And the winner is ... Ideastream Public Media takes home a national Murrow award
In the world of broadcast news, when it comes to awards, a national Edward R. Murrow award is the cream of the crop.
The Murrows, administered by the Radio Television Digital News Association, are highly competitive. Thousands enter. If the judges in a particular category don’t feel there are any entries worthy to carry the name of the legendary CBS newsman, they will not name a winner in that category.
This year, WKSU was deemed worthy. We won a national Edward R. Murrow award for a story about medical care in rural Ohio.
Jacqueline Marino, an accomplished magazine writer and terrific journalism professor at Kent State University, approached me a year-and-a-half ago about partnering on a reporting project during her upcoming sabbatical.
She wanted to tell the story of a NEOMED program that’s working to address the health care needs of rural Ohio by encouraging med students to take their talents to these underserved parts of the state… and stay there. But Jacquie didn’t want to just write about the program; she wanted to explore how she could tell the story on-air, the first time she’d ever done a radio story.
She spent the summer of 2021 reporting and stayed in touch. We worked with her, giving her tips on how and what to record. As the reporting started to wrap up, she started writing, and I worked with her on crafting and editing her script. Our producer, Jon Nungesser, worked with Jacquie to coach her on her vocal delivery, record her and then produced the piece.
The story that resulted was a 15-minute documentary, “The rural doctor is in.” It was a hefty endeavor. By comparison, most feature stories you hear on WKSU are about four minutes long.
“The rural doctor is in” won the national Murrow for best documentary. But there’s one other group with whom we share this award.
At Ideastream Public Media, we challenge ourselves to be the best audio storytellers we can be and to create, to innovate and, most importantly, to connect. But everything we do is only possible because of you.
We just wrapped up our fall fundraising drive. We spend a lot of time during our drives trying to convey to you what your financial support makes possible. This documentary, and Jacquie’s follow-up project, the just-concluded series “Changing the course of a river,” are good examples of what you make possible.
So when they open the envelope for any award we get for our work and announce, “And the winner is …”
The winner is you.
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