KCUR-FM Honored with National Award for Investigative Reporting

KCUR is one of 17 public radio partners to earn the award

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – KCUR-FM is one of 17 public radio partners to earn the national Edward R. Murrow Award for Network Radio Investigative Reporting from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

The reporting by KCUR, Public Radio International (PRI), and 15 other public radio station partners was for their State Integrity Investigation coverage. The reporting examined the laws and practices that reduce or increase the risk of state government corruption.

PRI, along with the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity, ranked and graded every state on 330 different indicators of government integrity across 14 categories, from lobbying regulation, to redistricting, to public access to records.  Reporters like KCUR’s Steve Bell used that information to explore the history and risks of corruption in their state governments in a series of radio and digital stories.

Bell’s series focused on how Missouri and Kansas fared in the study. Kansas ranked fairly high for safeguards, at number 9. Missouri finished at number 21. Since joining KCUR in 2001, Bell has won two first place awards from Public Radio News Directors International — for best newscast and best feature reporting.

“The State Integrity Investigation has contributed to an important discussion about potential state government corruption. We’re proud that KCUR brought that discussion to our listeners in Kansas and Missouri,” Nico Leone, KCUR-FM general manager, said.

Fifteen other public radio stations partnered with PRI and KCUR in this two-year, $1.5 million investigation:  New York Public Radio; KPCC/ Los Angeles; KERA/ Dallas; WHYY/ Philadelphia; WAMU/ Washington, D.C.; WGBH/ Boston; WBUR/ Boston; WLRN/ Miami; KUOW/ Seattle; KCFR/ Denver; Oregon Public Broadcasting; WFAE/Charlotte; WVXU/ Cincinnati; KUT/Austin; and New Hampshire Public Radio.

The State Integrity Investigation has led to reforms in six states so far, with reforms proposed in another ten.  Public radio coverage of the investigation reached an audience of more than a million listeners.  PRI supported the stations with a social media campaign and a national website for the project.

KCUR is a service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

About the State Integrity Investigation
The State Integrity Investigation was a two-year partnership of three non-partisan, non-profit organizations — Public Radio International, the Center for Public Integrity, and Global Integrity. Employing experienced journalists in each state capital, the investigation graded and ranked states on 330 metrics of government transparency, accountability and susceptibility to corruption.  No state earned an “A” grade, while eight states earned an “F.”  Major funding was provided by the Omidyar Network and the Rita Allen Foundation, with additional support from the Rockefeller Family Fund and the Wyncote Foundation.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2013. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TTY) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

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