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including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

WVTF gets top honors

By Sarah Santer, University Relations intern

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 34 - June 27, 1996

WVTF Public Radio recently won a number of top regional awards and has claimed one of the industry's most prestigious broadcast awards; the Edward R. Murrow Award for news coverage.

Since the first of the year, WVTF Public Radio has won Radio Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) awards competing in Region 8, which consists of Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. They were judged by a group of peers and were recognized in the Radio, Small Staff category for Continuing Coverage, News Documentary, Overall Excellence, and Spot News Coverage.

After winning the regional awards the station advanced to compete for the Edward R. Murrow Award, named for the distinguished broadcast journalist and World War II correspondent. Murrow's riveting program, "This is London," brought the war in Europe closer to the American people.

RTNDA recognized WVTF with the Edward R. Murrow Award for Spot News Coverage for their entry "The Flood of '95." The flood affected wide-spread areas including western and central Virginia.

"There was lots of time spent on the telephone and traveling. We traveled as far as South Boston for coverage," said WVTF reporter Fred Echols.

"WVTF provided complete and comprehensive reports on the flood from latest updates in the region to what it meant for our listeners," said Rick Mattioni, WVTF news director and station representative for the RTNDA, "It was a station-wide effort; everyone pitched in."

"This is the biggest award the station has ever won. We're proud to have won it," Mattioni said.

The station will receive a trophy in the fall when they are recognized at the 1996 RTNDA International Conference and World Expo in Los Angeles, October 9-12. Sponsors at the annual meeting include ABC News, CBS News, NBC News.

This year the station has also received two Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Awards for News Excellence. The station won first place for Best Coverage of a Continuing News Story for political reporting throughout the year and first place for Best Human Interest Story for a series on different Virginia communities.

WVTF Public Radio has been broadcasting since 1973. In 1981, the Virginia Tech Foundation bought the station from Virginia Western Community College. The station is operated independently with a studio in Roanoke and transmitters in Charlottesville and Marion. WVTF is heard throughout southwest and central Virginia and parts of North Carolina and West Virginia.

WVTF can be reached through the Internet at http://www.wvtf.org/wvtf.html.