On September 23, 2016, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) announced KUMD’s Lisa Johnson as the winner in the Journalism Award Program for Excellence in Reporting on Suicide in the state of Minnesota.
The top two winners for mental health and suicide were selected from more than a dozen submissions received from around the state covering print, radio, and television media. Judges from around the world reviewed and scored the submissions.
“This is a significant state-wide award and accomplishment for both KUMD and Lisa Johnson, highlighting the impact and importance of locally produced community radio, “said KUMD 103.3 FM Station Manager Vicki Jacoba. “As an educator at heart, Lisa has an ability to really connect with her interviewees and this award is a testament to that,” Jacoba continues.
The winning entry for this award was Don't Believe Everything You Think: Talking about Suicide, which Johnson initiated and produced as part of KUMD’s two Mental Health Weeks. The two special weeks on mental health covered various topics, attempting to educate and reduce stigma around the illness. The first mental health week on KUMD was entitled Change Your Mind: Living with Mental Illness. In addition to the two series, KUMD partnered with Miller-Dwan Foundation, St. Lukes Foundation and Human Development Center to air numerous public service announcements throughout the year, educating its listeners about depression, suicide and other issues related to mental illness.
Johnson has been the voice of KUMD’s Northland Morning as the host and producer, the job title she has held since 1991. During her 25 years with KUMD, Johnson has had a major impact on the success of the station. Through her reporting she has connected the community with important information on local issues and created a greater understanding of the community, preservation of the arts and our environment.
This past July Johnson also received the 2016 Broadcaster of the Year Award from the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (Ampers).