Michigan Radio has been recognized with four regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in the Large Market Radio category. The Murrow Awards are presented by The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) to honor outstanding achievements in electronic journalism. The station won awards in the Continuing Coverage, Documentary, Investigative Reporting, and Sports Reporting categories. All four winners will now be eligible to win a national Edward R. Murrow Award.
Best Continuing Coverage was awarded for the Michigan Radio Flint news team’s ongoing coverage of the Flint Water Crisis. The Flint water crisis has exploded as a huge national story over the past several months. Michigan Radio has been bringing this story to listeners across the state from the very beginning, including the city's 2014 water supply switch to the Flint River and the first reports of lead in the drinking water in July, 2015.
“Not Safe to Drink,” the Best Documentary winner produced by Lindsey Smith, traced the story of the Flint water crisis, and how the water in Flint became unsafe to drink, bathe in and use for cooking. The documentary first aired on Michigan Radio in December, 2015 and was also picked up by the “Reveal” radio show from the Center for Investigative Reporting, and distributed nationally to public radio stations all over the country.
In the Investigative Reporting category, the Michigan Radio team of Joe Linstroth and Kate Wells were recognized for the series, “Sexual Assault Investigations at MSU: a Broken System and the Efforts to Fix it.” Linstroth and Wells investigated allegations of problems with Michigan State University’s handling of sexual assault cases. They discovered that MSU’s investigations could drag on for months, and that alleged repeat offenders could stay in the MSU community for years due to cases being reopened or appealed.
Dustin Dwyer’s report, “This Community Finally Got What People Have Been Asking For All Season: A Home Football Game,” was recognized in the Sports Reporting Category. In it, Dwyer tells the story of Muskegon Heights, a small city hit with a series of shootings around high school sporting events. After the first home football games of the season were canceled or moved, community members and Muskegon Heights high school alumni came together to ensure last fall’s homecoming game actually took place.
Michigan Radio competes in Region 7 in the Large Market Radio category, which consists of public and commercial radio stations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Michigan Radio won more regional Murrow Awards than any other large market radio station in the region. Michigan Radio was also the only radio station in the state of Michigan to win a Regional Murrow award. Regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged in May. Murrow Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard for the broadcast news profession.
“To win more Murrows than any other large market radio station in our region is an impressive distinction,” said Steve Schram, Director-General Manager of Michigan Radio. “The diversity of the awards celebrates the variety of content and platforms in which we serve our audiences.”
The Radio Television Digital News Association is the world's largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. RTDNA represents local and network journalists in broadcasting, cable and digital media in more than 30 countries. RTDNA has been honoring excellence in journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971.