(Franklin, Tenn. – Jan. 9, 2011) - - - With more than 100 segments aired, Franklin’s WAKM radio station has been nominated for a 2012 George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in broadcast journalism for its series on the Civil War. The daily series honors the Sesquicentennial of the War in Williamson County.
In easy going format, WAKM’s Tom Lawrence is producing the series, which is written and narrated by historian Thomas Flagel.
“The series brings to life the people and the events of those living in Williamson County during the Battle of Franklin and the events which led up to it,” said Flagel. “It honors the everyday life in a war-filled community and it shows the impact of the decisions of the day on the outcome of the war itself.
”Flagel is an expert in the history of the Civil War in Franklin. A long-time assistant professor of history at Columbia State Community College, Flagel explains that he chose to settle in Middle Tennessee because of his interest in the history of Franklin and its part in shaping the ultimate outcome of the War.
“I teach what I have learned,” Flagel explained as he noted that many of his students have participated in the narration and the reading of actual letters and accounts from civilians and soldiers who lived in the Franklin area during the war.
Tom Lawrence of WAKM views the nomination for the Peabody Award as a career highlight, noting that he has worked in broadcasting for more than 34 years, and this is a first nomination.
“The timing was perfect,” Lawrence said. “The National Sesquicentennial Committee picked Fort Sumter as the 2011 focus, 2012 was dedicated to Shiloh and 2013 to Gettysburg, but nationally, 2013 is dedicated to the Battle of Franklin. We have just completed our 112th episode of our in-depth look at the life and times of this portion of the Civil War.”
Flagel earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, a Master of Arts in European history from Kansas State University, a Master of Arts in international relations from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and he has studied at the University of Vienna. Originally from Iowa, he has also lived in Austria and the Czech Republic. Among his ancestors are several American Civil War veterans, including a great, great, great grandfather from the 2nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
Flagel also serves on the Franklin's Charge Board of Directors, the Carter House Museum Board of Directors, the Franklin Battlefield Preservation Commission, and the Executive Committee for the Franklin Civil War Round Table.
The George Foster Peabody Award is journalism’s most prestigious award. Established and first presented in 1940, for excellence in radio broadcasting, the George Foster Peabody Awards now recognize distinguished achievement and meritorious service by broadcasters, cable and webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. Selection of the national award winners is made by the Peabody Board, a 16-member panel of distinguished academics, television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts and will be announced May 12. Some of the prior winners have included Bill Moyers, Rod Serling, Walter Cronkite, Oprah Winfrey and Christiane Amanpour.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. The Williamson County Campus has served Williamson County residents for more than 30 years, and currently serves more than 1,400 students in the various program areas of Nursing, EMT/Paramedic, Business Technology, Commercial Entertainment, and more.For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.