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Contact:  Barbara Hamm Lee, 757.889.9437


Code Switching earns Salute to Excellence Award from NABJ

NORFOLK:  On Saturday, August 6, 2011, WHRO received the award for Best Documentary, Market Size 16 and Above for its 2010 production, Code Switching.  The award was presented to WHRO producer Lisa Godley by the National Association of Black Journalists, at its 36th annual convention in Philadelphia. 

The annual competition honors work from print, television, radio, online, photojournalism, and public relations. The WHRO documentary was honored for its critical look at the practice of code-switching – intentionally transitioning from an informal speech pattern to a more formal type of speech.
Code Switching also revealed how the inability to code-switch can impact where you work and what you earn, and addressed the pitfalls of only being able to speak informally in a society that expects formal speech in certain environments.

“The idea for Code Switching came to WHRO from Robert Nusbaum, a local attorney,” said Barbara Hamm Lee, who served as Executive Producer for the documentary.  “Mr. Nusbaum was instrumental in helping us secure additional needed funding as well, with a generous gift from the Clark-Janis Foundation.”

 “Bob is passionate about effective communication, and it was important to him – and to us at WHRO – that this topic be addressed with sensitivity and accuracy,” said Godley.  “We were very pleased to receive this award, and are even more honored that area school systems have requested copies to use in their classrooms.”  The University of Southern California is also using the documentary as a teaching resource.

“WHRO is extremely proud of this excellent documentary and the impact it continues to have,” said Bert Schmidt, President and Chief Executive Officer of WHRO. 

About NABJ
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C. NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.

About WHRO
WHRO is a regional media company that promotes education, culture and citizenship to the citizens of Hampton Roads, Virginia through a variety of services.  Every day, thousands of viewers and listeners tune in to broadcast programming on WHRO’s four public television and eight public radio stations.  Since its founding in 1961 to support education, WHRO has employed creativity and technology to serve its mission to enrich audiences through content that educates, entertains and promotes understanding. Owned by 18 local school divisions, WHRO delivers educational and new media services to 286,000 students and 25,000 educators per month as well.