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LPM's 'A Critical Moment' wins 2023 RIAS Media Prize

A graphic image has ascending and descending navy blue rectangles on the left and right side of the words "A Critical Moment."
Graphic by Mindy Fulner
When it comes to teaching about race and history, American classrooms are at a crossroads. "A Critical Moment" explores what we can learn from Germany’s post-war path.

The RIAS German-American broadcast awards is honoring LPM's news special examining how the U.S. and Germany teach children about racism and antisemitism.

Louisville Public Media's "A Critical Moment" news documentary has won the RIAS Berlin Commission's Best Radio Story Award. The German-American exchange program celebrates the best of transatlantic broadcast journalism, honoring four winners in TV, Radio and Digital Media categories submitted from across the U.S. and Germany.

"The RIAS Award is an honor," LPM News Director Rebecca Feldhaus Adams said. "It recognizes a landmark work of journalism that responded to a particular moment in time with the nuance in reporting, editing and production to make it timelessly relevant."

An LPM News documentary that examines how the U.S. and Germany teach schoolchildren about the painful parts of their histories.

In a "A Critical Moment," former LPM Arts and Culture Reporter Stephanie Wolf explores how the Holocaust is covered in German schools, while LPM Education and Learning Reporter Jess Clark looks at how racism is covered in Kentucky classrooms.

The project came to life as Republican politicians in Kentucky and many other states were trying to reign in classroom conversations on race — and that has not changed. Proposed laws on the topic continues to be debated in state legislatures.

Students attending the Grundschule am Teutoburger Platz, a primary school in Berlin, gather around Stolperstein stones on Sept. 29, 2021. The students, who are all around the age of 10, are learning about the Holocaust. These stones are memorials to victims.
Stephanie Wolf
Students attending a primary school in Berlin gather around Stolperstein stones — memorials to holocaust victims. The students, all around age 10, are learning about the Holocaust.

"A Critical Moment" is among a prestigious list of honorees. CNN's Wolf Blitzer won the grand prize for his film “Never Again” about the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Benjamin Arcioli and Hans Jakob Rausch, of ARD German TV documentary, were honored for “Ramstein, the documentary.” The fourth awardee, Patrick Stegemann, won the digital prize for the six-part podcast “Hacking Anonymous” about a group that waging a digital war against Russia.

The RIAS Berlin Commission was created after the legendary Radio in American Sector (RIAS) broadcaster went off the air in 1993. It has been operating exchange programs for more than 1,950 German and American broadcast journalists since then, with the aim of promoting transatlantic understanding in journalism and keeping alive the spirit of the Cold War-era radio and TV broadcasting network.

The commission will host a gala ceremony on June 1, in Berlin to honor to all the winners.

Listen to "A Critical Moment."

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