Murrow Mondays: KBIA-FM wins for excellence in innovation

August 28, 2017 01:30

On Mondays leading up to this year's Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala this evening, we have been highlighting some of our National Edward R. Murrow Award winners.

Organization: KBIA-FM
Winning Piece: KBIA’s unique in-depth digital storytelling tool
Category: Excellence in Innovation - Small Market Radio
Twitter: @KBIA

Is this your station’s first National Edward R. Murrow Award?
It is KBIA’s sixth national Murrow Award, and we have won a national Murrow each of the last 4 years. One of our student reporters also won the national student Murrow Award for Audio Reporting this year as well.

Please provide a short description of what your winning entry was about.
KBIA won the award for the work of Digital Content Director Nathan Lawrence. Lawrence created a unique Jekyll-based special projects workflow, which creates experiences that let a piece’s writers focus on its content while also providing maximum flexibility. “An Uncertain Road” is an example of the way this tool was applied for a special series on premature birth. KBIA has also utilized the interface on projects like Mizzou at a Crossroads and My Life, My Town. Because there is so much work involved in building out these stories, this interface is only rolled out for our most ambitious projects.

What were some of the challenges you or your news team faced while reporting and producing this piece?
It was an incredible commitment by Lawrence to dedicate the time necessary to build this interface. Nathan put in very long hours to get the web build outs published as close to the air dates of the projects, and the reporters who worked on these projects also put in a lot of extra work writing strong web copy and gathering photos and multimedia to include in the projects. Beyond that, it is a dedication by the station to commit one of our six full time news team members to digital content. The decision to create that position 7 years ago got us to where we are today.

Did you receive a lot of audience feedback from this piece?  If so, what was the general reaction?
These projects are the stories we get the most feedback about from our audience, both in person and online. Our audience definitely appreciates our efforts to do in-depth, contextual stories beyond the day-to-day headlines. This interface does a great job of matching the level of professionalism and depth we’re hoping to convey in these projects.

What does winning a national Edward R. Murrow Award mean to you and your station?
It’s an incredible honor to see our station on the list with so many high-caliber  journalists and news organizations. It’s also nice to have reinforcement that our station’s strategic decisions and the content we create are viewed by people outside our little world as being valuable and outstanding.