(Springfield, Mass.) The winners of the 2016 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards were announced this week, and New England Public Radio’s newsroom has picked up two of the prestigious awards. Reporter Karen Brown won best feature for her story “Freed After 27 Years, Man Claiming Wrongful Conviction Gets Little Help From System,” which profiled Mark Schand of Windsor, Connecticut, who spent nearly three decades in prison for a murder he says he did not commit. Reporter Jill Kaufman was honored in the sports reporting category for “Deflategate Swag Is Sweet Revenge For Colts Entrepreneur,” her piece about how an epic sports rivalry and a little ingenuity sparked a new business – one that deals in football shaped foam hats, and riles New England Patriots fans.
“In these two pieces that couldn’t be more different from each other, Jill and Karen told the stories of New Englanders,” said NEPR’s news director, Sam Hudzik. “It’s our job to share these kinds of stories with our audience through interesting, thoughtful and entertaining reporting. We’re very proud of these awards, and the work performed every day by NEPR’s news team.”
According to The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) which presents the awards, they “recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.” The Edward R. Murrow Award Regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged in May.
Karen Brown has been a full-time reporter for NEPR since 1998. She takes special interest in health care, mental health, and social welfare issues. Her features have appeared on National Public Radio, American RadioWorks, Marketplace, and other national radio outlets. She has also produced several award-winning radio documentaries on health topics. She was a 2012-13 Knight Fellow in Science Journalism at MIT.
Jill Kaufman has been at NEPR since 2005. Before that, she was an editor at PRI’s The World, and for 10 years worked at WBUR in Boston, much of that time as a producer at The Connection with Christopher Lydon. Her features have appeared on NPR programs and PRI’s The World. Recently she has been covering the opiate epidemic, education issues and the arts for NEPR.