WUOT Receives Edward Murrow Award For Best News Series

KNOXVILLE -– WUOT 91.9 FM, licensed to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, has received a 2006 regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association for its series “Lost to War: The Fallen Remembered.”

The RTNDA recognized “Lost to War” as Best News Series in the Small Market Radio category for a region that includes Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky. The annual award honors outstanding achievement in electronic journalism.

This is the second consecutive year the station has received a Murrow award. WUOT is the only public radio station in the state of Tennessee to be honored in this year’s competition.

“Lost to War” was produced by WUOT News Director Matt Shafer Powell and spans several decades and a variety of conflicts, from World War II and Korea to Vietnam and Iraq. The series featured intimate sound portraits in which friends and family members remembered seven American soldiers who died in the line of duty. The following East Tennessee residents shared their stories:

• Cleveland resident Jerry Partin remembered his brother, Sergeant Willie Partin, who was killed in 1951 while fighting in Korea.

• Farragut resident and Vietnam Veteran Jeffrey Baldwin offered a tribute to his friend and fellow soldier, Specialist Raymond Renz, who died in the Mekong Delta during the summer of 1967.

• Don MacKerer, also of Farragut, remembered his twin brother, Arnold William “Bill” MacKerer, with whom he served during World War II until his brother was mortally wounded.

• Kingston resident Diana Pynnonen recounted the life and death of her brother, Corporal Michael Pynnonen, who died from malaria he contracted while serving in Vietnam.

• Powell resident Doug Harrison offered a moving portrait of his son, Specialist Daniel Harrison, who died in December 2004 near Mosul, Iraq.

• Seymour residents Andre and Karen Lieurance remembered their son, Staff Sergeant Victoir Lieurance, who was killed in August 2005 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HUMVEE while he was on patrol in Iraq.

• World War II Veteran Ernest Gardner of Friendsville remembered his friend, Private Maxwell Green, who was shot and killed in Luxembourg in the days following the Battle of the Bulge.

“We are grateful to those who participated in the ‘Lost to War’ project,” Powell said. “I’m humbled by their willingness to open themselves up to us, to tell us their stories, and in many cases, expose some very personal pain. This series shows that battlefield sacrifices are not only made by soldiers but also by those close to them.”

“Public radio serves as the perfect canvas for this type of series,” WUOT Executive Director Regina Dean said. “These segments are emotional and provocative. ‘Lost to War’ is an example of how WUOT presents the issues of the world with a human face.”

Winners of regional awards will move on to the national competition in June. “Lost to War: The Fallen Remembered” can be heard on WUOT’s Web site (wuot.org). More information about the Edward R. Murrow Awards is available online at www.rtnda.org.

WUOT began to supplement NPR news programming with local news in November 2002. The station’s regional coverage includes daily newscasts as well as interviews and long-form feature stories focused on the people and issues affecting East Tennessee. Over the past two years, WUOT has won more Associated Press awards than any other radio station in the state.

RTNDA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. RTNDA represents local and network news executives in broadcasting, cable and other electronic media in more than 30 countries.

Listener-supported WUOT 91.9 FM is a 100,000-watt station broadcasting from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Qualified by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WUOT is a member of National Public Radio and a Public Radio International affiliate. WUOT’s primary format is classical and jazz music, news and public affairs. WUOT serves listeners throughout East Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and streams on the Web at wuot.org.

For more information, contact: Regina Dean, (865) 974-5375