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WUSF, Independent Producer Win National Murrow Award for Documentary

I’m excited to announce that we’ve received one of the most prestigious honors in broadcast journalism, a national Edward R. Murrow award.

This is for an audio documentary we featured on Florida Matters about a man who jumped off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge…and survived.

If you’ve heard the amazing story, you remember it. If not, you should listen to it right now.

Congratulations to documentary producer Rich Halten, Florida Matters host Carson Cooper, and the entire WUSF news team for this national Murrow Award.

Here’s the official press release:

WUSF Public Media announced today it received first place nationally in the Edward R. Murrow Award in the audio documentary, large market category.

Entitled “Jumping Off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge…and Surviving,” the winning documentary includes a story by independent radio producer and Lakeland native Rich Halten called “Splash” and an interview of Halten by WUSF Public Media’s Carson Cooper for the show “Florida Matters.”

The documentary is about the many people who have jumped off the Sunshine Skyway, one lucky guy who survived, and how broken bones and a collapsed lung made him a new man.  As part of the program, Cooper spoke with Halten about the history of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and suicide, and the ethics of taking on this difficult subject.

“As one of the most prestigious and competitive awards in broadcasting journalism, this is such an honor for our newsroom,” said JoAnn Urofsky, general manager of WUSF Public Media.  “It is through the leadership of our news director, Scott Finn, and our talented reporters that has enabled us to reach this outstanding achievement.”

The award will be accepted at the Radio Television Digital News Association award ceremony in October.

RTDNA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Murrow’s pursuit of excellence in journalism embodies the spirit of the awards that carry his name. Murrow Award recipients demonstrate the excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard for the electronic news profession. In 2011, 600 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards were handed out and of those 600, 95 went on to win National Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Previous audio documentary winners include NPR, This American Life, and WBEZ-Chicago.

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA)

RTDNA is the world's largest professional organization exclusively serving the electronic news profession, consisting of more than 3,000 news directors, news associates, educators and students.

About WUSF Public Media

WUSF Public Media is a comprehensive media organization that provides media services to the community and businesses through public broadcasting and multi-media production services.  Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF Public Media serves the public interest through programming, educational outreach and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.wusf.org.

Scott Finn is a former news director at WUSF Public Media, which provides in-depth reporting for Tampa Bay and all of Florida.
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