Public Radio Stations Dominate Regional Murrow Awards

June 5, 2024

Small Market Wins Signify Public Media’s Strength in Rural America

Edward R. Murrow Awards

Locally managed and operated public radio stations won more than 95% of all the 2023 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in the U.S. small market radio categories, underscoring the critical role that local public radio stations play in delivering high-quality news in rural areas of the country, which have been hard hit by the rapid decline of the newspaper industry.

From breaking news coverage of a derecho in Illinois (WILL), a shooting at a high school graduation in Richmond, VA (VPM), and flooding in Western Massachusetts (WAMC) to an Interlochen Public Radio program on one man’s mission to save Anishinaabemowin, the original language of the Great Lakes region, public media claimed 300 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2023. The awards were bestowed by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievement in broadcast and digital journalism.

CPB-supported public radio stations and collaborations dominated the radio categories, winning 285, or 86% of all awards given in the U.S. radio categories. Notably, public radio stations swept eight of the 13 U.S. regions in the small market radio categories. Marfa Public Radio in west Texas swept all eight Region 6 Small Market Radio Murrows, including two awards for its investigative report on the ongoing water issues in Toyah, TX, which had been under a boil water notice for nearly five years.

“In public media, 387 stations report employing at least one journalist, with the average number of journalists employed being eight,” said Kathy Merritt, CPB senior vice president, journalism, radio and CSG services. “Public media’s outstanding performance in the Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards demonstrates how committed these stations have been to delivering local news coverage that meet journalism’s highest editorial standards, despite limited resources. CPB is proud to support these stations.”

Collaborations involving public media stations claimed 26 Regional Murrows, with the CPB-supported Gulf States Newsroom and the collaboration between WWNO (New Orleans) and WRKF (Baton Rouge) winning 11 of the 13 awards given in the Region 9 Large Market Radio category.

Regional winners compete for the National Edward R. Murrow Awards, to be announced in August and presented at the Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala on October 14 at Gotham Hall in New York City. 

Here are the Regional Murrow Award totals for public media stations. RTDNA links to the winning entries in each category, by region: 

Region 1: KUOW, seven (including one with Northwest Public Broadcasting); Boise State Public Radio, five (including collaborations with the Idaho Commission on the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program and Ahearn Productions); KLCC, four; Oregon Public Broadcasting, Montana Public Radio and KNKX, three each; Alaska Public Media and Jefferson Public Radio, one each.   

Region 2: Hawaii Public Radio, four; LAist/LAist Studios, three; KPBS, KVCR (including a collaboration with the California Newsroom), KQED, KAZU, KCLU and KVPR, two each; and KCRW, one.

Region 3: Arizona Public Media, nine; Colorado Public Media, eight; KJZZ News and Wyoming Public Media, four each; KUNC, two; KHOL, KNAU and KRCC, one each.

Region 4: Minnesota Public Radio News, six; Wisconsin Public Radio, five; PBS Wisconsin and WUWM, two each; WXPR and South Dakota Public Broadcasting, one each.

Region 5: St. Louis Public Radio, six (including a collaboration with the Midwest Newsroom); Harvest Public Media/KCUR, five (including collaborations with the Midwest Newsroom and Iowa Public Radio/the Ag & Water Desk; KBIA and Iowa Public Radio (including the collaboration with KCUR/the AG & Water Desk), four each; Nebraska Public Media and Siouxland Public Media, one each.      

Region 6: Marfa Public Radio, eight; Texas Public Radio, six, KUT, three; Texas Standard, two; and KERA and the Texas Newsroom, one each.

Region 7: WFIU/WTIU, seven; Ideastream Public Media, five; Interlochen Public Radio, four; WBEZ/Chicago Sun Times, three (including one with the Mental Health Parity Collaborative); Illinois Public Media and WKAR Public Media, two each; and Tri States Public Radio, WGLT, WDET, WFYI and Indiana Public Broadcasting Network, one each.

Region 8: WUNC North Carolina Public Radio, seven; WFAE, four; Louisville Public Media and WEKU, three each; WFDD, West Virginia Public Broadcasting and WUKY, two each; and Blue Ridge Public Radio, Nashville Public Radio and WUOT, one each.

Region 9: Gulf States Newsroom and WBHM, seven each; WWNO/WRKF, four; Alabama Public Radio, three.

Region 10: WBUR and Connecticut Public, six; Vermont Public and Maine Public/Maine Public Radio, five each; GBH, three; The Public’s Radio, New Hampshire Public Radio and New England Public Media, one each. 

Region 11: North Country Public Radio, six; WHYY, five; WITF, three; WAMC, two; WESA, WLIW, WNYC, WPSU and WXXI, one each.

Region 12: WVTF/Radio IQ, nine; VPM, four; WYPR, two; WEAA, one.

Region 13: WLRN, five; WABE, four (including collaborations with Grist and the Emory Civil Rights Cold Cases Project) WGCU (including a collaboration with the Naples Daily News/The News Press) and WUSF (including a collaboration with Climate Central), three each; WUFT (including a collaboration with Florida A&M) and WFSU, two each.

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