PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A Look Back at WGCU's Award-Winning Reporting of 2017

Rachel Iacovone
WGCU's 2017 AP awards

For Southwest Florida, 2017 was a year dramatically punctuated by the September arrival of Hurricane Irma.


It was an extreme storm, which dominated the news in the weeks leading up to and the months that followed landfall. And, WGCU’s coverage of that storm garnered a number of awards.


But, the storm wasn’t the only thing that made news last year. Protests over confederate monuments, immigration bans from the Trump administration, toxic waste being dumped in local neighborhoods — all of these stories — and more were reported on by WGCU, and together, the news team brought home nine Associated Press awards and five Edward R. Murrow awards, including the Florida Associated Press’ Radio Station of the Year.


In light of that, Gulf Coast Live is spending the hour taking a look back at the award winners:


Regional Edward R. Murrow in Hard News and Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Award for General Assignment 

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.