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Inside NHPR

NHPR wins international recognition for “One Couple's Story of Isolation and Love in a Nursing Home” a pandemic love story

New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Pandemic Diaries: One Couple's Story of Isolation and Love in a Nursing Home” was one of the 2021 winners in the prestigious Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition.

Every year The Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation awards (nicknamed the "Oscars of Radio") recognizes groundbreaking and influential documentary work in the audio storytelling industry. A panel of 20 judges – writers, journalists, producers, sound artists and other experts in the field – recently announced the finalists and winners, including the NHPR production as well as 10 other documentary projects from around the globe.

“Now in its 21st year, we see our annual competition as a living archive of work that adapts, responds to, and reflects changes in the field and in our world,” event organizers wrote on the Third Coast website. “Each year, the cohort of winners represents an exciting revision to this living body of work.”

The NHPR team behind the award-winning Pandemic Diaries is made up of Reporter/Producer Lauren Chooljian, Producer Jason Moon, and Editor Dan Barrick.

The NHPR series is an innovative response to the reporting challenges and rich stories unique to the coronavirus pandemic. The approach calls on the subjects of stories to record their thoughts and conversations as a way to “share how daily life has been interrupted in big and small ways.”

“One Couple’s Story...” shares the extreme isolation experienced by New Hampshire residents Peter Miller and his wife, Dotty Miller, as they navigate life with Peter in a nursing home and Dotty in the home they shared for two decades, no longer allowed to continue her every-day visits. The podcast alternates between Peter reading his diary entries aloud and Dotty reflecting on her life as she moves around her daily life at home. The two manage to rendezvous when Peter goes to an outside doctor’s appointment and Dotty is finally allowed to see him.