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Florida Public Media Wins National Murrow Award

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (August 11, 2022) – Florida Public Media is honored to announce the statewide public media collaboration, “Class of COVID-19: An Education Crisis for Florida’s Vulnerable Students,” has won a national Edward R. Murrow Award.

In this statewide project, public media journalists from across the state explored the high costs of the pandemic for children and young adults who faced some of the greatest obstacles to success.

The national Murrow awards recognizes excellence in journalism. The Radio Television Digital News Association presented Florida Public Media the Digital award in the large market radio group.

Participating stations included WLRN (Miami), WGCU (Fort Myers/Naples), WFSU (Tallahassee), WUSF (Tampa/St. Petersburg), WMFE (Orlando), WUCF (Orlando), WPBT (Miami), WJCT (Jacksonville), WEDU (Tampa/St. Petersburg) and WUWF (Pensacola).

“We are very proud of this work,” said David Mullins, general manager of WFSU and chair of Florida Public Media. “It took a special, in-depth look at how the pandemic affected our state’s students and schools. The project reflects the strength of collaboration among Florida’s public media stations.” Florida Public Media is the association of the state’s 24 public radio and TV stations.

The program highlighted stories across the state including:

  • In Tampa, migrant education advocates are worried about nearly 300 students — children of farmworkers — who “haven’t quite surfaced anywhere” in the last year.
  • In Tallahassee, Brady Wilson’s hard-won ability to speak in complex sentences devolved to two- or three-word phrases after schools closed last spring. The 18-year-old has Potocki-Shaffer syndrome, which causes developmental delays.
  • In Fort Lauderdale, a Broward County Public Schools social worker knows she has to “hit the pavement … and knock on those doors” to find the nearly 800 kids who haven’t logged on or shown up for in-person schooling in months.

The project included a magazine-style narrative radio program, airing statewide, an hourlong statewide television special and a series of stories and interactive multimedia content at classofcovid.org.

WUCF and WUFT (Gainesville/Ocala) also won awards in the student category.

WUCF collaborated with the Nicholson School of Communication and Media at the University of Central Florida to produce The Road to Freedom Avenue – The Legacy of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore. The project highlighted the story of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, a Black couple from Brevard County who were instrumental in the modern civil rights movement in 1951. The project won for Excellence in Digital Reporting.

WUFT reporter Victor Prieto’s story — Run, Regas, Run — earned student honors for Excellence in Video Feature Reporting. The multimedia piece documented Ocala Paralympian Regan Woods’ journey to the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

A WUFT team project — Rising From the Rubble — earned the student award for Excellence in Video Hard News. The stories showcased Louisiana’s recovery from Hurricane Ida.