WBOC-TV wins Emmy for opioid crisis coverage

WBOC Emmy Award winners, from left: Ron Krisulevicz, Assistant News Director; Nicole Webb, News Producer; Joe Carmean, Assignment Editor; and John Dearing, News Director.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter has awarded WBOC an Emmy Award for its news special Hooked: Delmarva’s Drug Crisis.

The special aired on WBOC in October 2017.

“The WBOC News Team works hard every day,” said Craig Jahelka, President, Draper Media. “It’s our moral obligation to serve Delmarva and to tell all of the stories — the good and the bad.  We’re humbled to be recognized for our journalism and we’re honored to receive this award.”

Jahelka says the local chapter of NATAS comprises stations in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C.

“We’re competing with stations in the larger TV markets in our area like Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Richmond, so it’s truly an accomplishment. But let’s not forget about the seriousness of the topic,” Jahelka said.

“The opioid epidemic is rampant in the United States and especially prevalent on Delmarva,” said John Dearing, WBOC News Director. “The families who told their tragic stories are to be commended. It’s a difficult topic to discuss, but we’re pleased they were willing to share.”

Dearing said the WBOC News team took approximately six months to plan and produce the special.

“We interviewed families who have lost members to heroin addiction as well as people who were currently using,” said Dearing. “We talked to people all over the peninsula from all different walks of life. This is a problem that affects everyone.”

WBOC aired a follow-up special in April 2018 to revisit the families with an update six months later. Dearing said WBOC plans to revisit the topic as needed because opioid use is an ongoing issue.

“We want to do our part to bring light to this serious problem,” said Dearing. “The more people talk about it, the more we can work together to help those affected.”

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