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Chico State

NSPR Wins National Broadcast Award for Camp Fire Reporting

Three NSPR employees sit in a news studio among radio equipment.
Jason Halley / University Photographer

North State Public reporter Marc Albert, Interim News Director Sarah Bohannon, and Radio General Manager of North State Public Radio Phillip Wilke (left to right) work on developing a program called After Paradise that is focused on impacts of the Camp Fire on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 in Chico, Calif. (Jason Halley/University Photographer/CSU Chico)

When the Camp Fire erupted in the early morning hours of November 8, 2018, local media outlets, like North State Public Radio (NSPR), immediately transformed into 24-hour information portals for Butte County and beyond. NSPR continued its tireless post-fire coverage for months, dedicating a weekly show to Camp Fire recovery.

Tuesday, the NSPR news team was recognized with a National Edward R. Murrow Award, one of broadcast journalism’s highest honors, for “After Paradise,” its locally produced weekly program.

This national recognition follows NSPR’s regional Edward R. Murrow Award for “After Paradise.” Murrow Awards demonstrate the excellence that Edward R. Murrow made standard for the broadcast news profession and are given out annually by the Radio TV Digital News Association.

“After Paradise” was honored in the Small Market Radio category, and the award will be handed out at the Radio Television Digital News Awards Gala in New York City on October 14.

The show was produced by news director Sarah Bohannon and reporter Marc Albert from late November until the six-month anniversary of the fire in May. Veteran journalist Tess Vigeland, who volunteered at NSPR during the early days of the Camp Fire, created the show and anchored it for its first three weeks when it aired daily.

“Our community turned to us and put their trust in us during this disaster,” Bohannon said. “To be recognized nationally with such a prestigious award is truly an honor.”

NSPR, the North State’s National Public Radio affiliate, is a service of California State University, Chico and is licensed to the CSU, Chico Research Foundation. The station also recently commemorated its 50th year on the air.

NSPR can be heard across Northern California on the following frequencies: KCHO 91.7 FM Chico, KFPR 88.9 FM Redding, 91.9 FM Burney, 89.7 FM Chester, 92.3 FM Dunsmuir and Mount Shasta, 100.9 FM Greenville, 99.7 FM Hayfork, 92.3 FM Oroville, 89.5 FM Weaverville and 98.3 FM Westwood. NSPR broadcasts online at