Health News Florida Wins National Edward R. Murrow Award

Health News Florida, a statewide multimedia and broadcast collaboration between WUSF Public Media, WMFE 90.7, and WLRN Public Radio and Television, has been honored with the 2016 national Edward R. Murrow award for “Best Small Online News Organization Website.”

The national Murrow award is considered one of the most prestigious honors in the broadcast and multi-media industry. It is presented by the Radio and Television Digital News Association, which has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism since 1971. The awards are named after legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, who is widely recognized as one of broadcast journalism’s seminal figures.

“The Health News Florida project demonstrates an essential service that WUSF provides on perhaps the most vital topic possible – health,” said WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky. “My congratulations to the team across the state of Florida for their excellence in reporting.”

This year’s award recognizes Health News Florida for original reporting projects such as HIV in Florida, a series looking at poor Floridians caught in the Medicaid Gap, and ongoing coverage of statewide health care policies. This award follows other recent recognitions for Health News Florida, including regional Murrow awards for the site and in the news documentary division; and three awards from the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

“WMFE is very proud to partner with WUSF and WLRN,” said WMFE President and General Manager, LaFontaine Oliver.  “The Health News Florida project has multiplied the reporting power of our individual stations resulting in an incredible health news resource and service to all of Florida.”

Health journalist Carol Gentry created Health News Florida 10 years ago as an independent health news organization, at a time when the number of health journalists in the state was dwindling. It was acquired by WUSF in 2012 and expanded to the collaboration with partner public broadcasters WLRN and WMFE in 2014 as a result of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

“This is a remarkable accomplishment and reinforces not just WLRN as a news leader in South Florida, but it also reflects the tremendous work from our fellow public media stations across the state of Florida, ” said John LaBonia, General Manager of WLRN.  “I am very proud of this news partnership and congratulate the entire team for this well-deserved recognition and their collaboration in making Florida Health News such a valuable public service.”

Florida public radio and television stations have a strong history of collaboration on projects the benefit the citizens of Florida. Florida public radio stations joined forces with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to form the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) in 2014, which covers 99 percent of the state and is locally staffed and equipped to stay on the air to deliver important information to local audiences before, during and after an emergency. Florida public television stations work together across the state to provide Florida teachers, parents, students, and mentors with the Florida PBS LearningMedia, a free and innovative digital library developed to support curriculum-based teaching and learning from pre-K through college. The success of these initiatives, along with the award-winning Health News Florida, demonstrates the deep commitment of Florida public television and radio stations have to serving the state and its citizens.

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