KCLU wins 2nd national award of 2020

Both are for news director's 2019 wildfire coverage

Lance Orozco received the 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Breaking News Coverage in the small-market radio division for his on-scene reporting on the Maria Fire.

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Oct. 13, 2020) KCLU Radio News Director Lance Orozco picked up his second national award of the year for his coverage of 2019 Ventura County wildfires.

On Saturday, Orozco received the 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Breaking News Coverage in the small-market radio division for his on-scene reporting on the Maria Fire. The Radio Television Digital News Association presents the annual Murrow awards to honor excellence in electronic journalism.

In June, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) presented Orozco with its national Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Radio Breaking News Reporting among small-market stations for his coverage of the Maria and Easy fires.

This is the second time Orozco has received a national Murrow award. In 2010, he was honored for Best Audio Sports Reporting for his profile of the oldest living former team member of the Dodgers.

Orozco has received a total of seven national awards for excellence in journalism during the last decade as a reporter for KCLU. The SPJ honored him for his coverage of the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting and the Hill, Woolsey and Sherpa fires, as well as for features on his battle with kidney cancer and a dog trained to sniff out a specific species of ant.

Orozco and KCLU, the NPR radio station serving Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, also received 12 regional awards this year, including the one that qualified Orozco to compete for the national Murrow award. In May, the Associated Press Television and Radio Association (APTRA) honored Orozco for Best Spot News Coverage, Best Weather Reporting, Best Use of Sound and Best Sports Feature Story. The station competed against small-market stations in 13 Western states.

In February, Orozco, reporter Debra Greene and the entire KCLU news staff received Golden Mike awards for Best Continuing Coverage, Best Live Reporting, Best Entertainment Reporting, Best Medical and Science Reporting, Best Light Feature Reporting Longer Than One Minute, Best Sports Reporting and Best Use of Sound among small stations. The Golden Mike competition covers the region stretching from San Luis Obispo and Fresno to the Mexican border.

KCLU, a community service of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, provides NPR and local news programming to 130,000 weekly listeners in Ventura County at 88.3 FM, southern Santa Barbara County at 1340 AM and 102.3 FM, Santa Maria at 89.7 FM, San Luis Obispo at 92.1 and online at KCLU.org.

To listen to clips of Orozco’s coverage of the Maria Fire, go to https://www.kclu.org/post/kclus-coverage-maria-wildfire#stream/0.

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