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WRAL Wins Three Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, Including Overall Excellence Once Again

26/05/2023

Awards presented to WRAL News and WRAL Documentary Teams

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has honored WRAL News with three Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including the Overall Excellence award for the second year in a row. In the past year, WRAL has won the Regional Murrow award for Overall Excellence for 2022, RTDNAC Award for Outstanding News Operation, several Regional Emmys including one for News Excellence, and now the Regional Murrow Award for Overall Excellence once again. The most-watched news in the Triangle is also the most-honored.

The Regional Murrow Awards recognize the best journalism produced by radio, television and digital news organizations. Regional Murrow Awards are presented to small and large radio, television and digital outlets in regions across the country and are automatically considered for a national award.

WRAL News Director Rick Gall said, Winning consecutive regional Murrow awards for Overall Excellence is a terrific honor. I'm so proud of the staff for their incredibly hard work, amazing dedication, and outstanding news coverage. It's all in service to the community, which drives us to excel every day.

WRAL was recognized in the following categories:

Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Critical Term: Why Are Black Mothers and Babies Dying?

WRAL

Raleigh, NC

Newscast

The 25th Hour: After the Hedingham Shooting

WRAL

Raleigh, NC

Overall Excellence

WRAL

WRAL

Raleigh, NC

Overall Excellence: WRAL has an intense commitment to serving our community, and 2022 saw us following through on that promise in many different ways. While a teenager went on a killing spree in Raleigh, WRAL remained on air and streaming for more than six hours, while police tracked him across the city. When hurricanes threatened the Carolina coast, WRAL's meteorologists and reporters kept people safe with frequent updates and live reports. As one of the only stations in the country with a dedicated documentary team, WRAL exposed the bureaucratic red tape that caused thousands of hurricane victims to remain homeless for years after the floodwaters had receded.

This year also saw the launch of two new digital products, WRAL News+ and WRAL Sports+ which stream live and recorded programming 24/7. WRAL News+ also now airs on radio and a secondary television as well, giving us the ability to reach our audience on any platform at any time.

This year, WRAL sent crews to Poland, to observe those on the frontline of the war in Ukraine, to Vietnam to look into the new electric vehicle manufacturer promising thousands of jobs in our area, and to Iceland, to showcase the natural beauty and environmental efforts of a country viewers can now fly to directly.

WRAL examined the pandemic's impact on children in our Pandemic Generation documentary, and after it aired we held a phone bank where we connected people directly with mental health professionals who later told us they saved lives in those conversations.

Newscast: 24 hours after a mass shooting, WRAL responded to a grieving and shocked community with emotion, heart, information, and help. This entry for The 25th Hour: After the Hedingham Shooting involved general assignment, enterprise, investigative & breaking news staff who chipped in to share details and depth rarely seen the day after. 911 calls highlighted key moments; photos and compelling interviews told stories of those killed and wounded; experts provided mental health tips, and we confirmed the identity of the teen suspect when authorities didn't name him.

This newscast aired in the 25th hour after WRAL learned of the shooting. After 6 hours of non-stop coverage starting at 6pm the previous night, this show provides a bridge into the next phase of WRAL's coverage. We met the viewer where they were in the midst of shock and sorrow and brought them the information they wanted and needed, both about the crime, and about the 15-year-old suspected shooter.

WRAL broke format, dedicating an entire half-hour to one story, aside from the weathercast. WRAL introduced viewers to the men and women injured and killed in this shooting; and pointed out the key locations and used our experiences from the previous night paired with 911 calls to put together an initial timeline of events. WRAL helped parents talk to their kids about the shooting, and helped those in the neighborhood impacted the most seek out help. This collaboration and teamwork allowed WRAL to assemble reporting that had more depth and breadth in the first 24 hours than one usually sees about mass shootings in the first few days.

Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: This award-winning entry was for the program Critical Term: Why Are Black Mothers and Babies Dying? produced by the WRAL Documentary team, black mothers and babies are dying from pregnancy-related complications at a rate alarmingly higher than other races. Why? This program shines a light on the maternal and infant health crisis.

A full list of regional Edward R. Murrow winners can be found on www.rtdna.org.

Thanks to WRAL-TV's Catherine Fitzhenry for this Capcom story.
LINK: https://capitolbroadcasting.com/2023/05/19/wral-tv-wins-three-regional...
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