Murrow Mondays: KFOR wins for OKC bombing series

October 10, 2016 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: KFOR-TV
Winning Piece: Faces of the Bombing
Category: Large Market Television - News Series
Twitter: @kfor

Is this your station’s first National Edward R. Murrow Award?

Please provide a short description of what your winning entry was about.
When alarm clocks went off in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, no one could have predicted the agony and despair the coming hours would bring.  Nor could anyone have foreseen the courage and compassion that followed. The terrorist bomb that exploded in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that spring morning set in motion a series of life-changing events. Those ripples are still being felt two decades later. As the nation marked the 20th Anniversary of the deadly domestic terrorist attack,  producer/reporter Linda Cavanaugh created portraits of those who know history from having lived it. From the injured to the grieving, "The Faces of the Bombing" is a compelling look at the inner struggles faced by ordinary individuals consumed by the bombing. But more than that, the series provides new information about questions that have lingered unanswered. How did six children in the daycare survive when the explosives-filled Ryder truck detonated directly in front of their glass window? How do victims keep fighting horrific injuries that, by all rights, should have put them in the column of the deceased?  How do those filled with rage learn to forgive? The answers can be found looking into the "The Faces of The Bombing." Photojournalist:  Micah Leon  On-Site Photography: Todd Rich  Graphics: Brenna Campbell

What were some of the challenges you or your news team faced while reporting and producing this piece?
As time passed, many of those injured by the bombing---either physically or emotionally---made the decision to put the event behind them.  They avoided talking about it.  They preferred to look to the future.  In many cases, it was difficult to convince some of those interviewed for "Faces of The Bombing" to return to a time that brought them so much pain.  The fact that they were ultimately willing to do so speaks of their courage.

Did you receive a lot of audience feedback from this piece?  If so, what was the general reaction?
The response to "Faces of The Bombing" was immediate.  Those who were connected to the event were moved by the images that reignited their personal memories. And yet, they were grateful for the hopeful and positive portrayals of the individuals interviewed as part of the project. For those who were born after that 1995 morning, the archival video and the updates on the survivors and family members of the victims brought a new sense of understanding to an event that shaped the city in which they live.

What does winning a national Edward R. Murrow Award mean to you and your station/group?
KFOR-TV has a tradition of journalistic excellence.  It's fueled every day by our individual reporters, photographers, producers and staff who set out each day with one goal:  to be the best storytellers of stories worthy of being told. Receiving an Edward R. Murrow Award is a humbling reminder that we're doing our job.