Pubcasters pick up 32 national Murrow Awards

Public broadcasting outlets and nonprofit news organizations took 32 of the 98 national Edward R. Murrow Awards presented this year by the Radio Television Digital News Association to recognize the best in electronic journalism. 
Chicago’s WBEZ and the Texas Tribune stood out among the field of public media winners announced June 11, taking top honors for overall excellence among  large-market radio stations and small online news organizations, respectively. KNAU in Flagstaff, Ariz., which like other local pubcasters rose to the national Murrows through RTDNA’s regional competitions, received three trophies in the division for small-market radio stations. It was the only public radio station to receive multiple trophies in divisions for local broadcasters. NPR and New York’s WNYC topped two or more categories in the network radio and television division. 
The majority of pubcasting winners were local radio stations, and pubcasters took national Murrows in the small- and large-market divisions in multiple radio categories — investigative reporting, news documentary, news series, best writing and best website. In the competition among small online news organizations, the Texas Tribune took a second trophy for online video.

Pubcasters capture 21 national Edward R. Murrow Awards

WLRN in Miami won large-market radio Murrows for feature reporting and use of sound. Chicago’s WBEZ also won for news documentary and hard-news reporting. The award for investigative reporting went to KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting, both based in San Francisco, for “Broken Shield: Exposing Abuses at California Developmental Centers.”

WUFT, VPR led pubcasters in regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Among the 54 public stations receiving regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for electronic journalism, WUFT-FM of Gainesville, Fla., won eight, and Vermont Public Radio captured seven. Five additional pubradio stations — KUNC, Greeley, Colo.; South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB); KCCU, Lawton, Okla.; WBUR, Boston; and WITF, Harrisburg, Pa. — each won six Murrows in regional RTDNA competitions among broadcast and online news outlets. Awards for overall excellence among large market stations went to KUT in Austin, Texas, and WUNC in Chapel Hill, N.C., while WUFT and Alabama Public Radio were recognized among small-market stations in their regions. The Radio Television Digital News Association honored broadcasters across 13 multistate U.S. regions for outstanding news reporting.

‘For listeners, we’re not the alternative, we’re the ideal’

CPB broke format in May 2001, giving its top radio honor, the Edward R. Murrow Award, to one of its own employees, Rick Madden, its v.p., radio. Madden delivered this acceptance speech during the opening session of the Public Radio Conference in Seattle on May 17, 2001. I first walked into noncommercial radio at the University of Notre Dame as a freshman and never walked out. That was in 1963, four years before the Carnegie Commission labeled us public radio. My radio passions ran contrary to my father’s notions of what my interests should be.