CapRadio Wins Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Digital News
Sacramento, CA - May 6, 2021: The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) today announced that Capital Public Radio (CapRadio) is the recipient of a Regional 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award in the Digital category for Large Market Radio. The Edward R. Murrow Awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and digital news organizations around the world.
CapRadio was honored in this year’s Digital category for its overall digital presence and coverage of the people, policies and events that shaped 2020. In a year that was filled with crises and major news events — a pandemic, protests, wildfires, a contentious election — CapRadio found innovative ways to serve its audiences on digital platforms, providing essential information while making connections between stories and topics to the individual impacts experienced in its communities.
“At CapRadio, we always have our audiences in mind, and we’re constantly evaluating how best to provide the information they need in a way that is accessible and available when they need it,” said Chris Hagan, managing editor of digital content at CapRadio. “I credit my team and the collaborative approach we took across departments to find new and creative ways to serve our communities during an extraordinary year, and I’m humbled that we were recognized with this award for the amazing work that CapRadio accomplished in 2020.”
CapRadio’s digital award was based on major reporting initiatives that revolved around the COVID-19 pandemic, the George Floyd demonstrations in Sacramento and California wildfires, including:
COVID-19 Case Tracker
Early in the pandemic CapRadio identified challenges for people in the state to get basic infomation on how the coronavirus was spreading within their communities. The digital team partnered with other stations in the state to not only build a tracker that showed case and death rates by county but added information on at-risk health indicators of people in their county using Census data. The team then open-sourced all the work so any news organization in the country could do so in their state.
Coronavirus Newsletter & Real-Time Q&A Tool
Like many news outlets, CapRadio started taking questions from its communities about the coronavirus, receiving hundreds in the first week alone. CapRadio used this to inform its stories and launch a daily coronavirus newsletter to answer those questions, provide the latest news and resources, and connect the dots between rapidly changing information.
But the digital team also wanted to find a way to let people see the questions they were getting and answers they were finding in real time to provide more responsive and accessible information. Working with the in-house development team, they launched Your Coronavirus Questions, Answered, a responsive, searchable and filterable tool for people seeking information about COVID-19.
George Floyd Demonstrations in Sacramento
During the racial justice protests that spread across the country following the murder of George Floyd, the CapRadio newsroom responded to not only document the demonstrations but go deeper to explain the reasons behind them. In addition to bearing witness to the protests and providing updates on Twitter late into the nights, CapRadio reporters spoke with Black demonstrators to describe in their own words what they felt during the protests.
During California's historic wildfire season, the digital team created a central destination that people could access for essential information. This need was identified based on past surveys to surrounding communities. The resource page included links to official Twitter and Facebook accounts for law enforcement, embeds of daily press conferences and links to CapRadio’s previous resources on how to prepare for wildfire.
The Regional Murrow Award winners are now under consideration for the National Murrow Award competition. A complete list of Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards winners can be found at rtdna.org.
CapRadio serves California’s Capital Region, Central Valley and Sierra Nevada as the public-supported alternative to for-profit media. As the NPR-member station based in Sacramento, CapRadio connects with communities through seven broadcast stations, live streaming, podcasts, digital communities, live experiences and more. Known for its award-winning newsroom, CapRadio is recognized as a leader in community-engaged journalism and state government reporting, and CapRadio Music is the exclusive broadcast source of classical and jazz in the region. With more than 500,000 weekly listeners on-air and online, CapRadio provides a trusted and indispensable source of information, music and events.