WRAL-TV Local Production Nabs Telly Award

WRAL-TV Local Production Nabs Telly Award

Phyllis Parish
WRAL-TV Senior Producer

WRAL-TV Senior Producer Phyllis Parish won a silver Telly Award for her writing and producing the WRAL-TV special “Crisis in Kosovo: NC Reaches Out” this past February. The half-hour program, which originally aired in May 1999, won in the TV or Cable Information Program category. The Telly Awards are affiliated with the Center for Creativity; winners are notified in writing and the statuettes are sent via mail.

Kosovo, a part of the former Yugoslavia, became the victim of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic’s scorched earth policy as the Serbian government

attempted the stifle revolt of the Kosova Liberation Army. This war in Kosovo produced over one million refugees and internally displaced persons.

A Roma boy wounded by an Albanian extremists

A group of Roma IDP’s driven away from their home by Albanians

Parish created “Crisis in Kosovo” to show our community how to reach out and help the families devastated by the crisis. She pointed out that, “WRAL and its viewers have always had a strong commitment to ‘give back’ to our North Carolina communities and beyond.” Parish geared the program towards a general audience, and even showed ways children could help with the relief.

Life Behind Bars

A Roma camp under UKOR protection

Kosovo Roma refugees on their way to nowhere

Parish said, “I was trying to show our viewers no matter how far removed we feel from the human suffering, we can still lend a helping hand and make a difference to those in need. . . this is the kind of program I love to produce . . . a special that informs the viewers, makes them aware of a need, and then shows the viewers how to help!”

She surely succeeded, and in more than just winning an award. The program helped raise over $150,000 for the American Red Cross, Church World Service and Samaritan’s Purse to use in Kosovo. Even though the need was half way around the world from North Carolina, WRAL viewers stepped in to help meet it.

A seasoned team of WRAL staffers collaborated on this project. Anchors David Crabtree and Pam Saulsby hosted the program and contributed reports. Chief Photographer Bob Sadler served as the Post Production Editor, News Graphics Director Steve Loyd did the graphic design, and Lighting Director Tripp Culbreth set up the studio and set lighting. Photographer Joe Frieda, Senior Photographer Jay Jennings and Sadler shot the footage for the special.
Thousands of Serb & Roma homes have been set on fire after the war

Reporter Mark Roberts contributed his insights from his recent assignment in Kosovo. Prior to this production, he and Frieda had been on a ten-day assignment to cover life in several Albanian refugee camps, traveling to the Albanian capital of Tirana filing reports on the conditions under which the refugees were forced to live.

Telly Award
Founded in 1980, the Telly Awards honor non-network programming and local, regional and multi-market commercials. The awards were developed to showcase and give recognition to outstanding non-network and cable commercials and later expanded to include film and video productions. In 1999 there were over 11,000 entries in all categories of the competition. Entries do not compete against each other, but against a high standard of excellence, which makes receiving an award that much more impressive. The silver Telly is the highest Telly awarded.

WRAL won recognition for its general reporting on the crisis as well. WRAL received a Special Report First Place Award for coverage of the “Crisis in Kosovo” from the Radio and Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas Awards for 2000.


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