Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism announced December 11 that Michigan Radio is a winner of a 2020 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for the station’s podcast series, Believed. This marks the second time Michigan Radio has been the recipient of this prestigious award, the first being in 2017 for Not Safe to Drink, a documentary on the Flint water crisis.
The Believed podcast series from Michigan Radio and NPR details how a team of women brought Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar to justice. Hosted by award-winning Michigan Radio reporters Kate Wells and Lindsey Smith, Believed was first distributed in October, 2018.
The 2020 dupont-Columbia Award winners focus on timely issues such as immigration, political corruption, and abuse of power, especially as it relates to sexual assault. Believed is one of three podcasts that were winners in the Audio award category.
Founded in 1942, the duPont-Columbia Awards uphold the highest standards in journalism by honoring winners annually, informing the public about those journalists’ contributions and supporting journalism education and innovation. The duPont Awards ceremony will take place on January 21, 2020 in New York City.
In other Michigan Radio news, Veteran public radio journalist April Baer is joining Michigan Radio to host the station’s popular Stateside talk show. She will take the helm of the show beginning Monday, January 6, 2020.
April Baer is replacing Cynthia Canty, who has been the host of the award winning show for the past seven years and is retiring later this month.
Baer comes to Michigan Radio from Oregon where she’s been the host of the weekly show State of Wonder on Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) for the past six years. State of Wonder features interviews and reporting on the latest in visual arts, theater, music, literature, culture and more. Prior to that, she was the Morning Edition host and a reporter at OPB, covering beats including government and legal affairs, changing demographics and the arts.
“My experience covering government, legal affairs, military deployments, gun violence, the arts, and other topics leaves me well-prepared for the range of issues Stateside explores each day.” added Baer. “I treat our work not as a checklist of stories, but as a dynamic space for civil public dialogue.”
Hosting Stateside brings Baer back to her midwest roots. She is originally from Ohio and worked as the Morning Edition host and Public Affairs Director at WCPN Ideastream (Cleveland) and WYSO (Yellow Springs). Her husband Ryan grew up in Ann Arbor, and she has spent time in the state every year for the past 13 years, visiting places from Detroit to Marquette.
Baer has been the recipient of a number of awards including the 2006 New York Festivals – Bronze Medal for podcast; The Ohio Society of Professional Journalists Best Social Justice Reporting Award; and a Finalist in the 2007 Public Radio Talent Quest, a nationwide competition to select new public radio hosts and shows.
“We are thrilled to have April Baer join the Michigan Radio team,” noted Steve Schram, Executive Director and General Manager of Michigan Radio. “She is an extremely talented and experienced journalist with a strong understanding of public radio and its core values. The Michigan-focused content of Stateside,” anchored by an experienced professional like April, will help listeners across the state make sense of the events and issues affecting them.”
Stateside with April Baer will continue covering a wide range of Michigan news and policy issues—as well as culture and lifestyle stories. Guests on the show include newsmakers, politicians, writers, artists, and cultural influencers.
The show airs weekdays from 3-4 pm on Michigan Radio, with an encore broadcast each weekday evening from 10-11 pm. In addition to being heard across all of southern Michigan on Michigan Radio, Stateside also airs in Traverse City and northwest Michigan on Interlochen Public Radio.