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VOA Reporters Rake in AP Awards

From left to right: Amy Katz, Steve Baragona, Kane Farabaugh, and Carolyn Presutti attend the Chesapeake AP awards banquet.
A documentary on the historic drought in the Midwest, a compelling feature story about the Haitian amputee soccer team, and up-close footage of last May's NATO Summit protests that turned violent were winning entries for VOA last weekend at the Chesapeake AP Broadcasting Association’s annual awards ceremony.

“The outstanding results over the weekend confirm what I already knew – that VOA journalists are great reporters and storytellers,” said VOA Director David Ensor. “I congratulate the award winners and everyone else who played a part in their successes.”

Correspondent Carolyn Presutti and photographer Michael Burke’s feature story on the Haitian Tarantulas, a soccer team with many players who lost limbs in the 2010 earthquake, brought home the top prize for the Sports Features award. “The team’s name is The Tarantulas because tarantulas can lose a limb and still be completely functional,” Presutti said. Judges praised the duo for their “first-class writing, and video that furthered the narrative.”

VOA Midwest Correspondent Kane Farabaugh received the Outstanding Video Journalist/One-Man Band award for his footage on the clashes in Chicago during the 2012 NATO Summit. Farabaugh found himself trapped between lines of heavily armed police and the increasingly aggressive protesters, and he was able to capture the growing tension between both sides.

Farabaugh and Burke were also honored for their work on the VOA documentary, A Dry Season, which followed the impact of the historic drought that withered crops across the nation’s midsection last year. The documentary wove together reports from Farabaugh and Steve Baragona, VOA’s Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Correspondent, and examined how farming will adapt to an increasingly warming planet. Executive Producer Amy Katz and Videographer Adam Greenbaum were also part of the award-winning production.