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Journalism on Display: ‘SC Featured’ Wins Two Edward R. Murrow Awards

ESPN Features Unit honored for storytelling in SportsCenter's“Unchained: The Messenger" and "A Long Embrace"

“SC Featured,” the storytelling brand of SportsCenter, has been honored with two 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalism, the fifth and sixth awards for “SC Featured” in the last five years. ESPN has received 30 Murrow Awards since its first in 2001.

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Murrow Awards since 1971. Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism.

“SC Featured” is produced by the ESPN Features Group. The segments debut on Sunday morning editions of SportsCenter during the offseason for football. The “Best Of SC Featured” is available on demand on ESPN+.

In the Feature Reporting category, which includes all genres and not only sports, “SC Featured” was honored for “Unchained: The Messenger,” reported by Chris Connelly and produced by Stevland Wilson. The feature told the story of a teenager who was chained to a metal post, living in a Tanzanian refugee camp, until Special Olympics provided a chance to compete, excel and bring hope to his people.

Niyibikora Malachie (R) excels at track and soccer.

Wilson wrote about the storytelling in a 2019 Front Row post. Watch the feature in the video above.

In the category of Sports Reporting, “SC Featured” was honored for “A Long Embrace,” narrated by ABC’s Good Morning America host Robin Roberts and produced by Rich Gentile. On the 25th anniversary of former Villanova basketball star Shelly Pennefather taking her vows as a Cloistered Nun, “SC Featured” was there as her mother and family were able to hug her for the first time in 25 years. senior writer Liz Merrill told Pennefather’s story and recently earned the 2020 Dan Jenkins Medal For Excellence for sportswriting.

ESPN’s “SC Featured” received a Murrow Journalism Award for “A Long Embrace,” the story of former college basketball star Shelly Pennefather (C) who became a nun. (Mary F. Calvert for ESPN)

– Andy Hall

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