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WESA 2019 Murrow Awards Submission — Overall Excellence

Sarah Schneider
90.5 WESA
Jay Brown, left, and Isabell Walker, 16, work together on the EvolvingSTEM experiment at Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy.


Audio Rundown

Continuing coverage — Pittsburgh City Council passes gun legislation as city deals with trauma from Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting:

On October 27, 2018, a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood and killed 11 people, in what authorities call the worst incident of anti-Semitic violence on American soil. 90.5 WESA reporters spent the next year covering responses from the government, religious leaders, and the community, including the fight over legislation that would ban certain types of weapons in the city; family, friends, and neighbors trying to heal while understanding the hate that led to the shooting; and a vigil to remember the victims, one year later. 

Students react to the death of Antwon Rose, and the trial of the police officer who killed him:

In the summer of 2018, East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld shot and killed Antwon Rose, a 17-year-old black teenager, after Rosfeld had pulled over an unlicensed taxi that had been used in an earlier drive-by shooting. On Friday, March 22nd, 2019, a jury found Rosfeld not guilty of all charges in a homicide trial. Three days later, a small protest grew into hundreds of high school and college students walking out of classrooms and taking over downtown Pittsburgh, demanding justice for Antwon Rose. 90.5 WESA reporters covered those protests, well as interviewing Rose's classmates to create an audio postcard of their reactions to his death.

Homewood Bound news series:

The War on Drugs transformed Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood in many ways, ranging from the spread of gang violence to growing blight. In recent years, formerly incarcerated people have come into the community, with the hope of setting the neighborhood on a better course. 90.5 WESA's series, "Homewood Bound," takes a look at how a community founded by Pittsburgh's wealthiest families transformed into one of the city’s poorest and most racially segregated. We speak with people who witnessed the War on Drugs firsthand. We also explore how individuals who have been released from prison find jobs and housing in the neighborhood. A range of efforts could turn Homewood into a proving ground for the idea that rebuilding lives can help to rebuild a community.

Inside a high school program in a jail:

All across the country, students are returning to school, and in Pittsburgh, that includes youth housed at the Allegheny County Jail. The jail runs a full high school for juveniles charged as adults. Students say it gives them hope, even behind bars.

Still Working podcast:

Everyone works. Not everyone works in the same way or with the same expectations; some people don’t even collect a paycheck. But work shapes who we are, what we think, and how we view others. Still Working is a 10-episode audio documentary that profiles the experiences of western Pennsylvanians through their work. From bartenders and CEOs to dairy farmers and emergency room doctors, Still Working explores the uneven burdens, dangers, and joys that working creates.

On micromobility and accessibility:

How we get from one place to another can have a big impact on our lives. As cities reevaluate the future preeminence of the car, small, personal alternatives have sprung up: bikeshare programs and fleets of electric scooters. These new modes are poised to completely reshape how cities work and how people move. But the current “micromobility” revolution misses a whole group of consumers.

President Trump wades into environmental issues in Western Pennsylvania:

For President Trump, delivering on a promise to restore the beaches of Erie's Presque Isle was the chance to boost his environmental credentials. But advocacy groups say that success ends at the water's edge.

Teaching evolution: 

Pennsylvania's Department of Education wants every student to understand how evolution works—but how that standard is taught in school varies widely. 90.5 WESA reports inside a 10th grade microbiology program with a hands-on experience.

The Confluence special edition on marijuana:

Nearly two years after Pennsylvania approved the sale of medical marijuana, the number of state residents using the drug for health reasons has soared. 90.5 WESA's daily news show, The Confluence, examines a variety of angles on medical cannabis, including how medical marijuana could expand; the concerns of a pain medicine specialist; the work of dispensary pharmacists; and how differing state and federal cannabis laws co-exist.


  • Morning Edition Newscast (December 10, 2019)

Newscast covering Pennsylvania's U.S. Senators responding to President Trump's impeachment trial; voter registration discrepancies by the state auditor general; an increase in gaming revenue; and the potential impact of a fracking ban on Pennsylvania.