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witf garners three National Edward R. Murrow Awards, tops in the country

Written by witf | Jun 12, 2013 10:24 AM
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witf's Multimedia News Department is the Radio Television Digital News Association's (RTDNA) most honored local radio or television station in the nation.

 RTDNA has announced witf has received three national Edward R. Murrow awards, for Investigative Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Writing. That's more than any other local radio or television station in RTDNA's small or large market classifications. witf competed against radio stations in markets 51 and smaller. The Denver Post led among online news organizations with three awards. Find the complete list of winners here.

Murrow awards are presented at the regional and national level. witf received six regional Murrow awards this year, which acknowledged work of the highest quality produced by radio, television and online news organizations in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. The three stories receiving national awards competed with entries from 13 regions nationwide. The national awards will be presented in October at the RTDNA Awards Dinner in New York. RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism.

"It's an unbelievable honor to receive a National Murrow. To be recognized with three is something special. Edward R. Murrow represents the ideals all journalists should aspire to, so I'm proud to have our work mentioned in the same breath as his name," witf's Multimedia News Director Tim Lambert said. "But, the bottom line is our goal is to provide our listeners with the best public service possible, especially as the media landscape continues to shift. We have a very high standard at witf and we work to achieve it every day."

"National Edward R. Murrow awards represent journalistic achievement at an elite level. I am most proud of witf’s consistent excellence—9 awards since 2007 and an unprecedented 3 awards this year alone,” said Kathleen Pavelko, witf’s President & CEO. “Tim Lambert as multimedia news director leads a team of creative and energetic journalists who can handle everything from data-driven stories (abandoned wells) to continued coverage of an on-going complex story (Sandusky) to a multi-layered historical piece (Dick Winters in Normandy)."

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witf's Multimedia News Department has been honored for Continuing Coverage of the Jerry Sandusky case. Craig Layne, Mary Wilson, Scott LaMar, Lambert, Megan Lello and Scott Detrow all contributed to an entry that followed the twists and turns of the aftermath at Penn State from the death of legendary football coach Joe Paterno to Sandusky's conviction to the punishing sanctions handed down the NCAA.

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Lambert, witf’s Multimedia News Director, has been cited for his writing while covering the unveiling of the Major Richard D. Winters Leadership Monument in Normandy, France, in June, 2012. He was the only midstate reporter who traveled overseas to be at the ceremony. It's Lambert's fourth national Murrow since 2007.

StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among witf, WHYY in Philadelphia and NPR covering the commonwealth's booming energy industry, has been recognized for Audio Investigative Reporting for Detrow's story uncovering the problem of abandoned wells across the state. It's the second National Murrow for Detrow, who is now a reporter at KQED in California.

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The award marks the second national honor for StateImpact Pennsylvania in the last six months. In December, the initiative earned the prestigious duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for its reporting on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation.

"The stories honored by RTDNA represent witf's commitment to bringing a wide array of stories to our listeners," Lambert said. "We do our best to provide context, analysis and good, old-fashioned storytelling to our listeners."

"Our newsroom is filled with talented journalists who work hard, in a collaborative and creative manner, and under the tremendous leadership of Tim Lambert," said Cara Williams Fry, witf's Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer. "Considering the size of our news team and the scope of the national organizations that our pieces were competing directly against, this national recognition is truly spectacular."

Last month, witf was honored with the Joe Snyder Award for Outstanding News Service, the premier award given by The Pennsylvania Associated Press, for the second year in a row. It was among 15 PAPBA awards the media organization and its StateImpact Pennsylvania project garnered.

Here are the previous National Murrows witf has garnered since 2007 (along with 30 Regional Murrows since 2006):

  • 2007 Flight 93: Five Years Later (Tim Lambert, Hard News Feature)
  • 2009 Impact of War (Scott Detrow, News series)
  • 2009 Luis Ramirez Beating Death (Tim Lambert, Hard News Feature)
  • 2011 Beep Baseball (Scott Gilbert, Sports Reporting)
  • 2012 Hope in Handball (Tim Lambert, Sports Reporting)
  • 2012 Facing Cancer Together (Megan Lello, Craig Layne, Tim Lambert, News Series)

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