June 29, 2009
Anna Christopher, NPR
NPR AWARDED FOR BREAKING NEWS COVERAGE OF CHINA EARTHQUAKE, SPORTS REPORTING DURING THE 2008 SUMMER OLYMPICS, AND “DIRTY MONEY” SERIES AT NPR.org
Winning in the “Breaking News” category was NPR’s memorable coverage of the magnitude 7.9 earthquake that devastated Sichuan Province in May 2008. All Things Considered hosts Melissa Block and Robert Siegel were in the provincial capitol of Chengdu with their production team, preparing for a special weeklong broadcast, when the massive earthquake struck. In the hours, days and weeks to follow, Block, Siegel and the entire team traveled throughout Sichuan to witness the immense devastation and loss, and later, the relief efforts. Their extensive reporting aired across all of NPR’s programs, and has since been honored with a Peabody, duPont-Columbia, National Headliner and Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi awards. Block returned to China with producer Andrea Hsu this year for a series of follow-up reports.
In the “Sports Reporting” category, NPR was recognized for overall coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Correspondents Howard Berkes, Tom Goldman and Frank Langfitt and senior editor Uri Berliner covered the Games’ major events and profiled Olympians from all over of the world, while NPR’s China-based correspondents Anthony Kuhn and Louisa Lim brought listeners news happening beyond the walls of the Olympic Village. All coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games is archived online.
Receiving a Murrow in the “Web Site” category was the NPR.org site created for “Dirty Money,” an enterprising multimedia series that aired in June 2008 and investigated the drug money that is seized along America’s highways. With reporting in Texas, Alabama and Georgia, the series found that, in some cases, confiscating drug money becomes the priority for local law enforcement over stopping the flow the drugs. The “Dirty Money” site was recognized for excellence in-depth and quality content, innovation, use of audio and video, visual design, functionality and usability, interactivity and storytelling techniques. Sharing this award is the multimedia reporting team for “Dirty Money”: digital news editor Tanya Ballard-Brown, correspondent John Burnett, editor Quinn O’Toole and producer Marisa Penaloza.
The Edward R. Murrow Awards will be presented at the RTNDA Awards Dinner on October 12 in New York.