WILL-AM and reporting partners win AP Awards

March 12, 2015
Scene from Wisconsin farm.

Wisconsin farm

Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

An investigative series by two Illinois Public Media News reporting partners about 2014 Farm Bill lobbying won the award for Best Investigative Report in the downstate radio division of the Associated Press Broadcasters Association Contest.

The months-long investigation by Harvest Public Media and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that the nation’s food and fuel policy was besieged by an army of lobbyists representing interests of all kinds. Their three-part series aired on WILL Radio last July.

Former IPM reporter Sean Powers, now a producer at Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta, was named Best Reporter in the downstate radio division for his WILL Radio reports including a series on mental health; a feature about a chef camp to support small, sustainable farms; and his coverage of Champaign County’s move to offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The awards will be presented at the Illinois News Broadcasters Association convention on April 25 in Normal, Ill.

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is an independent online newsroom that focuses on agribusiness. Harvest Public Media, based in Kansas City, is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field.

Listen to and read the Farm Bill lobbying series:

Growing influence: Lobbyists of all kinds flock to farm bill

Out of the public eye: A bitter farm bill fight

Crop insurance programs subject of intense farm bill lobbying