KERA received its first-ever national Edward R. Murrow Award, for excellence in video among large radio stations, at a gala in New York on Monday night. The video by Thorne Anderson and Courtney Collins was part of the series, "One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life."
It's the station's first national Murrow from the Radio Television Digital News Association; KERA won a record eight regional Murrows this spring.
The award-winning video features Jennifer Anderson, whose Garland apartment was ripped to pieces following a tornado in December 2015.
Watch the video
KERA's honor was one of three national Murrows that went to members of the Texas Station Collaborative. The statewide newsmagazine Texas Standard -- which airs out of KUT in Austin and is co-produced by KERA, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio -- won best documentary for "Out of the Blue," about the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower shooting. KUT also won for excellence in social media for a live blog featuring President Trump's visit to Austin when he was a presidential candidate.
The Texas Tribune, a partner of KERA, won four national Murrows -- overall excellence; continuing coverage for its Bordering On Insecurity project; excellence in social media for its Snapchat story "A Sniper On Campus;" and investigative reporting for its interactive hurricane project. The Dallas Morning News won the breaking news category for coverage of last summer's police shootings in downtown Dallas.
Here's a complete list of this year's winners.
KERA has won a station-record 40 awards this year, including a nation-leading four honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. Here's the breakdown:
Online Journalism Awards
KERA was part of “Electionland,” a nationwide effort led by ProPublica and WNYC that won the Online Journalism Award for large-newsroom coverage of a planned event on Saturday night in Washington, D.C.
KERA was also a finalist for another award. That honor — for breaking news among medium-sized newsrooms — was for coverage of the Dallas police shootings of July 7, 2016. Two other North Texas media outlets were also finalists for coverage of the shootings: NBCDFW.com in the same category as KERA, and the Dallas Morning News in the large-newsroom category.
The Texas Tribune, a partner of KERA, was a finalist in five small-newsroom categories, including general excellence. NPR was a three-time finalist.
Other OJA winners included PBS Frontline, the public radio program Reveal (twice) and McClatchey, owner of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, for its project Titletown TX.
The awards, which were presented Oct. 7 at the annual Online News Association conference in Washington, D.C., are the most prestigious honors in digital journalism. KERA was a finalist once before -- in 2015, when the station won an OJA for topical reporting for its Breakthroughs series, "The Broken Hip."
KERA earned three first places and one second from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. That tied KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., for the most top honors among the nation's biggest public radio stations.
It was a big year for the Texas Station Collaborative: In all, the state's three largest public radio stations collected 10 plaques. KUT in Austin won four -- including two firsts for "Texas Standard," the statewide newsmagazine co-produced with KERA, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio. Houston's KUHF also won a first and a second.
Here are KERA's winners:
- Newscast (1st place): KERA staff, "The Shootings, The Suspect And 24 Hours in Dallas"
- Spot News (1st place): Stephanie Kuo, “Traffic Changes In Mixmaster and Dallas North Tollway Closure May Mess Up Your Weekend”
- Commentary (1st place): Bill Holston, "Confronting Bigotry in Others and Ourselves"
- Enterprise/Investigative (2nd place): Lauren Silverman, "Pastoral Medicine Credentials Raise Questions In Texas"
You can find a complete list of PRNDI winners here.
Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards
KERA won eight regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including overall excellence honors for large-market radio stations. That number is a record for the station.
KERA's total of eight regional awards ranked third nationally, behind WBUR in Boston (10) and WLRN in Miami (9).
In Texas, KUT in Austin won five -- including two for Texas Standard, the statewide newsmagazine that's a co-production with KERA, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio. TPR also won one regional Murrow among large stations. Marfa Public Radio collected all five small-market radio awards in the region.
The Texas Tribune, a partner of KERA, won six regional Murrows and was also honored with a George Foster Peabody Award for its project with ProPublica, "Hell and High Water." NPR also won a Peabody for its investigation of Wells Fargo.
KERA's previous best was six regional Murrows in 2015, including its first Overall Excellence award.
Reporter Courtney Collins was a three-time winner this year -- for Video, Hard News and Sports Reporting. Here's are the KERA winners:
- Overall Excellence: KERA staff
- Website: KERA -- stories.kera.org, keranews.org, think.kera.org, artandseek.org/, twitter.com/keranews, twitter.com/artandseek, twitter.com/kerathink
- Sound: KERA staff -- "From Peace To Horror To Grief: 24 Hours In Dallas Through Sound And Pictures"
- Video: Thorne Anderson and Courtney Collins -- "One Crisis Away: Rebuilding a Life - Jennifer Anderson"
- Feature Reporting: Lauren Silverman -- "Kratom Advocates Speak Out Against Proposed Government Ban"
- Hard News: Courtney Collins -- "'I Was Intending To Stay Here:’ 305 West Dallas Families Unsure Of Their Housing Future"
- Newscast: KERA staff -- "The Shootings, The Suspect And 24 Hours in Dallas"
- Sports Reporting: Courtney Collins -- "Ice In Her Veins And Gold On The Brain: North Texas Taekwondo Olympian Fights To Win"
These regional awards cover commercial and public radio stations in RTDNA's Region 6: Texas and Oklahoma. With these wins, KERA will compete for the national Edward R. Murrow Awards later in the year.
