WHYY receives 4 Murrow Awards for reporting on 2020 election, racial justice

In this October 2020 file photo, Jamari Davis and his sister Amanda Davis-Buie, both Lebanon County residents, are pictured. They voted for former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. (Dani Fresh for Keystone Crossroads)

In this October 2020 file photo, Jamari Davis and his sister Amanda Davis-Buie, both Lebanon County residents, are pictured. They voted for former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. (Dani Fresh for Keystone Crossroads)

For its reporting in a year of unrelenting news, WHYY News has received four Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association. The awards honor “outstanding achievements” in multimedia journalism and range in coverage topics from the 2020 election, to protests against racial injustice, to the city’s opioid crisis.

WHYY News was awarded the honors in a region encompassing large-market stations in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Regional winners will move on to the national round of the competition. Those winners will be announced this summer.

Winners include WHYY’s Digital News Team for a series answering readers’ and listeners’ questions about the 2020 election and the at-times confusing mail ballot process.

WHYY Keystone Crossroads education reporter Avi Wolfman-Arent received an award in the Feature Reporting category for a story about a racial justice reckoning inside a Chick-Fil-A franchise, where in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, a group of young Black employees had reached a tipping point and demanded equity in their workplace.

“I can’t say enough about how proud I am of WHYY’s News staff, both those recognized and the many behind-the-scenes staff who made this happen,” said Sandra Clark, vice president for news and civic dialogue. “The awards represent work during a year of unrelenting major news events. We appreciate being recognized by our peers, but most importantly, the staff has been laser-focused on what do our communities need from us.”

In the Hard News category, WHYY health reporter Nina Feldman was honored for her reporting on Rosalind Pichardo, an activist and lifelong resident of Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, which is at the heart of the city’s opioid epidemic. Since learning about the overdose-reversal drug Narcan, Pichardo has been on a mission to give out as much of it as she can, including to drug dealers.

Keystone Crossroads also took home an award in the News Series category, for reporting from its Embedded 2020 project, a collaboration with America Amplified to tell people-centered stories surrounding the 2020 election.

Lead reporters included WHYY’s Laura Benshoff, Miles Bryan, Katie Meyer, and WITF’s Alanna Elder, with contributions from WHYY’s Peter Crimmins, WPSU’s Min Xian, WITF’s Sam Dunklau and Emily Previti, and WESA’s Ariel Worthy.

Here are the Embedded 2020 stories included in the News Series award:

The BLM movement found support in red, rural Pa. What will it mean for voting? | Laura Benshoff

From Philly to Erie, 12 Pa. voters talk about their crucial swing state vote | Laura Benshoff, Min Xian, Emily Previti, Peter Crimmins, Alanna Elder, Sam Dunklau and Ariel Worthy

Millions of Pennsylvanians skip every election. Here’s why this year could be different | Miles Bryan

They rejected Trump, but stuck with Republicans down-ballot. Meet Pa.’s ticket splitters | Laura Benshoff and Katie Meyer

Trump, Biden, COVID: Perfect recipe for a deeply divided family Christmas | Alanna Elder

‘Numb,’ ‘disappointed,’ and divided: Pa. voters say insurrection at Capitol was a turning point | Laura Benshoff, Miles Bryan and Alanna Elder

You can find the full list of Murrow Award winners here.

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