Winner 2009

Hard Times

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Serving a state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, Oregon Public Broadcasting dedicated itself in 2009 to covering the impact of the economic meltdown on everyday people’s lives. Its Hard Times reports on radio gave voice to fears and frustrations, hopes and ingenuity of a dozen representative Oregonians. They included a 61-year-old pipeline worker living off unemployment checks and firewood sales while searching for a new job, a homeless couple who’d had to stash their children with relatives, and a software entrepreneur forced to furlough longtime employees to keep his small company afloat. The unemployed half of a formerly two-paycheck couple struggled to start her own business. As the year wore on, they had to put their home of 10 years on the market because they could no longer make the mortgage payments. This was not one-shot journalism. Each person or family’s story was updated several times, and several of them appeared on OPB Radio’s daily call-in program, Think Out Loud, to discuss their experiences. For commitment to reporting the human toll of the recession, a Peabody Award goes to Hard Times.


Executive Producer: Morgan Holm. Producers: Eve Epstein (Lead producer), Sarah Rothenfluch (Executive producer, Think Out Loud) Scott Silver (Public Insight Network producer), Geoff Norcross (Morning News producer), Casey Negreiff (Morning News producer). Reporters: April Baer, Kristian Foden-Vencil, Ethan Lindsey, Rob Manning. Hosts: Emily Harris, David Miller. Web Designer: Michael Clapp.