Broadcasters Honor Virginia-Produced Public Radio Program, 'With Good Reason'

July 7, 2010 — "With Good Reason," the only statewide public radio show produced in Virginia, has just been honored with its second Virginia Association of Broadcasters' first-place award, winning in the "Best Public Affairs Programming – Public Radio Division" for 2009. 

The awards recognize the best work by commercial and public television and radio producers across the commonwealth. 

The winning entry, "The 100-Mile Thanksgiving," is a magazine-style look at efforts around Virginia to produce and consume food in a thoughtful and sustainable manner. The episode centers around a traditional Thanksgiving meal where nearly everything on the table is grown, made or brewed within 100 miles of Charlottesville. 

The dinner's host, University of Virginia urban and environmental planning professor Tim Beatley, introduced the 100-mile Thanksgiving idea to his students after reading "The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating." 

About 95 miles east, at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Reza Rafie and Chris Mullins train farmers to use greenhouse-like structures called "high tunnels" to grow
high-profit-margin berries and other exotic fruits and vegetables year-round. 

Sixty miles west, Maria Papadakis of James Madison University visits an energy-efficient turkey farm in the Shenandoah Valley to showcase ways that farmers can save money while doing their part to conserve natural resources. 

And just miles from that farm, in Centerville, Evrim Dogu and Rick Easton of SubRosa spend 24 hours every week baking in their quest to bring naturally leavened bread back to the American mainstream. They hold that bread is the staple of the Western diet and that Americans have all but forgotten this.

Earlier this spring, "With Good Reason" – produced at the U.Va.-affiliated Virginia Foundation for the Humanities – earned its second consecutive Gabriel Award, a national honor that recognizes film, television and radio programs that "affirm the dignity of human beings and recognizes and upholds universally recognized human values such as community, creativity, tolerance, justice, compassion and the dedication to excellence." 

"With Good Reason" is heard weekly on all of Virginia's public radio stations. Hosted by news veteran Sarah McConnell, the show presents engaging conversations with leading scholars at Virginia's public colleges and universities. Archive programs can be heard by podcast and online at www.withgoodreasonradio.org.