Jessye Norman School, GPB Podcast “Shots in the Back” wins Edward R. Murrow Regional Award


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A podcast made through a collaboration between the Jessye Norman School of the Arts and Georgia Public Broadcasting has won a prestigious award.

This week, it was announced that “Shots in the Back: Exhuming the 1970 Augusta Riot” is a Regional winner of the 2021 Edward R. Murrow Journalism Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

The award winning podcast examines the events surrounding and leading up to the first major Civil Rights era riot to happen in the south, and discusses how this event is still relevant today.

The inciting incident behind the riot was the murder of Charles Oatman, an African American teenager that was held by police in the county jail.

The podcast is hosted by Sea Stachura, a journalist and instructor at the Jessye Norman School. It also features the voices and contributions of students who are a part of her podcasting class at the school.

“We are so proud of Sea Stachura and the students,” says JNSA Executive Director Gary Dennis. “We’re also grateful to every member of the community who contributed to this project. The riot is an important part of this community’s history, and we are excited to help keep this story alive.”

“I am honored that others see this work as valuable and inclusive,” Sea Stachura, the podcast teacher, says. “It wouldn’t be the podcast that it was without the students… Making this podcast changed my life, and it gave a voice to people who didn’t even know how their loved ones died. I’m so glad the Murrow Awards have recognized the value in it.”

“I’m very surprised by how powerful it was,” says Atticus Dillard-Wright, one of the podcast students. “It feels like something I just did with my friends, and then hundreds of thousands of people listened to it. It’s kind of incomprehensible.”

Shots in the Back’ is available on a number of podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Tunein, NPR One and Google Podcasts.

You can also find more information, plus the first episode, by clicking HERE.

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