KVLU’s “Bayoulands” series recognized with Excellence in Media Achievement Award

On Feb.2, Shannon Harris, development director for KVLU Public Radio, made the four-hour trip to Austin, Texas, to accept the Excellence in Media Achievement Award presented by the Texas Historical Commission for KVLU’s radio documentary series “Bayoulands,” a series which tells the stories of the people and places of Southeast Texas.

The Texas Historical Commission is the state agency for historic preservation and their mission is to save the real places that tell the real stories of Texas. Each year, the THC recognizes and awards areas of the state that contribute to the preservation of Texas’ heritage. One of those recognitions is the Award of Excellence in Media Achievement. Only one winner is chosen each year and the winner for 2022 was KVLU Public Radio.

Harris, who is a co-host of “Bayoulands,” said she is very honored that they were presented with the award.

“That’s a huge accomplishment,” she said. “The award is for the ‘Bayoulands’ project as a whole and for our commitment to tell the stories of the people and places of Southeast Texas. To be recognized on the state level means a lot.”

bayoulands-2023.jpg Jason Miller, production director of KVLU and co-host alongside Harris, added that he thinks that this award “just shows legitimacy to the program.”

The “Bayoulands” series debuted in 2016 following a grant received from the H.H. & Edna Houseman Charitable Trust and has since released an episode on every fourth Sunday of the month along with “Bayoulands TALKS,” a companion podcast. Currently, the series is about to finish its sixth season and season seven is set to premiere in April.

Receiving its name from all of the waterways and bayous that connect all of Southeast Texas, “Bayoulands” aims to tell the untold or incomplete stories of the places and individuals of the area.

“It’s really the stories that connect us all,” said Harris. “That’s what makes Southeast Texas unique and it’s own special place. I think that this corner of Texas is a forgotten place, but there is so much more to Southeast Texas once you peel back the layers. ‘Bayoulands’ is all about learning about what makes Southeast Texas special and unique.”

Over the first six seasons, Harris and Miller have told many stories that previously were never fully told. From stories involving Cajun heritage and Japanese settlement to the Hispanic community, Southeast Texas is full of culture and stories to be told and “Bayoulands” is the show to learn all about it.

“Bayoulands” can be heard on every fourth Sunday of the month at 5 p.m. on 91.3FM, and “Bayoulands TALKS” can be streamed on the NPRone app, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all other podcast platforms.

To learn more about KVLU Public Radio, visit lamar.edu/kvlu