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Wyoming Public Radio Reporter Wins National Edward R. Murrow Award

June 19, 2019
two men standing in water by a boat
Wyoming Public Radio reporter Cooper McKim prepares for the start of his hike up a mountain toward Skillet Glacier in the Teton Range. McKim recently received an Edward R. Murrow Award in the small market category for Best Use of Sound for one of his pieces. (Taylor Price Photo)

Wyoming Public Radio (WPR) News received a 2019 National Edward R. Murrow Award in the small market category for Best Use of Sound for Cooper McKim’s story “Scientists Race to Research Stonefly Species Threatened by Climate Change.”

The piece follows a group of scientists on a mountain field expedition in the Teton Range in search of answers. The “Alpine Stream Dream Team” collected 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 for WPR and says 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,” he says. “I’m thrilled the diverse sound and candor from the scientists helped tell this important and continuing story.”

WPR 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,” Beck says. “We are all thrilled for him. We have had several regional wins over the years, and it’s exciting to finally have one of our great reporters win the top prize.”

The Radio Television Digital News Association announced the winners of the 2019 National Murrow Awards June 18. From more than 4,600 entries, the 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.

WPR, a service of the University of Wyoming, is Wyoming’s public radio/media statewide network, operating four FM channels and an online service. Its FM signal alone reaches approximately 95 percent of the state and is heard by over 70,000 Wyomingites. Online content is accessed by over 1.2 million unique visitors annually. It is the National Public Radio affiliate for Wyoming.

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