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National Public Radio member station WUOT 91.9 FM, licensed to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, has received a 2005 regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA).

“The annual award honors outstanding achievement in electronic journalism.

The feature story “Prom of the Stars” was recognized as Best Feature in the Small Market Radio category for a region that includes Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky. Winners of regional awards will move on to the national competition in June.

The story was produced by WUOT News Director Matt Shafer Powell. The long-form radio feature documents the excitement and anticipation of one mentally disabled woman as she prepares for the formal dance. The Prom of the Stars is held each year for developmentally disabled people in East Tennessee.

“The prom was a very personal event, for the participants, the organizers and the volunteers,” Powell said. “Public radio provides the perfect canvas to bring that human experience home to those who weren-t able to witness it themselves. That’s what public radio does best.”

“This Edward R. Murrow Award represents a significant step forward in the maturation of our local news operation,” said WUOT Executive Director Regina Dean.

“In 2002, we introduced regional news to complement the excellent programming we’ve been providing from NPR for years. This award helps to validate the hard work that has gone into our efforts,” she said.

WUOT began to supplement NPR news programming with local news in November 2002. The station’s regional coverage includes daily newscasts, as well as interviews and long-form feature stories focused on the people and issues that affect East Tennessee. WUOT was recognized last year with seven awards from the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

“Prom of the Stars” can be heard on WUOT’s Web site at http://www.wuot.org. More information about the Edward R. Murrow Awards can be found at http://www.rtnda.org.

RTNDA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. The organization represents local and network news executives in broadcasting, cable and other electronic media in more than 30 countries.

Listener-supported WUOT FM is a 100,000-watt station broadcasting from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. WUOT can be heard over the air throughout East Tennessee and the southeastern United States, and around the world on their Web site.

A member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WUOT is served by National Public Radio and Public Radio International. WUOT’s primary format is classical and jazz music, news and public affairs.

The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 91.9 FM.