Monday, June 29, 2009

Death's Footprint wins two national awards
2 below zero, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit dedicated to producing thought-provoking radio documentaries, received the 2009 Radio Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) Edward R. Murrow Award for its documentary “Death’s Footprint.” It also won the Public Radio News Directors Inc.’s top honors. RTNDA announced the award today. The PRNDI award was announced earlier in June.

Produced by 2 below zero founders Diane Richard and Todd Melby, Death’s Footprint explores the environmental impact of conventional death care practices. It highlights topics such as the workplace hazards of formaldehyde used in embalming, mercury and carbon emissions from crematoria, cemetery land-use issues, green burial practices and a new method of body disposal called Resomation. The 28-minute documentary features a wide range of Chicagoans, including an embalmer, an undertaker, a Roman Catholic cemeterian, and a woman who wants to have her body composted by worms.

Commissioned by Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ 91.5 FM), the documentary was part of the 2008 Chicago Matters “Growing Forward” series. It originally aired on Chicago Public Radio in December 2008. It has also aired on KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis.

About 2 below zero: Founded by independent producers Diane Richard and Todd Melby, 2 below zero is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit dedicated to producing radio documentaries that start the conversation. The group’s mission is to produce media that delve into human curiosities, inventions, taboos, wonders. To ask questions that are difficult to answer—and whose answers can be uncomfortable, albeit compelling, to hear. To turn over rocks, probe tender spots and expose the private impact of public policy. To find delight and insight in surprising places. And to illuminate in some small way the unseen, unheard and rarely felt textures and rhythms of daily life.

Learn more about 2 below zero here.

The audio is here.