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NASW announces 2015 Media Award winners

Recipients include Oprah Winfrey Network’s Lisa Ling and Economist columnist Robert Reich

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) today announced winners of the 2015 NASW Media Awards. The recipients are documentary filmmakers, television producers, bloggers, newspaper reporters, columnists and other media professionals who helped educate the public about issues important to the social work profession or highlighted the important contributions social workers make in society.

This year’s winners include television journalist Lisa Ling, former Labor Secretary and columnist Robert Reich, actress Rosie O’Donnell, and The New Social Worker Magazine.

“This year’s media award winners expertly portrayed diverse and complex social issues that social workers address and shared with the public the many ways social workers help their clients overcome life’s challenges and succeed,” NASW CEO, Angelo McClain, Ph.D., LICSW said. “We congratulate the media award winners and know they will continue to do their great work that puts a spotlight on the social work profession.”

Both social worker professionals and the public nominated this year’s newspaper articles, newspaper columns, magazines and/or magazine stories, websites, blogs, radio segments, television news programs, fictional television programs, reality television programs, commercial films and documentaries for the NASW awards program.

About a thousand voters visited the website - an award-winning NASW website that lets social workers follow and influence how they are portrayed in the media- to cast their votes for the 46 nominees.

The winners are:

Best TV News Program

Our America With Lisa Ling: Children of the System

“Our America with Lisa Ling: Children of the System” on the Oprah Winfrey Network looked at the child welfare and foster care system in Los Angeles and how social workers often must make hard decisions on whether to remove children from homes.

Best Blog

Utah Social worker Julie de Azevedo Hanks’s blog is used to highlight her work in the media, offer tools for therapists building a private practice, and provide expert mental health and relationships advice to the public.

Best Column

Valuable Workers to Society Are Underpaid

In his blog former labor secretary, economist and political commentator Professor Reich regularly extols the virtues of social workers. Reich’s blog is also published by the Christian Science Monitor.

Best Documentary/Film

Finding Jenn’s Voice

This documentary from social worker Tracy Schott, MSW, looks at domestic violence and how women who are pregnant may be especially vulnerable to violence and murder at the hand of their partners.

Best Magazine Article

Is the MSW the New MBA

Fast Company “Is the MSW the New MBA” by Christine Bader looks at how a master’s in social work degree can be an asset in the corporate world, especially among companies that are seeking to integrate more with the communities they serve.

Best Print Article

The Surprising Obamacare Experiment That Saved Taxpayers $24 Million Last Year

The Washington Post’s Danielle Paquette ran an interesting piece on “The Surprising Obamacare Experiment that Saved Taxpayers $24 Million Last Year” about how health care is more than just medicine. It mentions the role of social workers and others in this integrated, coordinated team approach.

Best Radio

Right Turn Radio

Right Turn Radio on WRKO 680 AM in Boston is a radio program hosted by social workers that covers a variety of mental health and social issues, including the state of mental health care in the United States, a woman who slipped back into alcoholism after the birth of her child, and an opiate addiction epidemic in Vermont.

Best TV Entertainment

Rosie O’Donnell

Rosie O’Donnell as adoption and foster care social worker Rita Hendricks in ABC Family’s “The Fosters.”

Best Trade Press

The New Social Worker Magazine

The New Social Worker Magazine website. Linda Grobman and the New Social Worker Magazine social workers better understand social work practice. The magazine does this by providing articles from social workers that intend to help improve their skills and practice through lessons learned.

Lifeline Media Award Winners:

Lifelines: Stories from the Human Safety Net was a 2014 media project of the University of Maryland Journalism Center on Children and Families (JCCF) that is supported by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The project allowed professional journalists to use various media – video, cartoons, news articles and audio – to tell stories of how social workers help people from various walks of life and from different parts of the United States to overcome life’s challenges.

The Lifelines Media Award Winner is: Gay and Gray: Supporting LGBT Seniors

Gay and Gray: Supporting LGBT Seniors: This visual slide show and print article from reporter Audrey Quinn looks at how social worker Bill Mendez helps elderly LGBT people in New York City. Many of these clients are growing old alone and may not be accepted in centers that serve primarily heterosexual elderly clients.

Learn more about the awards at NASW’s website

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The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 130,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.