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KCUR Wins National Edward R. Murrow Award For Excellence In Writing

Brandon Parigo
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Aviva Okeson-Haberman joined KCUR in June 2019 as the Missouri politics and government reporter, having interned at the station a year earlier and impressed the newsroom with her work ethic, diligence, conscientiousness and eagerness to learn.

The Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing went to KCUR for a story by the late Aviva Okeson-Haberman.

The Radio Television Digital News Association Tuesday announced the national winners of the Edward R. Murrow Award, and the top prize for Excellence in Writing went to KCUR for a story by the late Aviva Okeson-Haberman: A Sarcastic Poker Player And Food Bank Volunteer: Family Remember A Kansas Citian Lost To The Pandemic.

The story was part of a larger project, KC Remembers, a series memorializing some of the 1,200 people in Kansas City who had died from COVID-19.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman was the Missouri government and politics reporter at KCUR. She died in April at age 24 after suffering a gunshot wound in her Kansas City apartment. She was an especially beloved friend and colleague, just beginning what promised to be a brilliant career.

“It of course comes as no surprise to all of us who knew Aviva that her work would receive national recognition,” says KCUR news director, Lisa Rodriguez. “Aviva’s reporting on the impacts of the pandemic reflect her compassion, her commitment to bringing light to topics often left in the shadows, and her gifts as a storyteller. We are honored to see her work recognized by the RTDNA.”

The award was given based on “excellence in writing that conveys the feeling and significance of events to the listener or viewer.” The Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in news, recognizing the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community.

KCUR will be recognized alongside all of the award winners at the RTDNA’s gala in New York City in October.

KCUR took home five regional Edward R. Murrow awards earlier this year. Additionally, KCUR reporter Chris Haxel received the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting, and KCUR was recognized with awards from both the Kansas Association of Broadcasters and the Missouri Broadcasters Association earlier this summer.

Karen Campbell is the Director of Institutional Giving & Communications for KCUR 89.3. You can reach her at karen@kcur.org.
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