KNKX Public Radio has earned two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for coverage in 2018. The awards, announced Tuesday morning, were received in News Documentary and Feature Reporting categories from the Radio Television Digital News Association.
The awards recognize work that demonstrates the values, principles and excellence set by Edward R. Murrow in the field of broadcast and digital journalism.
"It's gratifying to be recognized by our professional peers for these stories, both of which exemplify KNKX's goal of taking big issues and breaking them down so that the human experience is front and center," said Erin Hennessey, KNKX’s news director.
In the News Documentary category, KNKX’s weekly storytelling show Sound Effect was recognized for “How a Homeless Man Helped This Writer Overcome His Fear of the Woods,” which features an African-American, queer writer who developed a relationship with the outdoors thanks to his unlikely friendship with a homeless man who is a skilled outdoorsman and nature photographer. The friendship, nurtured by five camping trips together, enabled the men to work through their individual challenges and transform their lives.
In the Feature Reporting category, South Sound reporter Will James was recognized for his story “Unraveling the Mystery of Why So Many African-Americans End Up Homeless.” It delved into a national study that highlighted possible explanations for the disproportionate number of homeless African-Americans. James talked with a Tacoma man whose struggles are representative of what the study characterized as “network impoverishment,” or lack of a safety net. (James expounded on the study, sharing his experience reporting the story on New York public radio station WNYC’s nationally syndicated weekday conversation program, The Takeaway.)
The awards rose to the top of a competitive field in the the Large Market category, in a region that includes Washington state, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. Murrow Award-winning stories prioritize public interest and provide a catalyst for public discussion. The 2019 honorees were among more than 4,600 entries from more than 300 radio, television and digital news organizations across the country and internationally.
Regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition. National awards will be presented at RTDNA’s Edward R. Murrow Gala at Gotham Hall in New York on Oct. 14.
Listen to both award-winning stories below.