"Learning to Live: James' Story" won the Edward R. Murrow Award; the Third Coast International Audio Festival Public Service Award; and the 2002 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. Judges in the latter competition called it "a tightly straightforward report that skillfully wove actuality and narration, James telling his story as only he could. It was clear, concise and remarkably comprehensive."
19 January 2009
Learning to Live - Airs Jan. 26
"Learning to Live: James' Story" is the story of an ex-felon's transition from prison to the free world. James, who narrates, is 38 and has been in and out of prison all his adult life. After completing a seven-year prison term for burglary, James comes to live at St. Leonard's halfway house for ex-offenders on Chicago's West side. Over three months, James goes through a rigorous education process that includes job training, drug counseling and twelve-step support meetings. His recovery is tested when his eighteen-year-old son, whom he hadn't seen in fourteen years, is arrested on a drug charge. After landing his "dream job" in customer service for a cable company, James leaves the halfway house having begun to "learn how to live."