KYUK Public Media and Alaska Public Media receive National Award

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) recently announced the recipients of the 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Awards, recognizing KYUK Public Media (KYUK) and Alaska Public Media (AKPM) for “Excellence in Video” for the short film “The Legacy of Maryann Sundown and Agnes Aguchak”.

Among the most prestigious recognition in journalism, RTDNA has been honoring recipients with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. According to RTNDA, “the Murrow Awards recognize local and national news stories that uphold the RTDNA Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community.”

“We’re ecstatic to win the award and proud to share this story with our audience and the world,” said Shane Iverson, General Manager, KYUK Public Media. “This award is the most prestigious in our 49-year history and represents decades of efforts from our staff, volunteers, supporters and our partners in public media.”

This award-winning short film follows dancers in Scammon Bay, Alaska as they return to the 2019 Cama-i stage for the first time since their Elder, Maryann Sundown, passed away in 2011. The story illustrates how Maryann and her sister, Agnes Aguchak, left behind a unique legacy in Yup’ik dance.

Co-produced by Katie Basile (KYUK) and Joey Mendolia (AKPM), video for the film was captured during the Cama-i Dance Festival in Bethel, Alaska and includes additional archival dance footage made by past KYUK Public Media video producers. Additional editing and production assistance were provided by KYUK Managing Editor Johanna Eurich and former KYUK News Director Rhonda McBride.

“Thank you to the families of Maryann Sundown and Agnes Aguchak for collaborating with us on this piece, this award really goes to them,” said Katie Basile, Multimedia Director, KYUK Public Media. “Through dance, Sundown and Aguchak remind us that improvising and finding humor in any situation is the best way forward. We are grateful for this teaching today and always.”