The journalism field is an open arena for experimentation. With the amount of storytelling mediums, there is always an opportunity to try something new and learn about different formats of stories, even when you are years into your journalism career.
Journalism Professor Receives National Murrow Award for Audio Story
Kent State journalism Professor Jacqueline Marino spent her fall 2021 sabbatical learning the techniques of audio storytelling. While developing new skills, she reported on the rural doctor shortage in America for WKSU.
The piece she produced, “The Rural Doctor Is In,” is now the winner of two national journalism awards:
- The Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary (small market division)
- First place in the Public Media Journalists Association (PMJA) Short Documentary category, Division B
The Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in news; they recognize local and national news stories that uphold a code of ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance of journalism as a service to the community. PMJA is an association representing public media journalists in the U.S.; each year, its awards recognize the best of local public radio news in a wide array of categories.
“The Rural Doctor Is In” is a 15-minute audio story that aired on WKSU in October 2021 and was picked up by other public radio stations in Ohio. Marino also produced a companion digital story, accompanied by photography, data visualization and supporting digital documents. The story was produced and mixed by Jon Nungesser and edited by Andrew Meyer.
As she reported on the story, Marino spent two days in Columbia County with a family physician to understand the current issues surrounding rural doctors in Northeast Ohio.
“There are not enough healthcare providers in rural areas because the way the healthcare system is, it sort of favors more heavily populated areas,” Marino said. “So, we wanted to look at what was happening in rural areas where you don’t have the access to healthcare that you have in a Cleveland, or an Akron, or Cincinnati.”
It was important for her to be immersed in her environment while reporting in this new format, she said.
“When we’re writing, we can interview people about what the environment was like for them. But with audio storytelling, you have to be there because you have to capture it.”