WKOW wins regional Edward R. Murrow award for groundbreaking documentary

April 25, 2017 0 Comments


(WKOW) —- WKOW 27 News has been awarded a regional Edward R. Murrow award for its groundbreaking documentary “Our Wisconsin: Equity and Justice for All.”  All regional award winners automatically advance to the national Murrow competition, with the winners to be announced in early June.

The awards were announced Tuesday morning by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). The Edward R Murrow Awards recognize outstanding achievement in electronic journalism.

The news Documentary category recognizes a program or segment that addresses the need or needs of the community.

In this installment of the award-winning documentary series, “Our Wisconsin: Equity and Justice for All” , WKOW investigated the issues that some say prove Wisconsin is the most racist in America. Racial disparities, the difference between how people of different races are treated, are extreme and widespread in Wisconsin. The state has the nation’s biggest disparities between white and black people in everything from infant mortality, to student performance and graduation rates, to unemployment and poverty, to arrest and incarceration rates.

The documentary highlights people impacted by those disparities and examines how the history of race in America has created systems and institutions that have effectively relegated many blacks to a second-class citizen status. We discovered why there’s hope that the dire situation the nation and state are now in is actually the perfect time to make meaningful change. In a state with a nearly-90% white population, we provide the rare voice of African Americans who live the disparities every day, as they describe how the differences in treatment and opportunities, “wear at the very soul of our black community,” in the words of one of the more than two dozen people who share their experiences, thoughts and opinions.

Then, a panel of concerned citizens joined us to talk about what needs to be done to give everyone a chance to be part of Wisconsin’s image as one of the best places to live in America. In the ensuing months, we have also done follow-up reports to hold officials accountable for the continuing disparities in k-12 education and at the University of Wisconsin. Teachers are showing it to their students, pastors are showing it to their congregations and one local police department is recommending the documentary to its officers and public officials as a way to bridge the gaps in understanding that stand in the way of ending disparities based on skin color.

“I am so proud WKOW has been honored by this award,” said WKOW News Director Ed Reams, “ I am particularly proud of the work anchor Greg Jeschke and photojournalist Ryan Moore did in this 6-month long project. The community discussion in our studios after the documentary was some of the frank and honest conversations I’ve ever heard the community have with itself. This was a newsroom effort highlighting a real problem in our community. It is a program that made a real impact.”

You can watch the award winning entry here.

To see the list of winners, click here.

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