Edward R. Murrow Award Entry for Innovation

Published: Feb. 8, 2017 at 10:15 AM EST
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Edward R. Murrow Award for Innovation

WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky

With respect toward the legacy of the station and the evolution of a product for today’s news consumer, WKYT continued to innovate in 2017 by further developing the market’s only investigative unit, finding unique ways to make newscasts and digital content more engaging, and becoming a leader in how to incorporate social media – especially Facebook Live – into the lives of its viewers.

  • ENGAGING VIEWERS:To take digital content to the next level, WKYT continued its mission to deliver interactive storytelling through graphics and 360-degree photography on its website. In 2017, the WKYT FirstAlert Weather team’s Weather Watcher program engaged viewers to work hand-in-hand with them to provide weather condition updates from all over Kentucky.
  • LEADING IN SOCIAL MEDIA: Embracing the impact of social media, the explosive growth of digital sources for information, and the challenge of how to differentiate itself from competitors, WKYT continued to evolve its delivery of news and information in 2017. During breaking news and other coverage, the impact of engaging directly with our viewers through social media is powerful. Through coverage exclusively on Facebook Live or done simultaneously on air, WKYT’s anchor and reporters are able to answer viewers’ questions in real time and share with their perspectives with others. As the nation’s attention turned to the violence that erupted as Charlottesville, Virginia relocated Confederate statues, Lexington’s mayor announced plans to do the same. The decision sparked fierce debate, fears of similar violent protests, and the swift removal of the statues a month later which culminated with Facebook Live coverage of the historic move. When Kentucky plunged into darkness during the August 21 solar eclipse, live coverage on social media engaged viewers and allow them to watch the eclipse away from their traditional television set.
  • GOING THE EXTRA MILE: In 2017, WKYT spotlighted and investigated the growing problem of drug addiction in Kentucky. From a heroin epidemic to newer drugs with deadly consequences, coverage went beyond statistics to put real faces with what’s described as one of the greatest challenges facing the state. To shine an even greater spotlight on the issue, the 30-minute program “WKYT Investigates | State of Addiction” took an in-depth look at Kentucky’s drug crisis.
  • MAKING A DIFFERENCE: To help Hurricane Harvey victims, WKYT joined forces with the University of Kentucky basketball team for the “Teaming Up For Texas” telethon that raised more than $1 million for the American Red Cross relief effort.
  • REINVENTING COVERAGE: As technology evolves, so does how WKYT gathers news. While our team of reporters and photographers utilize the latest generation of cameras and laptop editors, the ability to use their phones for newsgathering and even live shots proves to be a great tool. Our anchors have even embraced the ability to use their phones to shoot entire packages that don’t sacrifice quality but give us maximum flexibility.