WBUR Captures Three National Edward R. Murrow Awards from Radio-Television News Directors Association

in News Releases, University Affairs
June 19th, 2007

Contact: Phil Gloudemans, 617-353-6546 | philipg@bu.edu
Contact: Sam Fleming, 617-353-0177 | swf4@bu.edu

(BOSTON) – WBUR, 90.9 FM, Boston’s NPR news station, won three prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards in the Radio-Television News Director Association’s (RTNDA) annual national electronic journalism competition, announced Sam Fleming, WBUR managing director of news & programming. The station’s wins include a documentary profiling the Boston Medical Center, a science segment on electric shock treatments, and a story on Kenyan marathon runners for “Only a Game.” Only San Francisco’s KCBS-AM duplicated WBUR’s three awards among the 13 categories for large-market radio stations.

“We are very proud of this national recognition,” said Fleming. “Winning one national Murrow Award is gratifying but three is truly a wonderful reflection of the outstanding work produced last year by so many of the great journalists at WBUR.”

Rachel Gotbaum’s report on how the Boston Medical Center (BMC) was created from the merger of two very different medical institutions and its century-old tradition of caring for the poor took top honors in the “News Documentary” category. Produced by Anna Bensted, the two-part series aired in June 2006, preceding the BMC’s 10th anniversary in July. George Hicks served as engineer. BMC is the primary teaching affiliate for Boston University’s School of Medicine.

In the “Feature Hard News” category, “Electric Shock Treatments: Tough Love or Torture?” took top honors. Reported by Allan Coukell and edited by Margaret Evans, the “Morning Edition” story took a closer look at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, which serves as a last resort for parents of children with autism, mental retardation and severe behavioral problems. The school came under investigation after a series of allegations of abuse. Michael Garth served as engineer.

“Only A Game” reporter Karen Given traveled to Iten, in the highlands of western Kenya and home to about 500 runners who make a very good living at the sport, for the award-winning piece “Kenya’s Fastest Town” in the “Sports Reporting” category. Jon Perotti served as engineer.

The Murrow Awards will be presented at a black tie ceremony on October 15 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.

The Washington, D.C.-based RTNDA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971, and recipients are acknowledged for their demonstration of the excellence that he made a standard for the electronic news profession.

One of New England’s leading sources of news and information, WBUR is owned and operated by Boston University and is a member of National Public Radio. WBUR also broadcasts a selection of BBC programs and locally produced programs such as “Here & Now,” “On Point,” “Only a Game,” and “Car Talk.” WBUR has won more than 100 major awards for its news coverage, including several George Foster Peabody Awards, and was named the Associated Press News Station of the year for 2003-05.

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