WUTC-FM 88.1 earned second place at the Golden Press Card Awards for the station’s 2016 Operation Song Memorial Day special broadcast.
The Golden Press Card Awards are presented by the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists to honor excellence in reporting by newspapers, radio, television, and other media in the region.
WUTC’s award was in the Documentary/Public Affairs Programming – Radio division. Staff members who contributed to the Operation Song Memorial Day special were Mike Miller, Mary Ollie Newman, and Dr. Richard Winham.
Operation Song is a Nashville-based nonprofit established in 2012 that uses songwriting as therapy to help veterans, active-duty military, and their families to share their stories musically by pairing them with professional songwriters.
The music therapy outreach program began working with veterans in the studios of WUTC — he public radio station on the University of Tennessee Chattanooga campus — early in 2016.
At the invitation of American Forces Network (AFN) radio, WUTC produced a 2016 Memorial Day program featuring segments from Operation Song. The special aired on Memorial Day over AFN to active-duty military and their families worldwide and can be heard online at WUTC.org. It marked the first international broadcast of a WUTC-produced radio documentary.
“It’s a tremendous honor that the Operation Song special was chosen as one of the best radio documentaries in the region,” said Mike Miller, news director for WUTC.
Winham said the Operation Song pieces were among the most outstanding ones produced by the station last year, and creating the pieces had a profound effect on the participants, listeners, and the producers themselves.
“I understand what they (the former soldiers) meant when they said ‘sacrifice’ in a way I hadn’t before,” Winham said.