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NBC15 earns 7 Regional Murrow Awards, including Overall Excellence

Regional Edward R. Murrow Award
Regional Edward R. Murrow Award(RTDNA)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 6:44 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The 2022 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards saw WMTV’s NBC15 News team take home more top honors than any other news station in its division for the second year in a row.

The results for the four-state region – which includes Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota as well as Wisconsin – saw the station claim seven first-place awards.

“These honors recognize the talents of individuals and the team and what we can accomplish together. The work being recognized shows the range of our reporting— we can cover the hard, heavy stuff and celebrate life’s lighter moments. The honors also reflect the creativity, the passion and the commitment our team brings to the job each and every day,” said NBC15 News Director Jessica Laszewski.

Overall Excellence: NBC15 News

NBC15′s entry for Overall Excellence compiles the wide array of coverage our newsroom has done in the past year, including memorable news features and sports content. Coverage recognized ranges from the COVID-19 pandemic, breaking news like the Rockton plant fire, communities affected by the Boscobel tornado, the homicides of Bart and Krista Halderson, the Waukesha Parade tragedy and more. It also recognizes our community outreach in station efforts such as Share Your Holidays and our first NBC15 Diaper Drive.

Continuing Coverage: From Pandemic to Progress

As communities continue to move forward in the pandemic, NBC15 followed how communities are recovering. Starting with Class During COVID, which was also honored with a Regional Murrow Award this year, NBC15 followed local classrooms as students began to return to the classroom. In the One Year of COVID-19, our newsroom recapped how far the state has come, including vaccine administration. Through our Vaccine Tracker team, NBC15 tracked vaccination efforts across the state and analyzed data reported by state health officials. The comeback also included that of local businesses in our Moving Forward series, touring local communities throughout the summer in the Celebrating Summer series and NBC15′s John Stofflet took viewers on a kayak tour of some local spots in Exploring Wisconsin.

News Series: Class During COVID: West Middleton Elementary

The pandemic drastically changed the face of education, so the NBC15 newsroom followed five different classrooms in five different school districts all year long. Leigh Mills followed her son’s kindergarten class with a monthly check-in. The series included eight stories throughout the 2020-2021 school year, four in 2021. NBC15 documented the virtual instruction start to the year, the transition to hybrid learning and finally in-person instruction in the spring.

Excellence in Writing: NBC15′s John Stofflet

This entry includes three Making A Difference stories written by John Stofflet. The first story, “Can Man Can,” tells the tale of Gary Gates, a Madison man passionate about the environment and recycling of cans. Stofflet’s second story describes Jeff Erlanger, a Madison man who inspired Mister Rogers, whose legacy inspired the expansion of accessible playgrounds in Madison. The final story takes a look back on a late Madison man who found a unique way to encourage patriotism, especially among children, by dressing up and being known as Uncle Sam.

Feature Reporting: Back on Track

The Toy Train Barn, like many Wisconsin attractions, closed to visitors during the pandemic. Buck and Jan Guthrie reopened to visitors and got back to business in a big way during Memorial Day weekend 2021. Back on Track was also recently awarded first place for Best Feature by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association in its annual Awards for Excellence competition.

Podcast: Making Wisconsin: A History of the Badger State

In this NBC15 News podcast, we look back at some of the events that helped shape the Wisconsin we know and love. The inaugural season of Making Wisconsin: A History of the Badger State, features episodes on explaining how Bucky Badger came to be, boiling down a Wisconsin accent and remembering the Sterling Hall bombing. You can listen to all of the episodes here.

Sports Reporting: From Farm to Finish

The 300-acre Englewood Farms became the home of a world class mountain biking trail that’s apart of USA cycling’s pro mountain bike cross country tour. Competitors traveled from around the world to get a piece of the land. From Farm to Finish was honored with a second place award by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association in its annual Awards for Excellence competition.

The Murrow Awards recognize local and national news stories that uphold the RTDNA Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community. Each Regional Murrow Award winner will advance to compete for a National Edward R. Murrow Award and will be invited to the Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala on Oct. 10 at Gotham Hall in New York City. The winners will be announced later this summer.

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