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Civics 101 wins a 2022 ABA Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts

NHPR’s Civics 101 podcast has been honored with the American Bar Association‘s Silver Gavel Award for outstanding work that increases the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system. The Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts are the ABA’s highest honor in recognition of this type of work, and Civics 101 is the sole winner in the radio category this year.

The winning entry is a series of ten Civics 101episodes about Supreme Court decisionsconcerning civil rights and the right to privacy. The award honors hosts and producers Nick Capodice, and Hannah McCarthy; producer Jacqui Fulton, and the show’s former executive producer Erika Janik.

Civics 101 is NHPR’s podcast refresher course on the basics of how American democracy works at its best, and how each of us can participate in making it stronger. In the five years since its launch, Civics 101 has produced more than 250 episodes that have been downloaded nearly 16 million times by listeners across all 50 states and in 210 countries. Working with a nationwide network of teachers, the Civics 101 team produces curricular material with each weekly episode that is used in hundreds of classrooms.

NHPR regularly produces hour-long Civics 101 specials for broadcast on public radio stations. More than 29 stations across the country have broadcast radio versions of the Supreme Court episodes honored with the ABA Silver Gavel Award.

Jim Schachter, New Hampshire Public Radio's president and chief executive officer, said, “This is a perilous time for the American Experiment, and the need for greater understanding of how our system works - among both youth and adults - is clear if our democracy is to remain viable. We are proud that Civics 101 has been recognized by the American Bar Association with its Silver Gavel Award, because the work of civics education and civic engagement is so vital.”

Hannah McCarthy first came to NHPR as an intern in 2015, returned as a Fellow the following year and then bounced around as a reporter and producer before landing as co-host of Civics 101. She has reported on everything from the opioid epidemic to State House politics to haunted woods of New Hampshire.

Nick Capodice has been the co-host and Education Outreach Producer for Civics 101 since 2018, where he creates episodes and works with teachers across the country to design lesson plans to pair with the show.

The Silver Gavel Awards are highly selective. No more than one Silver Gavel is presented in each eligible category, including books, commentary, documentaries, drama and literature, magazines, multimedia, newspapers, radio and television.

The Silver Gavel Awards have been presented each year since 1958. An 18-member ABA Standing Committee on Gavel Awards makes the award decisions.

Selection criteria include how the entry addresses the Silver Gavel Awards’ purpose and objectives; educational value of legal information; impact on, or outreach to, the public; thoroughness and accuracy in presentation of issues; creativity and originality in approach to subject matter and effectiveness of presentation; and demonstrated technical skill in the entry’s production.

Other Silver Gavel Awards in 2022 went to Believing—Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence by Anita Hill; Viking Books. “Punitive Excess”: Brennan Center for Justice; Lauren-Brooke Eisen, director, justice program; Daniel Okrent, senior fellow. My Name is Pauli Murray: Amazon; Betty West and Julie Cohen, directors; Talleah Bridges McMahon, producer; Claudia Raschke, DP; Cinque Northern, editor. “Black Legal History in Oklahoma: May 2021 Oklahoma Bar Journal”: Oklahoma Bar Association/Oklahoma Bar Journal; John Morris Williams, executive director/editor in chief; Lori Rasmussen, communications director; Melissa DeLacerda, chairperson; Lauren Rimmer, communications specialist; Carol Manning, communications director. “Un(re)solved”: Frontline; Tamara Shogaolu, creative director. “The Real Damage”: The Washington Post; Hannah Dreier, national enterprise reporter; Andrew Ba Tran, investigative data reporter. “A Promise to Ahmaud”: 48 Hours; Omar Villafranca, correspondent.

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