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U.S. House Speaker McCarthy removed in historic vote

Radio pioneers


Albany, NY – Stories of the enterprising adventurer Nellie Bly did a lot for women who wanted to enter journalism - but the fact remained that until recently, media was a male-dominated field. In broadcast, women often got stuck in the role of weather girl and traffic reporter.

Thirty-three years ago, the Association of Women in Radio and Television set out to recognize outstanding achievements of women in broadcasting with the Gracie Allan Awards. The Gracies are still around, and they're unique both for their recognition of women and for a wide spectrum of categories. This year, tween idol Miley Cyrus will receive a Gracie...as will radio producer Diane Toomey for her piece called Side-Saddle weekend.

This week, we're doing things a bit differently on 51%. I'm going to play disc jockey, featuring a few of Gracie winners to show what excellent women in radio are producing. We'll start with Toomey. She spent a weekend with a group of women who choose, as they put it, to ride aside. She reported her Gracie-winning feature from the U-S Equestrian Team Headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey.

What is an audio comic strip? Susan Shepherd answers that question with 11 Central, her weekly 4-minute radio strip. Her unique writing and production style won her a Gracie this year for Oustanding Individual Achievement. Each episode takes on a different topic that Shepherd imagines that NPR Morning Edition hosts Steve Inskeep and Renee Montaigne would debate just before turning on their microphones. Since the summer wedding season is upon us, we picked the lavish wedding segment from 11 Central. Enjoy!

For every show you hear on public radio, there are several that have not been picked up for distribution. One such show, As I Am, earned a Gracie just based on its pilot episode. Journalist, author and scholar Helen Zia hosted the pilot of As I Am, which focuses on Asian Americans. Let's hear this segment from the show, an audio essay by radio producer Angela Kim. When Kim's employer American Public Media transferred Kim from her home city of Los Angeles to Minneapolis, she experienced some culture shock.

51% wraps up this week with a bit of shameless self-promotion. 2 years ago, this very show won a Gracie award for a series called Herstory, which profiled women in science, technology, engineering and math from 2600 BC until present-day. Actress Kate Mulgrew of Star Trek fame narrated the series. A new edition of Herstory will begin airing this summer on 51%, and so here is a taste of what new listeners can expect. Here is 51%'s Herstory profile of author and naturalist Beatrix Potter.