This is the most Murrow Awards ever won by KBIA, the NPR-affiliate member station at which radio-television and media convergence journalism students cover events, write stories and air newscasts. The competition is sponsored by the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA).
KBIA won five out of nine categories in the competition, including “Feature: Hard News,” “News Documentary,” “Newscast,” “Sports Reporting,” and “Use of Sound.”
“It’s really an honor to win even one Murrow, much less to win five out of nine categories,” said Mike Dunn, general manager of KBIA. “One of the other things we’re pleased with is that for at least two of the awards, students participated in the project. That’s quite an experience for them.”
In the “News Documentary” category, KBIA won for its report, “What’s on the Line?,” an account of Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas residents living along the New Madrid fault and how they are preparing for an earthquake disaster. KBIA News Director and Assistant Professor Sarah Ashworth teamed with reporter Kyle Palmer, BJ ’05, and broadcast news student August Skamenca for the story.
“We were most excited to win in the ‘News Documentary’ category because the three of us put in the most time on that piece,” Ashworth said.
Ashworth also directed the Feb. 10, 2005, entry that won the “Newscast” category, alongside Palmer, who anchored that piece as a student.
The other winning entries included:
- “Lost in the Shuffle,” a hard news feature by Palmer about how one mother and her adopted son come to grips with Missouri funding cuts for payments that help with their vital health-care needs;
- “Carrying Her Weight,” a sports story by Palmer about a Columbia teenage girl who joins a weightlifting class out of summer boredom, only to find out that she has a hidden talent; and
- “Remembering Officer Molly Bowden,” the “Best Sound” winner by Ashworth and former graduate student Brendan Watson about a fallen Columbia police officer.
Dunn credits the dedication of the KBIA newsroom staff and students for the awards.
“One thing we strive for here is that we do our best to sound like National Public Radio,” Dunn said. “I’m always telling our newsroom staff that our goal is to have a listener tuned into a KBIA story who doesn’t even recognize it as a local piece because its quality makes it sound like a national story.”
Missouri Journalism faculty, staff and students this week also celebrated the news of a Murrow Award for KOMU, the School’s NBC-affiliate television station and working lab. Sarah Hill, KOMU anchor, reporter and adjunct professor, and Gary Grigsby, assistant professor and KOMU photographer, won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in the documentary category for “Dealing with Disaster: Sarah’s Stories from South Asia.”
“Awards like these are like frosting on a cake. It makes the main attraction a little sweeter,” said Kent Collins, chair of the Radio-Television Journalism sequence. “For the students, staff and faculty at KBIA and KOMU, the main attraction is doing news in a professional manner — news stories and newscasts that meet the best ethical and professional standards.”
RTNDA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. These winning entries from the Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska “Small Market” radio category now move on to national competition. National finalists will be announced in mid-June.
Updated: April 9, 2020