Texas Associated Press Broadcasters
KERA won a station-record 16 awards from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. The station won five first-place awards, eight seconds and three honorable mentions.
It was part of a dominant performance for the members of public radio's Texas Station Collaborative:
- Texas Standard won five awards; the statewide public radio newsmagazine originates from KUT in Austin and is co-produced by KERA in North Texas, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio.
- KUT also won 13 other awards, including six first places.
- And Houston Public Media's KUHF earned five honors, including two first places.
Here are the KERA winners:
- Newscast (1st place): Sam Baker and Krystina Martinez, "The Texas Impact of SCOTUS Decisions on Affirmative Action, Immigration"
- Special Series (1st place): Jerome Weeks and Hady Mawajdeh, "Artist Spotlight"; Courtney Collins (honorable mention) "One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life."
- Light Feature (1st place): Jerome Weeks, "The Rev. KM Williams Preaches Old-School Texas Gospel, Blues and Boogie - With a Wicked Sound"; Stephanie Kuo (2nd place) "Finger-Licking Good: The Science Behind Frying Chicken"
- Commentary-Editorial (1st place): Bill Holston and Sam Baker, "Confronting Bigotry in Others and Ourselves"
- Online/Special Content (1st place): KERA staff, "One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life
- Specialty or Beat Reporting (2nd place): Lauren Silverman; Courtney Collins (honorable mention)
- Best Local Talk Show (2nd place): Think staff , "Handling The Refugee Crisis"
- Serious Feature (2nd place): Lauren Silverman, "Kratom Advocates Speak Out Against Proposed Government Ban"
- Use of Actuality-Production (2nd place): Stephanie Kuo, “Traffic Changes In Mixmaster and Dallas North Tollway Closure May Mess Up Your Weekend”
- General Assignment (2nd place): Stephanie Kuo, "As Vickery Meadow Changes, Refugees and Immigrants Worry They’ll Be Pushed Out"
- Sports Story or Sports Series (2nd place): Courtney Collins, Ice In Her Veins and Gold On The Brain: North Texas Taekwondo Olympian Fights To Win"
- Continuing Coverage (2nd place): KERA staff , "Tent City"
- Digital (honorable mention): KERA staff , KERA.org
You can find the full list of TAPB winners here.
Lone Star Awards
KERA won four first-place honors in the Lone Star Awards from the Houston Press Club – the most of any radio station – including a double win for the statewide conversation program “Think” and a radio-journalist-of-the-year trophy for Lauren Silverman. Combined with one second place and two thirds in the contest, KERA earned seven Lone Star Awards, bringing its total awards haul to 31 so far this year.
It was part of a sweep of the radio categories by members of the Texas Station Collaborative -- the partnership of the four biggest public radio stations in the state.
"Texas Standard," the statewide newsmagazine co-produced by KUT in Austin and the three other TSC stations, collected two first places and five Lone Star Awards overall.
Houston Public Media won 11 Lone Stars, including five in television categories. Texas Public Radio in San Antonio earned eight, including one first place.
The Houston Press Club handed out the trophies at a June 10 awards dinner. Here are the KERA winners:
- Radio Journalist of the Year (1st place): Lauren Silverman
- Public Affairs (1st place): "Think" staff, "The Refugee Question"
- Talk Show (1st place): "Think" staff with WWNO in New Orleans and WRKF in Baton Rouge, "12 Days In July: Our Shared Tragedy"
- Use of Sound (1st place): KERA staff, "From Peace To Horror To Grief: 24 Hours In Dallas Through Sound And Pictures"
- Politics/Government (2nd place): Christopher Connelly, "Texas Education Board Candidate Who Called Obama A Gay Prostitute Won’t Back Down"
- Soft News Feature (3rd place): Jerome Weeks, "The Vanishing Acts of Theater And Memory: Adrian Hall"
- Series (3rd place): Courtney Collins, "One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life"
You can find the full list of Lone Star Award winners here.
Anson Jones, M.D., Awards
The Texas Medical Association presented KERA with three statewide honors. Here are KERA's winners of the TMA's Anson Jones, M.D., Awards:
- Journalist of the Year (honorable mention): Lauren Silverman
- In-Depth Radio (honorable mention): Sam Baker, Lead Exposure: It's More Than A Water Problem
- In-Depth Radio (honorable mention): Krys Boyd, Jeff Whittington and Stephen Becker, Think: Inheriting Cancer
You can find a full list of the TMA awards here.