KSMU has won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award from RTDNA in the category of News Series for its 2019 Sense of Community Series, “The Intersection of Poverty and Education.”
Founded in 1946, RTDNA is the world's largest professional organization devoted to broadcast and digital journalism. According to the organization’s website, the prestigious Murrow Awards honor the trust and excellence that their namesake, Edward R. Murrow, made standard for the broadcast news profession.
KSMU’s 10-part winning series aired in March, 2019 and was reported by Michele Skalicky, Randy Stewart, Megan Burke, Theresa Bettmann, Mike Smith, and Jennifer Moore. The series examined how the Ozarks region's high poverty rate affects public education. KSMU’s news team blended data with poignant storytelling to report on the following from a local perspective:
- how trauma impacts kids staying in a Springfield domestic violence shelter
- how poverty makes a teacher's job more challenging
- malnutrition and hunger mitigation in six rural Ozarks county schools
- how low-income kids in the Ozarks can acquire musical instruments
- the plight of homeless students in Willard and Springfield
- an increase in Springfield kids needing free and reduced lunches
- a safety net for homeless rural students in West Plains
- the logistics of Care To Learn, a program serving low-income students
- how a proposed increase to the debt service levy in Springfield, “Proposition S,” would impact equity among public schools
- an update on the Every Child Promise initiative on its five year anniversary
The regional win means KSMU is now under consideration for a National Murrow Award. KSMU falls under RTDNA's Region 5, which includes all member radio and TV stations in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. Over the past four decades, KSMU has won 17 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and three National Murrows.
KSMU’s Sense of Community Series is a quarterly, 10-part local radio series that dives beyond the headlines to provide in-depth coverage of issues facing people and organizations in the Ozarks. It airs throughout the year on KSMU, and its stories archived on the web here. KSMU’s next Sense of Community Series will air June 1-5, 2020, and will be devoted to the topic of “Dementia in the Ozarks.”