By Nate Brown
Columbia, Mo. (May 6, 2021) — The Radio and Television Digital News Association today awarded KBIA-FM five Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for its work as a small-market radio station in Region 5. These awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.
“The Murrow Awards are one of the most prestigious awards for broadcast journalists, so we’re thrilled to be honored with five regional awards this year,” said KBIA News Director Ryan Famuliner.
The NPR-member station competed in 14 categories against small-market radio stations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged and announced this summer.
Staff and student work recognized with regional Murrows included “You Don’t Say,” a series that highlighted the historical experiences of Black residents in Columbia, and the podcast “The Obvious Question.”
“We’re especially proud of this podcast because it tries to fill the gap in media coverage, better educating people on what life with a disability is like,” said Famuliner.
“You Don’t Say,” which received an award in the new Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion category, is a unique series for the station.
“It’s a project that pushed us outside of our comfort zone, because we truly partnered with the subjects of the pieces,” said Famuliner. “[We allowed] them agency in choosing which stories we highlighted and who we spoke to. … For us, this is hopefully just a first step in figuring out what it takes to produce that type of public service journalism.”
KBIA was also recognized for its website and a May 2020 story on a pork processing facility in St. Joseph, Missouri, that remained open in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.
KBIA has won national Murrow awards in 6 of the last 7 years, winning for Overall Excellence in Small Market Radio and Podcast, Small Market Radio in 2020, Continuing Coverage in 2018, Excellence in Innovation in 2017, Best Website in 2016, Feature Reporting in 2015 and Best Website in 2014. A KBIA student reporter also won the national Student Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Audio Reporting in 2017.
Regional Murrow Awards received this year:
- Digital: KBIA.org.
- Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: “You Don’t Say.” The series was hosted by Janet Saidi, KBIA assistant news director, and the following students: Seth Bodine, MA ‘20; Madison Conte, BJ ’19, MA ‘20; and Trevor Hook, BJ ’18, MA ‘20.
- Hard News: “Shifting guidance and information prompts fear among workers at Triumph plant.” The story was reported by KBIA health reporter Sebastián Martínez Valdivia, BA ’13, BJ ’13, MA ’17.
- News Series: “You Don’t Say.”
- Podcast: “The Obvious Question: What’s Wrong With You.” This podcast was hosted by Madison Lawson, BJ ’19, and KBIA health reporter Rebecca Smith and produced by Alec Stutson, BA ’20, BJ ‘20.
A complete list of the 2021 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards winners can be found on the RTDNA website.
KBIA, mid-Missouri’s NPR-member station, reaches 15 counties and has served mid-Missouri since 1972. KBIA is a university-licensed, community-supported not-for-profit institution, actively involved in the life of the mid-Missouri area. The station is the area’s largest provider of arts programming, serving more than 30,000 listeners and members each week.
Updated: May 6, 2021