WTOP wins 3 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

WTOP has been honored with three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for best newscast for the station’s coverage following the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

WTOP.com was also honored for its digital coverage, and WTOP National Security Correspondent J.J. Green was awarded in the “News Series” category for his five-part “COVID Conspiracy” series, which investigated the foreign disinformation driving vaccine resistance in the U.S.

“With excellence in news being more important than ever, I am beyond proud of the work our journalists do as we deliver a truly 24/7/365 news product,” said WTOP Senior VP/General Manager Joel Oxley.

Director of News & Programming Julia Ziegler said: “The journalists in our newsroom are dedicated, passionate individuals who want to make a difference in their communities. We are so honored to be recognized with three regional Edward R. Murrow awards.”

The awards are handed out by the Radio Television Digital News Association and honor achievements in radio, TV and digital media.

Regional winners automatically move on to the national round of the competition.

See and hear more from the award-winning entries below:

“Newscast” — 5 a.m., Jan. 7, 2021

Jan. 7, 2021 5 a.m. newscast

When rioters stormed the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, WTOP’s news team worked to bring its listeners and digital audience the most up-to-date information available. The winning newscast is from 5 a.m., the morning after the chaotic day.

“News Series” — J.J. Green, “COVID Conspiracy”

PART 1: Millions of Americans aren't getting vaccinated against COVID-19, WTOP's J.J. Green reveals a secret plot by a foreign entity to spread lies about the vaccines

Millions of Americans, many citing disinformation, refused to get vaccinated against the coronavirus in 2021. But where did that disinformation come from? In our five-part series “COVID Conspiracy,” WTOP National Security Correspondent J.J. Green reveals a secret plot by a foreign entity to spread lies about the vaccines.

“Digital” — WTOP.com

WTOP.com was honored for its efforts in a variety of media, including articles, videos, podcasts, blogs, photo galleries and interactive graphics. Selected digital coverage:

  • Capitol Insurrection — WTOP had reporters inside and outside the Capitol and on the National Mall covering the events of Jan. 6 as they unfolded. WTOP reporter Alejandro Alvarez was one of our reporters in the field that day. Throughout the chaos, he used Twitter to share photos, videos and updates in real time with WTOP.com readers. One of his videos posted to Twitter received more than 3.5 million impressions. The next day, Alejandro reflected on the “insane” sights and sounds from Jan. 6 in an article written for WTOP.com.
  • Crash Capital — WTOP has one of the only in-house radio traffic centers in the country. In addition to reporting traffic incidents on a daily basis, a system created for the WTOP team also collects data on every single accident WTOP reports on in the D.C. region. Over the past four years since the system’s inception, WTOP recorded over 91,000 crashes on the region’s interstates, federal parkways, state and local roadways. In 2021, WTOP decided to turn that data into an interactive map, giving readers an exclusive look at the most crash-prone roads in the region.
  • Forensic Failure — WTOP reporters Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore first reported that the D.C. crime lab’s practices were under scrutiny, and it broke the story that the lab had lost its accreditation, halting analysis of evidence. The lab handles all forensic and ballistics testing for crimes committed in the District. Later, an independent report urged retesting some evidence handled by the lab going back 10 years. Since that first report in 2020, WTOP reporters have published 31 stories about the lab — 25 of which were published in 2021.
  • Cicadas — It only happens once every 17 years, so our staff members took advantage of the cicada invasion when they had the chance. In this fun video created by our social media and video team, WTOP staffers couldn’t resist the opportunity to tepidly taste cicadas dipped in chocolate. Their reactions were filmed on video and shared in a story on WTOP.com as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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