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KSMU, OPT Finalists For MBA Awards In Public Affairs, Documentary, Feature Reporting

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Ozarks Public Broadcasting

KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio and KOZK-Ozarks Public Television are finalists for three statewide awards from the Missouri Broadcasters Association, the state’s largest professional membership of radio and television stations.

The NPR-affiliate station’s Sense of Community series “Opportunities for Veterans,” a 10-part series that aired in March of 2018, is a finalist in the MBA Awards category of Documentary & Public Affairs. The series was the work of a team of KSMU producers, including Mike Smith, Randy Stewart, Michele Skalicky, Theresa Bettmann and Jennifer Moore.

The series profiled opportunities for US military veterans across the Ozarks, looking at veterans’ treatment courts, challenges of returning to civilian life, employment, social clubs, therapy for PTSD and sexual assault, and end-of-life options. The series also included profiles on a 92-year-old WWII veteran who still calls Bingo at a Springfield VFW post, a Vietnam War veteran who struggled with the imagery of war for decades, and a local workshop that encourages veterans to write their stories. You can find the series in our Sense of Community archive by clicking here.

Additionally, KSMU’s Michele Skalicky’s story “The Battles of Newtonia” featuring the poignant history of a Civil War mansion-turned-hospital near Neosho is a finalist in the Feature Reporting category of this year’s MBA awards.

Skalicky’s story brought to life the Ritchey family, who lived in the mansion until the 1880s and who witnessed the battles that took place just outside their windows.  The story is archived as part of KSMU’s local history series, Sense of Place.

And Ozarks Public Television, the PBS affiliate station for the region, is a finalist for its feature documentary, "OzarksWatch Video Magazine: A Celebration of People, Places and Tradition" in the television category of Documentary/Public Affairs/Special Programs.  The documentary told the history of the beloved OPT series, "OzarksWatch Video Magazine," which has brougth the region 20 years of interviews, excursions to iconic locations, performances from local artists, and traditions that make the Ozarks unique.

The winners in all categories for this year’s MBA awards will be announced at the organization’s annual banquet Branson on Saturday, June 8 in Branson.