Marfa Public Radio 2019 Murrow Awards – Excellence In Social Media

Below are a few examples throughout the year that highlight Marfa Public Radio’s use of social media.

The McDannald Ranch Fire

In late April, a wildfire sparked in far West Texas. It would go on to burn for 2 weeks straight, encompass more than 20,000 acres and spread near homes and cities near the Davis Mountains. As the fire grew, local crews and responders from more than a dozen states held daily morning meetings to talk about developments and new information. Marfa Public Radio’s Sally Beauvais went on Facebook live several times during this time to provide listeners with the latest information.



 Tornillo Tent Shelter and Child Separation

One of the biggest news events of 2018 — the building of the Tornillo tent city for migrant teens — became a flashpoint in the Trump administration’s since-reversed “zero tolerance” policy. When the temporary shelter was first opened in June and until its closure more than 6 months later, Marfa Public Radio updated its audience with several uses of social media, from Facebook live to and tweets from reporters of protests and tours of the facilities. These are a brief collection of those.

Our first use of social media to cover this unfolding story was to go on Facebook live for a video, bringing our followers the latest on the protest and breaking down all the events that led up to the creation of the tent shelter.

Following the Facebook live video, Marfa Public Radio reporters followed different parts of the protest and live-tweeted the protest as it unfolded.

 

 

Following the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, Marfa Public Radio began receiving a bevy of questions — from comments about the policy itself to how it led to a temporary migrant shelter in Tornillo. We wanted to answer those questions (and we did) but we also wanted to cast a wide enough net to make sure we were reaching all of our listeners and hearing all of their questions.

So we used all of our social media accounts to send out this simple message: What do you want to know? These questions were submitted through our Hearken-powered project West Texas Wonders. And it helped us to shape a 30-minute program where Marfa Public Radio reporters answered every question and took a look beyond zero tolerance. It wasn’t a revolutionary use of social media, but rather a simple one that yielded big returns.

Día De Los Muertos

For día de los muertos, Marfa Public Radio asked listeners to share the memories and remembrances of loved ones that have died. We shared our call for submissions on all our social media platforms, but on Instagram —where we have the most followers— we were able to spread our message even further. Thanks to the submissions we received, we filled our airwaves that day with audio-altars— dedications and memories to loved ones who have died.

 

 

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