Wyoming Public Radio Reporter Wins National Edward R. Murrow Award

WYOMING — The awards keep coming for Wyoming Public Radio News’ outstanding reporting across the state.

The most recent award is for Cooper McKim’s story, Scientists Race To Research Stonefly Species Threatened By Climate Change. The piece received a 2019 National Edward R. Murrow award in the small market category for Best Use of Sound.

McKim’s story follows a group of scientists on a field expedition up and down a mountain in the Teton Range in search of answers. The “Alpine Stream Dream Team” is collecting the basic natural history of a glacial stonefly sensitive to warming water temperatures. The species survival could help inform scientists about its entire ecosystem’s health.

McKim covers energy and natural resource issues and said he wanted the story to feel like an adventure.  “To do that, I made sure each scene had a unique ambient sound, along with casual remarks from the scientists to hold listeners in the moment. I’m thrilled the diverse sound and candor from the scientists helped tell this important and continuing story,” explained McKim.

Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck praised McKim’s work. “When I first heard the story it sounded like I was on the adventure with them.  Cooper does a tremendous job with this story and it deserves this prestigious honor.  We are all thrilled for him.  We’ve had several regional wins over the years and it’s exciting to finally have one of our great reporters win the top prize,” said Beck.

The Radio Television Digital News Association announced the winners of the 2019 National Murrow Awards on June 18.  From more than 4,600 entries, these awards recognize 100 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 122 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories.  The National Murrow Award winners will be honored at a black-tie event this fall in New York City.

At the start of the hike up a mountain towards Skillet Glacier in the Teton Range. Photo: Taylor Price, graduate student

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