2020-2021 WAER Syracuse Press Club Awards

Each year the Syracuse Press Club presents awards to the best in Radio, Print, Photography, Television, and more. This year WAER is honored with awards in Spot News, News Feature, Human Interest Feature, along with other categories. Here are the stories receiving recognition this year.

With $1 million earmarked for capacity building among black led non-profits in Syracuse, a local foundation now waits to assess the impact of its grant-making.  In this episode of City Limits Winds of Change, we examine how first round grant recipients of the Central New York Community Foundation’s Black Equity and Excellence fund are using their awards to strengthen their operations adapt to the challenges caused by the global pandemic.

The echoes of protests, marches and rallies have gone quiet in Syracuse.  But one issue a the center of the uproar, police conduct against people of color, has not.  The killing of George Floyd sparked public outcry but numerous issues of police reform have been in the works for years.  What was gained from the movement against policing seen as racist?  On this episode of City Limits Winds of Change Chris Bolt looks at the progress being made and whether it's enough for those feeling racial injustice.

James Corrigan/WAER News

Race relations became a top issue on the minds of many around Central New York with local protests after the killing of George Floyd and police treatment of people of color.  In WAER’s Your Election Blueprint project, it was among the top interests of people heading into the election.  

“I'm like scared of here," said Deneka Delee.  "I have to watch my back and I wish all the shooting and and all this (stuff) has to stop. We have kids.”

You don't have to listen hard to hear their voices; You don't have to look hard to see their struggle

Chris Bolt / WAER News

The covid-19 pandemic has upended many aspects of our community, and childcare schedules and norms are one of them. Providers are struggling to stay afloat while parents are trying to figure out when and what kind of childcare is the safest, best option.

City of Syracuse

The inaugural Syracuse Surge Summit this week brought entrepreneurs, local officials, and community stakeholders into one virtual space to discuss the work that’s been done on the Surge project. The featured speakers and panelists focused on their promise of an equitable, technology economy.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse University freshman are starting their college careers in much the same way they ended high school not long ago…in a very strange way due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Students have begun moving in to on-campus dorms with a mix of excitement and caution.

WAER File Photo


Downtown Syracuse streets remained mostly quiet throught the evening after the large Black Lives Matter protest crowd dispersed in the late afternoon.  Syracuse Police sent out a message through social media confirming protests had stayed peaceful.

Hemp growers are deciding right now how much hemp crops to plant with the unknowns of when they will be able to farm and when processors will be able to start, again.  As part of City Limits Food For Thought podcast series, John Smith reports the industry appeared to be gaining state support before the COVID-19 virus hit but, was also dealing with unknowns at the federal level.  

Many parts of society have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and education has not been spared. Schools faced closures, then ascrambled to find ways to teach remotely. This followed by uncertainty about letting students back into classrooms.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The dangers E-cigarettes pose to young people are not fully known.  But deaths and hospital visits due to vaping are raising concerns among parents and health experts, even as e-cigarette usage grows among younger and younger children.  Now a health program at Cornell University has new way to open the eyes of youth to the potential dangers.