Best radio or audio news or interpretation of international affairs.
AWARD YEAR: 2015
AWARD NAME: 07 The Lowell Thomas Award
AWARD RECIPIENT: Molly Webster and team, in collaboration with Israel Story
AWARD RECIPIENT AFFILIATION: RadioLab/WNYC
AWARD HONORED WORK: “Birthstory”
Radio Lab’s Molly Webster and her team took a fascinating story about a gay Israeli couple on a quest to contract for a surrogate baby and turned it into a human, complex and surprising international tale of intolerance, economics and—ultimately—love. They followed the story to Turkey and Nepal, where they discovered a cottage industry of Indian surrogate mothers carrying babies conceived with East European eggs and Israeli sperm. The story showed how cultures cross-fertilize, brought together by different needs and sometimes to each others’ symbiotic benefit. It had no easy answers and challenged listeners’ assumptions about exploitation, risks and benefits of the most intimate—and ethically challenging—of industries.