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MU Students Win National Journalism Award

June 22, 2007

Story Contact:  Bryan Daniels, 573-882-9144,

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Named after the most distinguished and renowned figure in the history of American broadcast journalism, according to the Museum of Broadcast Communication, the Edward R. Murrow Award was again presented to students at University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.

Senior August Skamenca and recent graduate Matt Wynn won the national award for their month-long collaborative investigation that was aired on the Columbia radio station KBIA. “Dead Voters,” a seven-minute piece that revealed 10,000 deceased Missourians are still registered to vote, won the award after the team matched names across the national death registry from the Social Security administration and Missouri's voter registration database.

“I would say it is the broadcast equivalent of winning an Oscar,” said Mike Dunn, manager of KBIA radio. “It might even be more selective.”

The Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), the world's largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism, presents the Edward R. Murrow Award. Started in 1971, the Murrow Award honors outstanding achievement in electronic journalism in 13 different categories. Skamenca and Wynn won their award in the investigative reporting category.

“I can't think of more welcome news that I could be greeted with,” Skamenca said. “Matt and I knew our story was solid from the outset. Had our editors not recognized this, such an important story would have never aired. Their support was instrumental, and they share in this honor.”

This is the second Murrow Award for Skamenca, after winning last year with the piece “What's On The Line?,” which examined issues of preparedness of the nation's fourth most-feared natural disaster, a repeat of the 1811 and 1812 New Madrid fault line earthquakes.