KOMU 8 earns award for innovative website

5 months 3 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:48:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
By: Annabel Thorpe and Madison Wright, KOMU 8 Digital Producers

COLUMBIA - The Radio Television Digital News Association has named KOMU.com best website in a small market for the second year in a row.

The Edward R. Murrow Award is one of the highest achievements in broadcast journalism.

“I’m always proud when our staff is recognized with such a prestigious award, but winning the Murrow Award for Best Website for the second consecutive year showcases the hard work our faculty, staff and students put in every day to serve our community,” said KOMU 8 Interim General Manager Matt Garrett.

The station's submission for the award included a five-part compilation of innovative, interactive storytelling on KOMU.com throughout 2017.

The submission said one of the station's "proudest achievements" stemmed from the special report on a local coroner's decision to declare bullying as the cause of death in a teenager’s suicide. Clicking on the main story image opens up a continuous scroll presentation of videos, documents, interviews and more, shining a light on Kenneth Suttner’s life and the bullying he suffered.

Eclipse coverage accounted for three of the five submitted links. For months leading up to the event, KOMU.com featured dozens of stories on a specially-designed web page. Stories were broken into four categories: science, planning, impact and events. Coverage ranged from the effect of eclipse tourism on the local economy to how to protect your eyes before and after totality.

One reporter utilized StoryMap JS to dive into the myths and legends around eclipses. On the big day, the website aggregated tweets from across the viewing area in a live blog.

Reporters frequently use open-source tools to create interactive content for KOMU.com. When a state trooper was charged in the drowning death of a man in his custody, KOMU.com utilized Timeline JS to show viewers “how a 2014 drowning resulted in at least two lawsuits, charges of a coverup and three years of conflict”.

Dozens of student reporters and digital producers contributed to the winning projects. The KOMU 8 newsroom is filled each day with young journalists telling the stories that matter to their community.

"Every reporter, anchor and digital producer contributes every day to making sure KOMU.com is the best news source it can possibly be,” KOMU 8 News Director Randy Reeves said. “To have that work recognized two years in a row is just awesome.”

Reeves called the Murrow "an amazing win" for the KOMU 8 News team.

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