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WOUB’s Our Ohio 2021 High School Documentary Film Project is a NETA Public Media Awards Finalist

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ATHENS, OH – WOUB’s Our Ohio 2021 high school documentary film project is a finalist in the National Educational Telecommunications Association’s (NETA) 53rd Annual Public Media Awards (PMAs). Each year, the Public Media Awards celebrate NETA members’ finest work in community engagement, content, education, and marketing/communications. WOUB’s project is a finalist in the Learning Events category along with five others.

“We are thrilled to be a finalist,” said WOUB Educational Services Manager Deborah Brewer. “This project has been a wonderful and unique opportunity for students and teachers in the region to explore media, personal identity and culture in the classroom.”

In the fall of 2020, WOUB was selected to receive an “Our America: Documentary in Dialogue” grant from American Documentary | POV, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The grant supported activities around the documentary Portraits and Dreams which included virtual screening events with local high school students and their teachers and allowed students to create their own short films.

The film Portraits and Dreams helped the students think about Appalachian stigma and cultural pride. It revisits photographs created by Kentucky schoolchildren in the 1970s and the place where the photos were made. The film is about the students, their work as visionary photographers and the lives they have led since then, as well as the linkage of personal memory to the passage of time. The film is directed by Wendy Ewald and Elizabeth Barret.

WOUB worked virtually with students in English, journalism and multimedia classes at Logan High School, South Gallia High School and Meigs High School during the 2020-21 academic year. Former WOUB Producer/Director Evan Shaw conducted storytelling workshops throughout the school year to help the students identify aspects of themselves and their community they wanted to share with the rest of the region, state, and nation. The end-result was 15 short-films that showcase the communities from the perspective of local high school students.

“Media can be very powerful tool and through this project the students learned how they can use it to tell their own personal story and the story of the Appalachian region,” said WOUB Community Engagement Manager Cheri Russo. “We are very proud of these students and this project.”

During the 2021-22 academic year, WOUB is doing the project again and working with students at Logan High School, South Gallia High School, Alexander High School, Wellston High School and Meigs High School.

“Teachers have been interested in the project because it brings authentic learning to their classroom which is very motivating for students,” said Brewer. “We are excited to see the work from this year’s students and where this project leads us in the future.”

Award winners will be announced during the 53rd Annual Public Media Awards Gala on January 25, 2022.


About NETA

The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) is a professional association representing 279 member stations in 47 states, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. NETA provides leadership, general audience content, educational services, professional development and trusted financial management services, including human resources and benefits administration, to individual public media licensees, their affinity groups and public media as a whole.