Iowa PBS program named Public Media Award Finalist

The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) released its list of finalists for the 2020 Public Media Awards. Iowa PBS is a finalist in the short form content category for Iowa PBS Explores: The Polio Epidemic.

The digital short investigates the polio epidemic, the communities and families it affected, and how the state worked with the nation to bring the disease under control. As the weather warmed each year, a growing fear swept the nation in the 1940s and early 50s. Public swimming pools shut down. Movie theaters urged patrons to not sit too close together. Children disappeared from neighborhoods. Even with all of these precautions, thousands of people fell ill with polio.

“This feature is so impactful in our current climate — and clearly draws a throughline from one significant disease outbreak to another,” said Iowa PBS Executive Director and General Manager Molly Phillips. “I couldn’t be more proud of the Iowa PBS team for continuing to produce relevant, educational and meaningful content as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. NETA elevates excellence in education in public television, and it’s an honor to be named alongside such incredible finalists.”

Formerly known as the NETA Awards, the Public Media Awards are an annual recognition of public broadcasting’s finest work, a tradition established in the 1960s. Each year, the awards honor public television’s best work in education, community engagement, marketing and communications, and content. NETA is a professional association representing 275 member stations in 46 states, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Public television stations compete within their appropriate divisions based on their station size. Awards are judged by a group of expert panelists within the public media system, as well as industry professionals outside of public media. The 52nd Public Media Awards ceremony will take place during the NETA Conference and CPB Thought Leader Forum being held virtually in January 2021.