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WUNC’s Leoneda Inge Named 2017 NABJ Journalist of Distinction

Leoneda Inge

Washington, DC – Veteran journalist Leoneda Inge has been selected by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) as the recipient of its second Journalist of Distinction Award recognizing a journalist in a small or medium-sized market. Inge is a long-time reporter at PBS powerhouse, WUNC North Carolina Public Radio, in Durham, North Carolina.

The award goes to journalists who provide “breadth and depth in coverage of a topic or topics of significance to people in the African diaspora,” according to NABJ.

“Leoneda Inge is an exceptional journalist who has created insightful, award-winning stories that examine the American experience in all its constructs. She is committed to storytelling that reflects the issues and inspirations in the black community,” NABJ President Sarah Glover said. “Her work is not only credible, but also sensitive and and compelling. She brings the audience into the story and engages them with an approach that educates and enlightens.”

Inge is WUNC’s “race and southern culture reporter.” She is the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position, created to explore modern and historical constructs to tell stories of poverty and wealth, health and food culture, education and racial identity.

Inge’s most recent work includes the series, “Perils and Promise,” an in-depth series focused on the challenges of rural education in Vance County, North Carolina, and a series on what area community leaders and residents are doing to balance “peace and pride” in their neighborhoods. Inge has also produced reports on “Organic Tobacco” and “Rebuilding Slave Cabins,” and she traveled to Tokyo, Japan to track the importance of North Carolina’s pork industry.

She received her Master’s degree from Columbia University, where she was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics. In 2014, Inge traveled to Berlin, Brussels and Prague as a German/American Journalist Exchange Fellow with the RIAS Berlin Commission/RTDNF.

WUNC North Carolina Public Radio Managing Editor Dave DeWitt praised Inge’s work. “Leoneda truly enlightened and educated our audience on a variety of historical and pressing stories throughout the year,” he said.

“The station created a new position – Race and Southern Culture reporter – to fully take advantage of Leoneda’s talents and experience covering issues of inequality, race, police/community relations, and other topics.”

Earning numerous journalistic honors over the years, Inge is the recipient of three Gracie Awards from the Alliance for Women in Media and several awards from the Associated Press, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and a number of National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Awards. In 2006, she and a team of WUNC journalists won an Alfred I. DuPont Award from Columbia University for the series “North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty.”

“Leoneda is a committed storyteller, and respects the craft of journalism, and non-fiction storytelling. She’s shared stories of those whose voices we don’t hear often. She also shares her love of her craft with young journalists,” said Brett Chambers, president of the Triangle Association of Black Journalists.

Inge will be honored during NABJ’s Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans, Louisiana that takes place Aug. 9-13, 2017.


About the National Association of Black Journalists: An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information, please visit


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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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