6 News has won a regional Murrow award for its innovative coverage of the debate over the legalization of recreational marijuana in Michigan.
The station won the “Excellence in Innovation” award from the Radio Television Digital News Association, which oversees the Murrows, which are among the more prestigious awards in broadcast journalism.
The group recognized WLNS-TV for the scope and depth of the pot debate. Rather than run speculative pieces about what might happen if voters legalized recreational marijuana, the newsroom asked its sister stations in states where it was already legal to produce a variety of pieces about what happened there.
The 10 part, two-week series ran in October, just before the election, and featured stories from California to Washington D.C. The stations tackled topics viewers wanted to know about, including pro and cons on everything from crime and health to banking and taxes to teens and driving.
“The Edward R. Murrow Awards are an opportunity for our industry to showcase what well trained, ethical local journalists are doing to better our communities on behalf of the public,” said RTDNA Chairman Jerry Walsh in announcing the awards.
“The journalists behind this year’s awards have a deep connection to the communities where they live,” said Dan Shelley, RTDNA’s Executive Director. “Their reporting demonstrated a level of care for and awareness of their communities,”
The station won the Murrow for Region 7, topping other small markets (size 50 and above – Lansing is 110), in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. It now goes against winners from other regions to contend for a national Murrow award.