WUOT-FM Receives Third Consecutive Edward R. Murrow Award For Broadcasting Excellence

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — National Public Radio member station WUOT, licensed to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, has received a 2007 regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association. This is the third consecutive year in which WUOT has won a Murrow award.

Matt Powell
Matt Powell
The annual award honors outstanding achievement in electronic journalism. It honors legendary CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow, who pioneered the field of broadcast reporting.

WUOT received the “Best Writing” award in the Small Market Radio category for a region that includes Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky. The winning entry is a compilation of three different features stories that aired on WUOT during 2006: “Finding Life in the Shadows,” “Santa’s Gun and Knife Shop” and “Last Stop at Deer Lodge.”

“Finding Life in the Shadows” examines the work of photographer David Habercom, who has established himself as a prolific reporter of the homeless experience in Knoxville. “Santa’s Gun and Knife Shop” takes listeners to a small knife and gun store in Oak Ridge, where a former shopping mall Santa has found an unusual place to ply his winter trade. In “Last Stop at Deer Lodge,” listeners get an inside look at how troubled teens from around the country find hope among the towering oaks and pines at Camp E-Sun-Alee.

All three stories were written and produced by WUOT News Director Matt Shafer Powell.

“It’s a humbling experience to receive an award honoring Edward R. Murrow,” Powell said. “Murrow had a profound respect for the power of the written word. His success was built around the concept that the best broadcast reporters know how to use the language to tell a story.”

“Public radio is a forum that still values Murrow’s belief in storytelling,” WUOT Executive Director Regina Dean said. “Our listeners have very high expectations about the quality of the reports they hear on WUOT. Winning a prestigious award like the Murrow – especially for the third consecutive year – is testament to the WUOT News department’s hard work and commitment to meet and exceed those expectations.”

Winners of regional awards will move on to the national competition in June.

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 that affect East Tennessee.

The winning compilation can be heard on WUOT’s Web site, wuot.org. More information about the Edward R. Murrow Awards is available at rtnda.org.

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.

CONTACT: Regina Dean, Executive Director (865-974-5375)
Matt Shafer Powell, News Director (865-974-9354)