services, and parks. In another episode, reporters revisited Super Storm Sandy five years after it devastated New York City, and revealed gaps that still exist in the recovery efforts.

In another piece that Bodarky did himself and which won several awards, he explored how Roosevelt Island is one of only two places in the country—including Disney World—to have a garbage collection system that relies on pneumatic tubes to suck garbage into a giant compactor.

“Anything we can do to make our listenership go ‘Wow, I had no idea!’ then I think we’re really doing our job,” he said.

“We don’t produce content with the goal of winning awards, but it’s nice when we do, because it’s an indication that we’re doing something right.”

The complete list of awards:

New York State Associated Press
Documentary: The Bronx Develops (First Place)
Use of Sound: How Roosevelt Island Sucks Away Summer Trash Stink (Finalist)
Art Athens General Excellence of Individual Reporting: George Bodarky, “Uncovering NYC” (First Place)

Student AP awards
Bill Leaf Memorial Award for Best Regularly Scheduled Local News Program: Kacie Candela, (First Place)
Chris Ulanowski Memorial Award for Best News Story: Sandy Five Years Later: Build it Back (Finalist)

New York State Broadcasters Association
Outstanding Public Service Announcement/Campaign: Strike a Chord: Combating Drug Addiction
Outstanding Interview: Cityscape: Suicide Prevention
Outstanding Use of Audio: How Roosevelt Island Sucks Away Summer Trash Stink
Outstanding Sports Coverage: Bob Hurley’s Biggest Game

Student NYSBA Awards
Outstanding Newscast: 12/21/17 Newscast of Breaking News Day
Outstanding Public Affairs Program or Series: Addiction and the Brain
Outstanding Interview: Exclusive with Vin Scully

Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Gracie Awards
News Feature: Combating Mental Health Issues in NYC Public Schools
Podcast Host: Kacie Candela for Prickly Politics

Deadline Club (New York City Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists)
How Roosevelt Island Sucks Away Summer Trash Stink (Finalist)

Society of Professional Journalists:  Mark of Excellence Awards
Best All-Around Radio Newscast: Rowan Hornbeck (Finalist)
Radio News Reporting: Sandy Five Years Later: Build it Back (Finalist)
Radio News Reporting: Addiction and the Brain (National Winner)

The Guides Association of New York City
Best Radio Program/Podcast: Cityscape

The New York Press Club
Rev. Mychal Judge Heart of New York Award: Cityscape: Here’s the Scoop

Public Radio News Directors Incorporated
Arts Feature: Celebrating 50 Years of Art in the Parks (Second Place)
Commentary: Life Interrupted (First Place)
Commentary: The Leaving Game (Second Place)
Nationally Edited Soft Feature: How New York’s Roosevelt Island Sucks Away Summer Trash Stink (Second Place)
Newscast: Robin Shannon’s Morning News (First Place)
Student Newscast: Breaking News Day 12/29/17 — Kacie Candela (First Place)
Student Newscast: Diana Nelson on Afternoon News (Second Place)
Student Spot News: President Trump Visits Long Island Town Plagued by Gang Violence (Second Place)

Ippies Awards

The Center for Community & Ethnic Media awarded the Norwood News, WFUV Radio and BronxNet Television a first place Ippies Award for Best Multi-Media Package: The Bronx Develops


Patrick Verel is a news producer for Fordham Now. He can be reached at [email protected] or (212) 636-7790.