The valley’s public radio station has won a prestigious national award for its on-air news reporting.

This week, KVPR (89.3 FM) was named the recipient of a National Edward R. Murrow Award in the Investigative Journalism category for Small Market Radio Stations. The award is presented annually by the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The station won the award based on a 2021 report by personal journalist Soreath Hok who investigated the discrepancy between official school attendance records and actual student engagement in distance education during the pandemic. . Her story centered on the struggles faced by students and teachers in the Madera Unified School District.

The report was produced by KVPR in conjunction with National Public Radio’s California Newsroom Project.

“This story was one of the most challenging and rewarding pieces I’ve ever worked on,” Hok said. “I’m proud that this story went beyond the data to tell a moving story about real people and the challenges they faced during the pandemic.”

“It is truly a career highlight and an incredible honor to be recognized with this award,” she said.

The Edward R. Murrow National Award was the first for Valley Public Radio in its 44-year history.

The 2022 National Murrow Award was the station’s first in its 44-year history.

“We are extremely proud of Soreath Hok’s reporting on this extremely important subject,” said KVPR President and CEO Joe Moore.

This investigation has helped to highlight the shortcomings of distance education in local schools during the pandemic, and how it has ultimately harmed students. The National Murrow Awards are a great honor for the station and our newsroom,” he added.

According to the RTDNA, more than 5,200 nominations were submitted. In addition to the national award, KVPR won three regional Murrow Awards this year for excellence in writing, hard news and Hok’s article for investigative reporting. This is the fourth straight year that KVPR has won regional honors from Murrow.