KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -The Radio Television Digital News Association presented WVLT News with several prestigious Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards on Thursday, May 6. RTDNA says recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that renowned journalist, Edward R. Murrow, set as a standard for the profession of journalism.
WVLT News competed in a five-state region, which includes stations across Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
WVLT News honors included Feature Reporting and Sports Reporting for a story on a competitive horseback rider who became a triple amputee but continued to find success in the show ring. Months after losing most of her limbs, she was back on her horse competing against able-bodied people, and winning. Amanda Hara along with Robert Grant were honored for this story.
WVLT was also honored with a Regional Murrow for Excellence in Writing for the story from Amanda Hara, Get Back in the Saddle. There is no question that 2020 was a year filled with doubt, anxiety and fear for many people. That’s why Jessica Thoma’s story of survival was so important. She bravely shared her journey with Amanda and delivered hope to East Tennesseans, proving we can always get back in the saddle.
A very important series of stories filmed by Brittany Tarwater and Chief Photographer Keith Smith were awarded one of the Regional Edward R. Murrow Award in the News Series category for Prevent the Tragedy: Drowning Dangers.
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages one to four and the second leading killer of teenagers. In a story that lead to a passionate series about water safety, former Lady Volunteer swimmer and new mom, Tarwater talked to families across the country who are using their stories to prevent the tragedy of losing another child to drowning, beginning with an East Tennessee mother.
“This is a very exciting honor for our news team to be recognized for four different Regional Murrow Awards this year in what was such a trying time. Now more than ever, solid journalism you can trust is needed and appreciated. We want to continue to tell the important stories of East Tennessee and be a source our community can count on. A special congratulations to Amanda Hara, Brittany Tarwater, Keith Smith, and Marybeth Jacoby for her leadership. Ultimately, they are station awards, though, and I am so proud of our entire team for our continued success and commitment to Making a Difference,” said Jasmine Hardin, Vice President and General Manager of WVLT News.
The winning entries will now advance to the National Murrow Award competition.
WVLT News is proud to serve a community that is willing to share its stories of hope, success, and triumph.