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Award Submissions

2018 N.H. Press Association Contest Submission: General Excellence, Digital Presence

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In 2018, NHPR’s reporters, producers and editors focused on delivering the kind of core coverage our listeners depend on us for: stories that document life as it's lived every day in New Hampshire.

We captured voices from local schools and businesses, State House protests and legislative committees. We reported on the impact of climate change, the opioid crisis, minor league baseball and square-dancing. With a handful of key state races up for grabs in the midterm elections, we also kept busy with political coverage.

But we left plenty of room for the surprising and the unexpected in 2018. Like a surge in squirrel deaths that caught even naturalists by surprise. Or a sound-rich profile of a North Country woman with a passion for dog-sled racing. We reported on bootlegging, rising housing costs, "forest bathing" and commuting patterns.

But if there’s one unifying theme to our reporting over the past year, it’s change. We focused on stories of how New Hampshire is changing: demographically, politically, environmentally.

That meant zeroing in on some of the difficult conversations that many residents found themselves engaged in this past year, questions of race, immigration and inclusiveness.

Our series "The Balance" looked closely at the question of whether New Hampshire is a good place to live, and we explored that through the lives of ordinary people. We turned to our listeners, and asked them what most troubled them about life in New Hampshire. And we crossed the state to find the stories of people of color looking to make a comfortable life in one of the least diverse states in the country.

Change had a political slant, as well, in 2018. In an election year, voters had a chance to actually speak up about how they wanted to reshape policy -- what kind of change they wanted to see. So, in the months leading up to that election, we turned to listeners and asked them what they think is needed to improve the state. 

2018 also gave us many opportunities to expand our reporting online and to consider which audio stories should take the form of longer-form, podcast-first narratives. Our investment in on-demand platforms allowed us to tackle ambitious productions, including: Bear Brook, a serialized podcast about a decades-long New Hampshire cold case that’s revolutionizing forensic investigations; Civics 101: Midterms, a six-part podcast series on the history and function of midterm elections; and a two-part series on the politics of the over-population debate on our environmental podcast Outside/In.

We believe our reporting in 2018 captured the variety of life in New Hampshire, and we're proud to submit it for consideration the New Hampshire Press Association's annual contest, the Distinguished Journalism Contest, for General Excellence, Digital Presence.

Audio entry:

Audio rundown:

 

Digital and Multimedia Work

NHPR's digital content strategy is simple: we endeavor to create content that is timely and of use to our audience,  and to ensure that our digital-first sensibility is guided by the user, first and foremost.

To that end, 2018 gave us many opportunities to expand our reporting online  (and in many cases, to report first - or only - online) and to consider which audio stories should take the form of longer-form, podcast-first narratives. In addition, we took on the challenge of finding new ways to show off what we do on the radio everyday, producing high-quality livestream video for radio programs, candidate forums, and planned news events, creating infographics, datamaps, and supplemental produced videos, and using online tools to engage with our audience directly, something that informed our reporting throughout the year.

Here are some examples of NHPR's digital work in 2018:

Digital-First Stories

Digital-First Multimedia Series

Podcasts and Podcast Digital Content

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Bear Brook

Click here to see the Bear Brook podcast website, which includes episodes, episode transcripts for accessibility, original photography, videos, case timelines, the podcast soundtrack and more.

Bear Brook is also on Facebook and Twitter, and engages with listeners through a robust e-newsletter which provides updates on the case.

Downloaded nearly four million times as of this entry, Bear Brook tells the story of a cold case investigation that's changing the way murders will be solved forever. 

The mystery began in 1985 in the woods of New Hampshire’s Bear Brook State Park. Inside an overturned barrel, a hunter discovered the remains of two bodies. State police later determined they were a woman in her mid-twenties, and a girl of about 9 or 10 years old.

The Bear Brook murders became one of the most notorious cold cases in state history. For more than three decades, detectives have tried to solve this case. Even now, investigators still don’t know who the people inside that barrel were. But they do know just about everything else.

This is the story of a serial killer police would come to know as the Chameleon. It’s also a story where everything about how a murder investigation is supposed to work, happens in reverse - and where each break in the case unearths new mysteries far beyond the woods of New Hampshire. And it’s the story of a frustrating investigation, that after decades of dead ends, led to a forensic breakthrough that has forever changed the science of solving murders, starting with the capture of the Golden State Killer.

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Outside/In

Click here to see the Outside/In website, which includes podcast episodes, episode transcripts for accessibility, original photography and more.

Outside/In engages with fans through Facebook (group and page), Twitter, Instagram, and a robust e-newsletter.

Outside/In is a show about the natural world and how we use it. Sam Evans-Brown combines solid reporting and long-form narrative storytelling to bring the outdoors to you wherever you are.

You don’t have to be a whitewater kayaker, an obsessive composter, or a conservation biologist to love Outside/In. It’s a show for anyone who has ever been outdoors. In short, it’s a show for *almost* everyone.

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Civics 101

Click here to see the Civics 101 website, which includes podcast episodes, education materials for the classroom, a module to submit questions, and more.

Why does the U.S. have an Electoral College? How do congressional investigations work? What does the minority whip actually do? Civics 101 is the podcast refresher course designed for the classroom (and everyone else!) on the basics of how our democracy works.

Photography

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Todd Bookman captured this photo while profiling a New Hampshire bodybuilder

NHPR's reporters aren't radio reporters, they are multi-media reporters, which means they frequently take high-quality, original photos to accompany their stories. In addition, NHPR engages with photojournalists to enable us to illustrate our stories - particularly our planned and political coverage - with original photography.

Click here to see some of NHPR's best original photography from 2018 on Flickr.

Video

NHPR regularly creates live and produced video for social media. podcasts, and new stories. Click here to see more examples on NHPR's YouTube Channel.

Here are some featured videos from 2018:

The Exchange: Weekly News Roundup weekly livestream (streamed live on Facebook):

Election 2018: Candidate forums and interviews:

Podcast videos:

Click here to see all of the videos produced for Bear Brook.

Audience Engagement

Social Media

NHPR and its programs and podcasts maintain a robust social media presence. Click the links to see NHPR's main Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Instagram.

Engagement-Driven Journalism

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Credit Mary McIntyre for NHPR
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It's true, a listener got Rick Ganley to ride a historic wooden roller coaster for Morning Edition's Radio Field Trip series

  • The Balance Series - News series powered by Hearken
  • Radio Field Trips - Series powered by listener submissions
  • Civics 101 - A podcast powered by listener questions focused on the basics of our democracy. In March 2018, Civics 101 kicked off its inaugural student contest. Students from around the country submitted mp3s detailing how they would cover an aspect of the U.S. government. Adia Samba-Quee, a sophomore at Springfield Renaissance School in Springfield, Massachusetts, was selected winner and worked with the Civics 101 production team on her submission, a radio drama about the Constitutional Convention. Adia’s production, Unconventional, was published on July 3, 2018.
  • Only in NH - A collaboration between the Word of Mouth program and NHPR News, this series is powered by listener questions submitted through Hearken
  • Candidate forums - NHPR regularly uses Hearken to solicit listener questions to pose to elected officials and candidates for office

2018 Election Coverage & Voter Resources

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