WTIP Staff

WTIP wins Edward R. Murrow Award for story on Ham Lake Fire

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced April 25 that WTIP is among the winners of the 2018 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. The awards recognize the best journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.

In the small market radio category, WTIP won for Best News Documentary “Ham Lake Fire,” by Joe Friedrichs. The story included the voices of more than a dozen residents of the Gunflint Trail and others who were impacted by the devastating Ham Lake Fire that burned in May 2007. The story debuted on May 4, 2017, to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the fire. In addition, the segment remains one of WTIP’s most-listened-to audio features online.

“At a time when it’s fashionable to bash so-called mainstream media, it’s more important than ever to recognize the extraordinary work of dedicated journalists who serve communities across our country,” said RTDNA Chairman Scott Libin. “In cities large and small, representing a wide variety of ownership groups, these news organizations show why Americans trust local journalists to report fairly and accurately about issues that matter.”

WTIP Station Manager Deb Benedict said winning the Edward R. Murrow Award is great for the radio station, but also for anyone who was impacted by the Ham Lake Fire or has a connection to the Gunflint Trail community.

“We are very excited and honored to receive this national recognition for the work we do here on a local level,” Benedict said. “This is great for Joe and for WTIP. And we are so grateful to everyone who shared their stories in this feature about the Ham Lake Fire.”

RTDNA received more than 4,400 entries during the 2018 awards season, announcing the recipients on the 110th anniversary of the birth of Edward R. Murrow.

Regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged in May. National awards, including those for network news organizations, will be presented at the RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City on October 12. National winners will be announced in June.

The WTIP Ham Lake Fire feature that won the 2018 Edward R. Murrow Award is shared below.