Coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks dominated the Radio-Television News Directors Association's Edward R. Murrow Awards this year.
In an unprecedented move, RTNDA gave awards to all the New York City TV-station submissions for their spot-news coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center: O&Os WABC-TV, WNBC(TV) and WCBS-TV and Tribune's WPIX(TV). RTNDA said of the effort: "All stations demonstrated courageous efforts to provide coverage about the disaster itself, emergency efforts and the ongoing human drama of living in a city under siege."
WWOR-TV New York, which won a regional Murrow for a Sept. 11-related newscast, did not submit in the spot-news category, RTNDA said, nor did its Fox duopoly partner WNYW(TV).
NBC had the strongest performance on the network side. NBC newscasts dealing with Sept. 11 won for overall excellence, "amazing execution under stressful circumstances," and best network newscast, while Dateline NBC
earned three Murrows for spot news, news series and videography on stories about Sept. 11.
CBS's 60 Minutes II
received an award for investigative reporting for "Merchants of Mass Destruction," about the availability of weapons of mass destruction. Impressed judges commented, "Bob Simon and his courageous team risked their personal safety along a lawless Pakistani border to demonstrate the ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction."
CNN's continuing coverage of the attacks won an award, as did the news net's much honored documentary Behind the Veil, about the Taliban's treatment of women. ABC News, which had been singled out among TV networks for a Peabody Award for its Sept. 11 coverage, did not win a Murrow for that coverage. ABC News Radio, however, got the award for best newscast.
CBS Radio News, AP Broadcast and WMAL(AM) Washington were each honored for their Sept. 11 coverage.
Overall-excellence awards went to KCNC-TV Denver and KKTV(TV) Colorado Springs, Colo. KOMO-TV Seattle and WNDU-TV South Bend, Ind., were named best local newscast. Seventy-five awards were given to 54 news organizations.