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UCF Student Journalism Project Wins National Murrow Award

Digital Project launched Feb. 22, featuring the story of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore 
in collaboration with WUCF  

ORLANDO, Fla. (August 11, 2022) – A student-produced multimedia journalism project spotlighting 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, has been honored with an Edward R. Murrow Award. 

WUCF TV, Central Florida’s PBS station, in collaboration with the Nicholson School of Communication and Media at the University of Central Florida produced The Road to Freedom Avenue – The Legacy of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, a project featuring audio, visual and written content from UCF journalism students. 

Of the awards given to journalists, the Murrow Awards are among the most respected journalism awards in the world. WUCF was named the winner of Excellence in Digital Reporting for the Moore project in the national student awards. 

The Moores were educators and activists in Mims, Fla., with Harry Moore establishing the first NAACP chapter in the county. Their anti-racist efforts challenged the status quo that discriminated against them. On Christmas night in 1951, their house was bombed by white supremacists while they slept, causing their deaths. A replica of their home was built on their street, Freedom Avenue; several markers, a cultural complex museum, and many local residents still carry their message today.  

WUCF executive director Jennifer Cook said digital platforms are a vital way to share important stories of our history out to the world. 

“Partnering and collaborating with journalists and producers throughout our community allow us to fulfill our role as Central Florida’s Storytellers,” Cook said. “Students at the University of Central Florida are doing some great work. We are honored to join them in getting these important stories out to larger audiences, especially the untold stories that help educate and engage our audience.”  

Rick Brunson, UCF Senior Instructor of Journalism, said the project started with a Facebook post. Moved to action after reading about the racism and domestic terrorism under the color of law in the 1940s and ‘50s, Brunson visited the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex in Mims to learn more and pay his respects. Upon returning to the classroom Brunson turned the story into a class project for students in his RTV 3301 Electronic Journalism 1 class. 

“We are so grateful to WUCF for suggesting and fully supporting this partnership,” Brunson said. “It was so gratifying for the students and such a privilege to honor the Moores’ legacy and the impact their lives continue to have on Central Florida and beyond.”  

WUFT-TV in Gainesville also won two awards in the student category.

Run, Regas, Run won the Excellence In Video Feature Reporting award for portraying Regas Woods’ attempts to represent Team USA at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics.

Rising from the Rubble won the Excellence in Video Hard News award for capturing the story of Louisiana’s recovery from Hurricane Ida.

The 2022 National Murrow Awards will be presented in New York City in October. 

To learn more about The Moore Project, please visit wucf.org/themooreproject/

Hoffman Departs WUCF

Julian Wyllie. Current.

Phil Hoffman announced Monday that he is leaving his role as executive director and assistant VP of WUCF in Orlando, Fla.

In an announcement on Facebook, Hoffman cited personal reasons for his departure.

“The past 18 months have changed everyone’s lives, including mine. My wife and I have returned to visit our parents in Ohio 3-4 times per year, but that became unsustainable during the pandemic,” he said. “A 17-hour car ride each way was punishing. Something had to change. And Corona seems to be insistent on overstaying its welcome.”

Hoffman said he will work on national public media initiatives as a consultant, adding that “the time is right for my next public media adventure.”

Hoffman joined WUCF in 2016. During his tenure, he said, the station has more than tripled membership to nearly 26,000 and adopted ATSC 3.0.

Before joining WUCF, Hoffman was director of broadcast services and GM for KMOS in Warrensburg, Mo. He was also GM for ZTV, a student-run station at the University of Akron, and GM for WAPS in Akron, Ohio.

Jennifer Cook was named interim ED for WUCF after Hoffman’s departure. She previously worked as senior director of content and engagement.

Via the Current