WUOT Wins Its First-Ever National Edward R. Murrow Award

KNOXVILLE — Public radio station WUOT 91.9 FM, licensed to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has won its first-ever National Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

Named after newsman Edward R. Murrow, the annual awards honor outstanding achievement in electronic journalism.

“Winning a national Murrow award is a tremendous honor for WUOT,” Director Regina Dean said. “We’ve been supplementing NPR programming with local news since November 2002. It’s extremely gratifying for our relatively young news department to be recognized among the top news organizations in the country.”

WUOT was the national small market winner in the “Best Writing” category for a compilation of three different feature stories that aired in 2008: “In the Space of a Moment,” “Cicadian Rhythms” and “My Life. My Vote. (Sarah Moore Greene).”

All three stories were written and produced by WUOT News Director Matt Shafer Powell.
“In the Space of a Moment” tells the story of John Bohstedt, a UT faculty member and one of several men who tackled the gunman responsible for a fatal shooting at Knoxville’s Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. “Cicadian Rhythms” allows listeners to experience and perhaps better understand the life of the 17-year cicada insect. In “My Life. My Vote. (Sarah Moore Greene),” the matriarch of Knoxville’s civil rights movement reflects on the promise she made to a dying boy — and her commitment to social change.

This award is Powell’s first national Murrow award and he said the experience is a humbling one.

“It’s a thrill to be recognized on the national level,” Powell said. “The thing I love about working in public radio is that we are given the time to produce meaningful and compelling stories that capture the heart of our community. We also couldn’t do it without our listeners, who support our efforts and make these stories possible.”

The winning piece can be heard on WUOT’s Web site at http://www.wuot.org. More information about the Edward R. Murrow Awards can be found at http://rtnda.org.

RTNDA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Murrow Award recipients demonstrate the excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard for the electronic news profession. 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 is a member of National Public Radio and a Public Radio International affiliate. The station’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 http://www.wuot.org. WUOT also offers a second audio channel, WUOT-2, on HD Radio™ and on the Web.

C O N T A C T :

Regina Dean, Director (865-974-5375, regdean@utk.edu)
Matt Shafer Powell, News Director (865-974-9354, mpowell7@utk.edu)

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