WFTS, a local television station of The E.W. Scripps Company, has received the 2013 Service to Community Award from the National Association of Broadcasters for its “Taking Action Against Domestic Violence” campaign.
The Tampa, Fla., station’s campaign, initiated four years ago, became the first partnership of its kind between a media organization and a state domestic violence coalition.
Each year, for six weeks, WFTS produces news stories, airs public service announcements and sponsors a commercial-free primetime special – all focused on educating the public about domestic violence and breaking the cycle of violence. The news programs offer resources for education, including a statewide hotline number, and encourage donations to domestic violence centers.
This year, WFTS, an ABC affiliate, also partnered with the Tampa Bay Times to produce a 16-page special edition about teen dating abuse. More than 150,000 Tampa-area high school students received the publication, which also was posted online by WFTS.
"The issue of domestic violence is shrouded in silence in our society, and yet one in four women will experience some sort of abuse, either physical or emotional, in their lifetime,” said Rich Pegram, vice president and general manager of WFTS. “We see in our newscasts the horrible residue of domestic violence every day. We decided to take action to address this insidious threat to our community.”
The NAB’s Service to Community category honors radio and television broadcasters for individual campaigns, projects or programs that serve the public good or otherwise provide exemplary service to their local communities.
“The WFTS domestic violence programming embodies our company’s mission to do well by doing good,” said Rich Boehne, Scripps president and CEO. “The station is empowering others to change their lives for the better. We are honored that the NAB chose WFTS as a model in serving the community."
NAB will present its Celebration of Service to America Awards on June 3 in Washington, D.C.