The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) today announced the national winners of the Edward R. Murrow Awards, with the local news operations of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST), receiving a total of six awards for excellence in the categories of “Breaking News,” won by WKRN-TV in Nashville, Tennessee, “Continuing Coverage,” won by WJZY-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina, “Excellence in Innovation,” won by KXAN-TV (in partnership with ClearHealthCosts) in Austin, Texas, “Excellence in Video,” won by WIVB-TV in Buffalo, New York, and “Newscast,” won by WPRI-TV in Providence, Rhode Island. WPRI-TV also earned recognition for “Overall Excellence.”
Since its founding in 1996, Nexstar has established a company-wide commitment to delivering exceptional locally-produced programming and serving the communities in which it operates. In this year’s competition for the national Edward R. Murrow Awards, Nexstar’s news operations were recognized with the following honors:
- Excellence in Breaking News Coverage/Large Market Television – WKRN-TV earned this award for its coverage of a deadly police-involved shooting on Interstate 65.
- Excellence in Continuing Coverage/Large Market Television – WJZY-TV earned this award for its 18-month investigation into local government corruption. Investigative reporter Jody Barr exposed lawmakers, judges, law enforcement officers and other public servants in Marlboro County, South Carolina. The reports encouraged one high-ranking Sheriff’s Office detective to come forward with allegations against his supervisor, resulting in an indictment.
- Excellence in Innovation/Large Market Television – KXAN-TV conducted a two-year investigation into medical debt lawsuits that began with a tip emailed to the newsroom. In collaboration with ClearHealthCosts, the team collected heartbreaking reports about more than one thousand patients targeted by a law firm representing a single hospital. The revelation sparked a new state law for stronger medical bill transparency. To tell their stories, KXAN launched a series of reports and an interactive digital project, featuring data analysis and a podcast that encouraged viewers to share their own stories on social media.
- Excellence in Video/Small Market Television – WIVB-TV earned this award for coverage of a local cemetery which serves as the final resting place for several influential families in the Niagara Falls area, whose perilous connection to the namesake waters have earned their site on the grounds a special designation: the daredevil section.
- Newscast/Small Market Television – WPRI-TV earned this award for coverage of an intense early morning standoff with police, during which hundreds of rounds were fired, causing residents to evacuate and streets to be closed. 12 News brought viewers the timeline of events, with exclusive video and an investigation into the suspect’s history.
- Overall Excellence/Small Market Television – WPRI-TV earned the distinctive honor of Overall Excellence for their focus on delivering viewers stories that matter in a thoughtful, in-depth manner. Crime, investigative reports, and community happenings contribute heavily to giving 12 News viewers consistent, reliable coverage.
In addition to the national honors, Nexstar’s news operations at 23 television stations earned 36 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards earlier this year, including two awards for Overall Excellence.
“We are proud of the work of our news operations, providing vital coverage and serving their local communities every day,” said Andy Alford, President of the Broadcasting Division of Nexstar Media Inc. “We are especially proud to see their efforts recognized with national Edward R. Murrow Awards. As the largest local media company in the U.S., Nexstar delivers more than 300,000 hours of trusted news programming, sports and entertainment content that touches the daily lives of our viewers across all screens and devices. We applaud our award-winning stations and thank the RTDNA for recognizing the excellence delivered by these news organizations.”
Commenting on the awards, Susan Tully, SVP of Local Content Development at Nexstar Media Inc., said, “We congratulate WKRN, WJZY, KXAN, WIVB and WPRI on receiving these well-deserved honors from the RTDNA. Nexstar’s 5,500 local broadcast journalists are dedicated to serving their communities with compelling, locally-originated news programming and content delivered to any screen, all day, every day. These awards put a spotlight on our commitment to innovation in storytelling, journalism that can be trusted, exceptional public service and community involvement.”
The RTDNA has been recognizing outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971.