RTDNA national Murrow Awards for 2009

NPR won four national Edward R. Murrow Awards in latest RTDNA contest honoring excellence in electronic journalism.

Top winners among the 14 additional public radio newsrooms recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association for 2009  include Boston’s WBUR, honored for overall excellence among large-market radio stations, and Michigan Radio’s The Environment Report, cited for best news series in the radio network division.

Among five public radio outlets that won in the small-market division, North Country Public Radio in Canton, N.Y., won a Murrow for investigative reporting by David Sommerstein and WSHU in Fairfield Conn., for Charles Lane’s continuing coverage of attacks against Latinos in Patchogue, Long Island.

The national Murrow for overall excellence among broadcast-affiliated websites went to NPR.org, which was redesigned last summer to highlight news headlines and feature more visual elements. NPR’s winning news reports include:

A Familiar Enemy for Platoon,” a two-parter reported by Tom Bowman and Graham Smith, sharing the national Murrow for hard news reporting;

“Friday Night Lives,” a series on high school football by Tom Goldman and Mike Pesca, for sports reporting;
“Can I Just Tell You?,” commentaries by Tell Me More host Michel Martin, for writing; and

“In the Kennel: Uncovering a Navy Unit’s Culture of Abuse,” an investigation of hidden abuses of homosexuals in the military by Youth Radio’s Rachel Krantz, aired on All Things Considered. It took the prize for investigative reporting.

Additional winners among pubradio’s national networks and syndicators were: New York’s WNYC for feature reporting by its Radio Rookies in “Money Stress”; Long Haul Productions for the news documentary “American Dreamer: Sam’s Story” by Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister; and The Environment Report, for the five-part series “Dioxin Delays,” reported by Shawn Allee. Last month Michigan Radio ended national syndication of the daily environmental news module. The producers plan to continue covering Michigan and regional environmental news under the same series title.

In the division for large market radio stations, Boston’s WBUR won for overall excellence, an award that confers “best of the best” distinction. “It’s a big deal for us,” said Sam Fleming, managing director of news and programming. “This is the first time we’ve done this.” The station’s RTDNA entry included coverage of the death of Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy and a 10-part series on Massachusetts high schools’ elevated dropout rate, he said.

Two additional stations won in this division: Mississippi Public Broadcasting, for hard news coverage in “Boot Camp Program Helping Dropouts”; and WFAE in Charlotte, N.C., for “Lost Boys of Presby.”

Joining North Country Public Radio and WSHU as national Murrow winners in the small-market radio division were:
KUNC in Greeley, Colo., for feature reporting in “Two Men, Two Women and a Baby”; KNAU in Flagstaff, Ariz., for hard news reporting in “Navajos Hope For Stimulus Dollars”;
West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s WVPN in Charleston, for the news doc “The Great Textbook War”;
Alabama Public Radio for the news series “The Capital Case of Bridget Lee”; and KCCU in Lawton, Okla., for writing in “Chrysler Leaves Cordell, Lone Grove Clean-Up.”

Complete list of all RTDNA national Murrow winners, with links to many of the winning entries.

Note that RTDNA has changed its name. It was formerly the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

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