AUSTIN, Texas (October 12, 2020) – KXAN-TV, the NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. serving Austin, TX, announced it has been awarded two National Edward R. Murrow Awards by the Radio Television Digital News Association. KXAN’s investigative and digital teams won the “Multimedia” category in Large Market TV for the station’s body of work in 2019. KXAN was also recognized in the “Podcast” category in Large Market TV. The RTDNA also awarded “Excellence in Innovation” to Border Report, a Nexstar Media Group website managed, in part, by KXAN journalists.
The Murrow Award is one of the most prestigious honors in the news industry and the RTDNA presents these awards annually to the best journalists from television, radio and online news organizations. Awardees are recognized as those that “uphold the RTDNA Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community,” according to the RTDNA.
Eric Lassberg, VP and General Manager of KXAN said, “This is truly an exciting and memorable moment in our evolution to serve our market the best in-depth and investigative journalism. Thank you RTDNA for the special recognition you provide to the many great news organizations across the country and the motivating words at the conclusion of Saturday night’s award ceremony – ‘keep going, chase the story, tell the truth, shine the light — because your work matters. Journalism matters.’ We couldn’t agree more!”
The RTDNA “Multimedia” award recognizes several KXAN projects such as Save Our Students, KXAN’s series of reports on unique solutions happening around Texas and across the country to help with students’ mental wellness and safety. In addition, a KXAN investigation called “Bargaining the Badge” revealed how Texas law enforcement officers accused of a crime permanently surrendered their peace officer licenses as part of a deal to avoid prison. In Mayberry Texas, KXAN revealed shortfalls in the way Texas handles missing person cases. During this investigation, state leaders vowed to revisit law enforcement reporting requirements to promote more public transparency when someone disappears. The award-winning body of work also includes a project exploring four decades of mass shootings in Texas, A History of Mass Violence. The project started after the August 2019 shootings inside an El Paso Walmart and in the cities of Midland and Odessa. KXAN asked state leaders about options to prevent future tragedies, including advanced training and suspicious activity reporting by citizens. Another innovative project included in the national Multimedia award asked women in Texas to describe their experiences of medical complications in childbirth. KXAN compiled their video diaries for Mothers Erased. The reporting explained challenges tracking cases of maternal deaths and near-deaths
New to the Murrow competition this year is the “Podcast” category, and KXAN won the Large Market TV category with its inaugural season of Catalyst, an investigative podcast exposing societal problems that impact Texans. The first season explored missing persons in Texas.
“We appreciate the recognition by fellow journalists for KXAN’s in-depth, investigative reporting and how we tailor it uniquely on each platform. It’s meaningful for our team to win in a competition amongst the largest television markets in the country,” said KXAN News Director Chad Cross. “We’re also grateful that winning the ‘Podcast – Large Market’ National Award in the very first year for the new Murrow category is raising awareness about our ‘Catalyst’ podcast series.”
BorderReport.com reports untold, local stories along the U.S.-Mexico border. In Fall 2019, a team of Border Report journalists embarked on an innovative 10-day reporting tour of the U.S.-Mexico border, starting at the Pacific Coast and ending at the Gulf of Mexico. The team traveled in a state-of-the-art vehicle equipped with IP satellite technology and multiple interior and exterior cameras, allowing audiences to see the journalists’ live reporting as they were in motion driving along the border.
In all, they produced 10 hours of livestreaming online and 140 television live shots for Nexstar stations in California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Nearly 2 million people watched the live reporting on Facebook. Stories from the border tour appeared on-air and online in Nexstar markets nationwide. The tour reports are featured in a permanent special section on BorderReport.com.