HARRISONBURG, Va. (Mennonite Mission Network) — The Catholic Academy for Communications Arts Professionals has announced that the Mennonite radio spots, "Unsung: Family Voices on Mental Illness" have been awarded a 2009 Gabriel Award.
The radio spots from Third Way Media (then Mennonite Media) speak to the stigma of mental illness in society and the difficulty of family members and friends also dealing with the illness of their loved one.
The spots include a number of interviewees featured in Third Way Media's Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness television documentary, including Rosalynn Carter, Dr. Joyce Burland of National Alliance on Mental Illness, Susan Gregg-Schroeder, Stan Schroeder, Kari Broadway and Claudia Slate. The radio spots can be heard or read at www.thirdway.com/rad and are currently being aired on about 300 stations; the stations airing list can be found at the same Web page.
This is only the fifth time in the Gabriel Awards’ 44-year history that a media production by Third Way Media or its predecessor organizations has won this award. Two Gabriels were awarded to the groundbreaking Choice 2 and 10 series in 1971 and 1987, respectively, and another series, “Stopping the Nuclear Clock” won a Gabriel in1983. In 1997, one radio spot in the “Stop the Violence” series received a Gabriel.
The judges wrote that the spots "address a very important subject in our society that many people do not want to talk about, concerned what others may think or say. In a series of very effective, well-written spots, listeners get an understanding of the illness, its prevelance in our society and the important role family and friends can have in support of those who are struggling each day. The first person reports made this a powerful series, one worthy of Gabriel recognition."
Earlier this year, the "Unsung" radio spots also received a Gracie Award from the American Women in Radio and Television organization.
The spots were scripted and produced by Melodie Davis, directed by Burton Buller, with engineering done by Robbie Meadows of Alive Studios in Harrisonburg and managed by Dorothy Hartman. Narrators were Barbra Graber and Chris Kratz.
Because of the recession, the academy also announced that there will be no actual ceremony or awards banquet this year, normally held in October.
The Gabriel Awards, established in 1965, recognize “Outstanding artistic achievement in a television or radio program or series which entertains and enriches with a true vision of humanity and a true vision of life,” according to a release from Gabriel. Other 2009 award winners can be found at www.gabrielawards.com.
The spots were funded in part by a grant from Odyssey Networks and Third Way Media, which has been an Anabaptist/Mennonite voice in the public media since 1951 and is a department of Mennonite Mission Network, the mission agency of Mennonite Church USA.