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NASW announces 2014 NASW Media Award winners

Washington, DC —The National Association of Social Workers today announced winners of the 2014 NASW Media Awards. The recipients include documentary filmmakers, television producers, bloggers, newspaper reporters, columnists and other media professionals who helped spotlight social work services and critical social issues in 2013.

“Our Social Work Month theme was ‘All People Matter’ and the winners of this year’s media award certainly reflect that,” NASW CEO, Angelo McClain, Ph.D., LICSW said. “The award recipients, through their work in print, TV, blogs and other media, demonstrated to the public some of the many ways social workers help people overcome life’s challenges and succeed.”

Social workers and the public nominated 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 awards program. More than 1,350 people visited the website - an NASW site that tracks how social workers are portrayed in the media - to cast their votes for 47 nominees.

The winners are:

Best Documentary

PBS: "The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights”
This documentary follows the career of Civil Rights leader and social work pioneer Whitney M. Young Jr., who was the former president of the National Association of Social Workers and executive director of the National Urban League. The film, by his niece Bonnie Boswell, looks at the major contributions Young made toward improving the rights of African Americans that are almost forgotten today.

Best Blog

Daily KOS (Madrigal Maniac): “Social Workers Deserve More”
This post from an Ohio social worker discussed the high stress and low salaries of the profession and argues that social workers deserve better compensation. And the expected rising demand for social workers gives members of the profession an edge to demand higher salaries.

Best Radio

WRKO AM Boston: Right Turn Radio
This talk show co-hosted by social worker Abby Dean, LICSW, MPH, attempts to put a more human face on addictions. In 2013 Right Turn Radio featured segments on how marijuana affects teens and on veterans and mental health and addiction.

Best Newspaper Article

The New York Times: “Overcoming Addiction, Professor Tackles Perils American Indians Face” by Alan Schwarz
Social work professor David Patterson is part Cherokee and faced many problems facing Native Americans such as alcoholism, addiction and depression. Schwarz reported on how, after reconnecting with his ancestry and getting counseling, Patterson recovered and devoted himself to social work and researching ways to address social and mental health issues affecting Native Americans.

Best TV Show

ABC Family: The Fosters
ABC Family: Actor Geoffrey Rivas in 2013 portrayed “Bill,” a social worker who worked with a lesbian couple who adopted and fostered children.

Best Magazine and/or Magazine Article

Parade Magazine: “A Grief That Won’t Heal” by Gretchen Reynolds
About one out of 10 people experience a form of grief so deep it does not go away and can even worsen. This is called complicated grief. Kathleen Shear, director of the Center for Complicated Grief at the Columbia School of Social Work, talked to reporter Reynolds about a therapy regime developed at the school that helps clients overcome such profound grief.

Best Column

The New York Times: “The Untold Story of Military Sexual Assault” by Michael Matthews
Matthews was raped when he was a young serviceman in the Air Force but never reported the incident. The trauma affected him, resulting in multiple suicide attempts. Matthews wrote about how a trained social worker helped him deal with the trauma and begin the journey to healing.

Best Website

Social Justice Solutions
A social worker conceived and operated organization born out of the Stony Brook School of Social Welfare’s commitment to active participation in creating a socially just world.

Best Trade Publication

Social Work Today Magazine
This magazine covers a variety of issues important to the social work profession, including articles in 2013 on the growing use of hospice care, adoption competency in clinical social work, and living with co-occurring disorders.

Best TV News Program

HBO: Real Time with Bill Maher, Episode 1108 (Transcript): Renowned social worker and economist Jared Bernstein told Maher that economists should work as social workers before proposing cuts in social support programs that could hurt the poor, children and the elderly.

See more at

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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.