The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) honored Capitol Broadcasting Company with the coveted Service to Community Award at its annual Celebration of Service to America gala in Washington, DC on June 20, 2017. The award recognized WRAL’s unprecedented multi-platform community event, “Black and Blue” focused on the increasing violence between the African American community and law enforcement.
The ambush-style killings of five Dallas police officers on July 7, 2016 ignited a conversation at WRAL-TV about how the station could respond, as tensions increased between police and the African-American community nationwide. After conversations with local leaders, WRAL began work on a documentary focused on shootings of black men in North Carolina, and the relationship between police departments and African American communities in Raleigh, Durham, and Fayetteville, NC.
The WRAL Documentary, “Black and Blue,” was the first part of a two-hour community conversation on TV, web and social media. The documentary was simulcast on Capitol Broadcasting’s television stations and OTT channels. The exclusive online forum that followed, “Beyond Black and Blue,” was a critical conversation with law enforcement, faith leaders, and members of the black community. “Beyond Black and Blue” was live-streamed immediately following the premiere of the documentary and supported by additional station-produced online content.
The NABEF honors five broadcasters each year for their outstanding public service commitment. This is the second time in the past three years that Capitol Broadcasting has been honored with this award.
You can watch the full documentary and the online forum on demand at wraldocumentary.com, along with exclusive, bonus digital content.
Thanks to WRAL-TV for the above capcom story & graphic.
Several WRAL-TV staffers made the trip to Washington, DC to accept the award on behalf of the station. Here are comments from a few WRAL attendees about their experience and the impact of both the project and the award:
WRAL-TV News Producer Miriam Melvin
“WRAL is known for tackling difficult subjects and I am grateful that we didn’t shy away from this very important issue. Numerous deadly shootings across the nation and here at home threaten to poison the relationship between the police and the African-American community. We may not have the solution to the problem but we do have a responsibility to help reverse the course if possible. ‘Black and Blue’ and ‘Beyond Black and Blue’ were deeply personal for me because as the mother of three sons I am concerned about the public/police perception of young African-American males. I believe our programs provide a great starting point for dialogue but there truly is much more work to be done.”
WRAL-TV Documentary Producer Clay Johnson
“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by the top national organization in our industry. It would not have happened without WRAL’s dedication and the courage of its convictions needed to tackle controversial and difficult issues. Rather than simply report on those issues WRAL is committed to digging deeper into their roots, giving voice to those most affected and encouraging the kind of community dialogue that becomes the catalyst for positive change. ‘Black and Blue’ and ‘Beyond Black and Blue’ are great examples of that and I am so proud to have played a role. As for the event itself, it was both humbling and magical. I appreciate getting the opportunity to attend. And on a side note I never thought in a million years I’d be at an awards ceremony with Jon Bon Jovi.”
WRAL-TV Reporter Candace Sweat posted on social media immediately following the ceremony:
“Perhaps one of the proudest moments of my career. Incredibly thankful to have been a part of this project. Last night our team received the NABEF Service to community Award for our work on the WRAL documentary ‘Black & Blue’ and post documentary production ‘Beyond Black & Blue’.”
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Candace Sweat, Wendy Gatlin, Jay Jennings, Miriam Melvin, Clay Johnson & Lena Tillett for these capcom photos and for the capcom video from the awards ceremony.