Community Lifeline Award

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting created the Community Lifeline Award in 2012 to recognize public media stations that provide exemplary service to their communities during local emergencies, such as natural disasters, major industrial accidents, acts of terrorism or other urgent situations. The Community Lifeline Award spotlights the important contributions public media stations make to their local communities in times of crisis.


WUFT, Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN)

Honored for their innovative collaboration and service to the public through multiple emergencies including Hurricanes Michael, Irma and Matthew
» Press release


WNET, New York Public Radio (WNYC/NJPR)

Honored for their service to the citizens of New York and New Jersey leading up to and in the weeks following Hurricane Sandy

Award Criteria and Process

  • The public media station must have played a significant role ameliorating the risk to life and property during an emergency by providing information and updates in close coordination with government agencies and first responders.
  • Eligible circumstances include significant emergencies caused by severe weather events, such as floods, earthquakes, fires, and other natural disasters; major industrial accidents, such as chemical spills, which cause significant community impact; acts of terrorism; or other occurrences that result in widespread risk to life and property.
  • The station must have provided extensive local coverage and delivered reliable information about the emergency to inform the community or region at large.
  • The station should have collaborated with community organizations to assist citizens affected by the emergency. When possible, the station should have also used broadcast or other technologies in innovative ways, or otherwise acted to provide useful information or extraordinary assistance to those affected.
  • Station staff must have demonstrated a strong personal commitment in helping the community, such as working extensive hours, demonstrating calmness under pressure, making personal sacrifice and/or exhibiting personal valor.
  • Stations must be eligible for CPB’s Community Service Grant program and must be nominated within one year of the emergency situation and the station’s action. They may be nominated by their local communities, individuals, station personnel, or by CPB. Nominations may be submitted at any time and should include a written narrative that describes the station's contributions, as well as station endorsements from community leaders (e.g., government representatives, emergency responders, citizen assistance organizations, etc.).