The 2019 Murrow Awards competition underway with the 2019 Regional winner announcement set for April 23, and, if the 2018 awards are any measure, competition will be stiff, with news outlets across the country and the world submitting more and more engaging, innovative and impactful examples of journalism. Based on the particular high quality of entries and winners recently, these are five categories to watch this year, and some insights to make your entries stand out.
Excellence in Innovation
The Excellence in Innovation category is not limited to stations trying out the latest tech gadgets, and some of the standout winners aren’t using any new devices, but rather approaching local news challenges from new angles and trying new approaches. Take WFAA’s Verify project – the station’s take on a TEGNA fact-checking initiative, which brings audiences into the reporting process to help demonstrate and grow trust.
Excellence in Video
More stations than ever are innovating in the video category, with several winners submitting immersive 360 videos last year. Trying and excelling at 360 video takes rethinking your photography approach when covering a story, but relies on the same storytelling techniques and standards as standard video pieces. Ultimately, every story has potential to be a winner, with the right mix of planning, luck, fun and creativity making a piece unique and extraordinary.
Excellence in Sound
Podcasts continue to explode as listeners build the intimate form of getting news and information into their daily routines, offering audio storytellers a wealth of opportunities to show off their craft. But creating engaging audio takes a special skillset and understanding of how audio is unique.
Excellence in Social Media
Social media is no longer new and most stations are now comfortable with using social platforms for newsgathering and sharing. Now, more are taking the next step and using social media to engage audiences on deeper levels to do community-based reporting and dig into potential solutions to social issues.
Audiences, technology, delivery platforms all change and evolve, giving stations opportunities to innovate and grow, but what doesn’t change is the fundamentals of good storytelling. It seems all the more amazing that each year the bar for producing simple, conversational, emotionally engaging and fresh Murrow-winning writing remains so high. Masters show how they do it again and again here and here.