An audio documentary produced by The Breaker and aired on Hope FM about the experiences of those who host Ukrainian refugees has won a prestigious national award.
The Hosts, a compelling narrative of five UK nationals who opened their doors to refugees soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, won the gold for News, Journalism & Factual Storytelling at the 2023 Community Radio Awards ceremony in Newcastle.
“This entry is delivered with passion, emotion, and verve,” the judges said in their award commendation, praising The Hosts for “excellent storytelling with beautiful special effects and sublime editing”.
The Hosts weaves together the stories of Kelly, Owen, Carol, Judy, and Helen, who, against a backdrop of parochial political narratives and criticisms of selective empathy, chose to take affirmative action during a time of crisis. It delves into their motivations, exploring what compelled them to welcome perfect strangers into their homes.
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to the people whose stories we tell,” said Affiong Bassey, the presenter and lead reporter of The Hosts. “The many months of interviewing and re-interviewing that it took us to put this production together would not have happened but for the patience of the hosts and the refugees, and also the experts.”
The Hosts was co-created by a student and staff team from The Breaker. Reported across 10 months by Affiong Bassey (MA Multimedia Journalism, 2022-23), with Charlotte Albutt (formerly of BUzz, now at Worcester News), Aman Singh Gandhi and Delya Apsari, it first aired on 90.1 Hope FM radio on 24 February 2023, the first anniversary of the Ukraine invasion.
The documentary drew from a rich tapestry of research knowledge, incorporating insights from scholarship on representation, peace journalism, solution-oriented reporting, and crisis journalism. It was produced by Breaker editorial mentors, Chindu Sreedharan and Jason Hallet.
Hallett said: “The Hosts is the story of the remarkable resilience and compassion of ordinary people facing an extraordinary situation. It was a privilege to be part of that story and work with a talented group of journalists.”
The Hosts was judged by a panel of radio journalists, academics, and professionals from the non-profit sector.
Visit The Host web site