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KCUR Wins Five Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards From 2021 Contest

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Radio Television Digital News Association
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KCUR took home five Edward R. Murrow Awards from the 2021 contest.

The station was recognized for its reporting on climate change in Kansas City, investigations into surprise medical billing, and remembrances of lives lost during the pandemic.

KCUR 89.3 has been awarded five Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for its 2020 coverage on the Kansas City region, spanning from reporting on Black Lives Matter protests to a series remembering the people lost to COVID-19.

The Murrow Awards, which are given out every year by the Radio Television Digital News Association, are among the most prestigious prizes in journalism.

KCUR competes in the large market radio division of Region 5, which includes the states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. The winners of the regional awards will go on to compete in the national competition.

Among the honors taken home by the station are three for KCUR's Aviva Okeson-Haberman, who was killed in April at age 24, but whose wide-spanning reporting continues to be recognized and touch lives.

“We are so fortunate to have a team of excellent reporters doing important work every single day, and it’s always fulfilling to be recognized by a prestigious organization like RTDNA," says KCUR general manager Sarah Morris. "This formal acknowledgment of excellence compels and motivates our team to continue to tell the stories of our communities.”

Here is a list of all the 2021 Regional Murrow Awards won by KCUR:

News Series

KC Remembers — Edited by Maria Carter; reported by Frank Morris, Aviva Okeseon-Haberman, Luke X. Martin, Peggy Lowe

In December, KCUR 89.3 aired its KC Remembers series memorializing some of the 1,2000 people in Kansas City who had died from COVID-19. Stories submitted for the award include:

News Documentary

Climate Change In Kansas CityProduced by Melody Rowell; edited by Erica Hunzinger; hosted by Brian Ellison; reported by Aviva Okeson-Haberman, Laura Ziegler, Elle Moxley, Lisa Rodriguez, Kyle Palmer, Andrea Tudhope, Frank Morris, Michelle Tyrene Johnson

This special episode of the KCUR show Central Standard featured extensive reporting on how climate change is already affecting the Kansas City metro area, as well as what we can do about it.

Excellence In Sound

A Look Back At Three Weeks Of Black Lives Matter Protests In Kansas CityFrank Morris

Reporter Frank Morris was honored for his feature on how the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Kansas City have evolved and spread across the region — using sound to place the listener directly in the middle of the summer's protests and mass arrests.

Excellence In Writing

A Sarcastic Poker Player And Food Bank Volunteer: Family Remember A Kansas Citian Lost To The PandemicAviva Okeson-Haberman

As part of the KC Remembers series, reporter Aviva Okeson-Haberman paid tribute to the "glamorous" Renee Fletcher, a former Miss Kansas City Chamber of Commerce who "wouldn’t leave her house without styling her stunning platinum blond hair." Fletcher died May 3, 2020 of COVID-19.

Hard News

A Kansan's $50k Medical Bill Shows That You Don't Always Owe What You're ChargedCelia Llopis-Jepsen

KCUR and Kansas News Service reporter Celia Llopis-Jepsen investigated why Pittsburg, Kansas, resident Alvin Letner was charged nearly $50,000 for an air ambulance flight after a motorcycle accident. In the course of Llopis-Jepsen's reporting, the air ambulance company admitted it never planned to collect that much money from Letner. This story was part of the Kansas News Service's "Bills Of Health" series on surprise medical billing.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with essential news and information.
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