(Seattle-Tacoma, WA) – 88.5 KNKX has garnered a 2020 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). Regional Murrow Awards recognize media that demonstrate the values, principles, and spirit of excellence that Edward R. Murrow set as a standard for the profession of broadcast and digital journalism. Regional Murrow Awards are presented to small and large radio, television and digital outlets based on 14 geographic regions. KNKX is in the Large Market Category, Region 1 which includes Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.
In the Investigative Reporting category, KNKX was recognized for Youth and Education Reporter Ashley Gross’ three-part series, “Who’s Counted: Taking a Closer Look at School District Graduation Rates” that aired in the spring of 2019 about how some students are not counted in school district graduation rates, including students who attend drop-out re-engagement programs. Those schools have very low graduation rates and serve some of the most vulnerable students. In addition, the series examined publicly-funded online schools and how these students are also left out of district graduation rates. Finally, Gross shined a light on a man forced to resign from leading an Oregon charter school network who is now running an online school in Washington and has acknowledged that it will be difficult to meet performance targets established by Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
KNKX News Director Florangela Davila says, “We’re very proud of the continued dedication Ashley has in reporting on the youth and education beat and how she asked hard questions and dug into school district graduation rates to show how some of our most vulnerable students weren’t being counted. Her series represents a core tenet of our newsroom: to serve our listeners by holding the system accountable.”
KNKX’s Erin Hennessey edited the on-air series, Digital Content Editor Kari Plog edited for the web, Digital Manager Parker Miles Blohm contributed photos and Development Coordinator Adrian Florez created graphics for the series.
“I’m so honored to win this recognition for stories that I invested a lot of time and care into, and I’m deeply grateful to the KNKX newsroom for making it possible for me to have the freedom to pursue the stories,” says Gross. “Our newsroom is small, and my colleagues shouldered more daily news coverage so that I had the time to work on these pieces. Thank you also to KNKX members for financially supporting this kind of in-depth investigative journalism.”
Murrow Award-winning stories put public interest above all else, provide a catalyst for public discussion, and adhere to the RTDNA Code of Ethics. Of the awards given to journalists, the Murrow Awards are among the most respected in the world. The 2020 Regional Murrow Awards recognize more than 350 local radio, television and digital news organizations across the country and internationally.
Regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition which include those for network news organizations, large digital news organizations and students.
KNKX is an ambassador for jazz and blues, and a vital source of quality, non-commercial news, including NPR and regional coverage. The KNKX programming staff are storytellers who reach deeply into the community to reflect the voices of our people, our region and beyond. KNKX is funded by a loyal community of listeners who value the station’s independence. KNKX operates a network of 12 radio signals that cover Western Washington, reaching 375,000 listeners weekly. In addition, knkx.org and KNKX’s 24-hour jazz stream, Jazz24 reach 350,000 listeners every month online. KNKX has more than 22 million views on its YouTube channel of live jazz and blues performances.