ROCKFORD (WREX) — The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has awarded 13 WREX with the National Murrow Award for Excellence in Video.
The RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in broadcast and digital news. Winners were announced Saturday night during a virtual event.
The award was for 13 WREX’s short documentary “Rockford in Color” which showcased the transformation of downtown Rockford through art, as artists from across the country came to the city to paint murals on the side of several city buildings.
It was part of the CRE8IV Transformational Art Project. 8 artists worked with their teams to create nine large-scale murals in downtown Rockford.
“When your news director first comes to the creative services department with a story pitch, you know something bigger is at play,” said Kyle Yonkers, marketing manager at WREX and lead producer on the documentary. “WREX has always been the news station to go above and beyond with storytelling and that was the case with ‘Rockford in Color.’”
Yonkers, along with creative services producer Robert Burke, worked in shifts for almost a month in May 2019, following each artist from start to finish.
“A two-man camera crew covering eight subjects, all working simultaneously, was the largest production obstacle we faced,” Yonkers said. “Like any good story, there needed to be an obstacle to overcome.”
This documentary has received honors from across the state and the country, taking home awards from the Illinois Associated Press, the Illinois Broadcasters Association, multiple regional Emmy awards, a regional Murrow, and now, the national Murrow.
The 13 WREX team took home three Regional Edward R. Murrow awards back in April, including Overall Excellence, News Series and the aforementioned Excellence in Video. All three entries advanced to the national competition, where 13 WREX was honored with the station’s second National Murrow Award.
“Winning a National Murrow means your team has performed at the highest level,” said Josh Morgan, 13 WREX Station Manager. “Rockford in Color” is the embodiment of what our team is capable of day in and day out. Our entire station is so proud to receive this prestigious honor.”
If you would like to see the station’s winning entry, you can watch it below. For a full list of National Murrow Award winners, click here.