TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The industry group Radio Television Digital News Association today named Alabama Public Radio (APR) the winner of two of its regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. APR news won best documentary for “The King of Alabama,” which examined Alabama’s role as one of the key battlegrounds in Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s crusade for civil rights. News Director Pat Duggins also won best feature for his story “Make It Like a Butterfly,” which focuses on Dr. King’s barber, and how trimming King’s trademark moustache gave barber Nelson Malden a unique vantage point on civil rights history in Montgomery in the mid 1950’s.
The “King of Alabama” features reporting from APR’s international journalist exchange program participant Ousmane Sagara from Mali, who reported on his nation feels about Dr. King fifty years after his death. Sagara combined those observations with his own during his time in the APR newsroom, covering Alabama’s fight for civil rights. Duggins and Sagara used Facebook messenger to coordinate field production of the story from Mali. Former APR student intern Allison Mollenkamp also covered how Alabama is one of only two states that celebrates Robert E. Lee day on the same Monday in January as the national holiday for Dr. King.
“Ousmane and Allison played huge roles in the success of this documentary,” Duggins said. “Their stories about the impact of Dr. King in the West African nation of Mali, and the racial divides that are still present in the U.S., are both poignant and uplifting.”
APR now goes onto to compete nationally in both categories.
Alabama Public Radio is a network of public radio stations licensed by The University of Alabama and located in Bryant-Denny Stadium’s Digital Media Center. Its affiliation with the College of Communication and Information Sciences gives students opportunities for practical training in a variety of production activities.