There are loads of media honors, but in broadcast journalism, the national Edward R. Murrow Awards stand above the rest. That's why it's a big deal that KUNC, the northern Colorado public radio station, just nabbed its first national Murrow for "Two Men, Two Women and a Baby," a very unusual spin on the old "We're having a baby" tale helmed by KUNC reporter Grace Hood.
Here's Hood's take on the story, the award and what other journalists should take away from her success:
Westword (Joel Warner): So how are you feeling about the award?
Grace Hood: I feel fantastic. Its great recognition and it was definitely a surprise to me.
WW: Tell me about the story GH: The story is really interesting. I guess the gist of it is there were these two Boulder couples, one of which was trying to have a baby. But there are different strands to the story, one of which is the friendly bond between these two couples, another storyline is one of these women who really wanted to have baby was a cancer survivor. She knew enough that she had had her eggs harvested and fertilized and did all this legwork on the front end. But she still had to find a gestational carrier. You have to pay such people $30,000 $50,000. It costs lot of have someone carry your baby for nine months
This woman, Mindy Kelly, was talking to one of her friends, Sara Megabow, about it, and Sara said, "Hey, I will carry your baby for you." She straight-out offered to do it, which is a pretty incredible offer.
One of the other cool aspects of this which was great for radio was that the husbands knew each other because they were both involved in Face, a local a cappella group. Face even ended up on this reality TV show on NBC.
WW: When did you get involved in whole process? GH: After Sara was already pregnant. She spent many months injecting herself with hormones, getting her body ready so when they put the eggs in they would hold. Before the due date of baby, I drove down to Boulder three different times last summer and talked to both women and their husbands. My story came out in October, and they had their baby on November 1.
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WW: What attracted you to the story? GH: It's such an amazing story. The message of what two friends can do is pretty amazing. And also the message that even with all the technology that exists around gestational carriers, for this one baby to happen, it took four people, basically. WW: Did you try unique approaches for the story?
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GH: I did an initial interview, and I didn't really know how to report it. First I was thinking of doing more of a trend story or harder news, but the longer I followed it, the more I realized the story itself was the most powerful thing. So I focused a lot more on that and the stuff on gestational carriers carriers and surrogates fell to the background.
WW: Why do you think this story has received such stellar recognition?
GH: Don't ever underestimate the power of good story. It had an inspiring message, and there was the relationship and bond between these two women, and there was the fact that they knew each other through their husband's musical involvement added a light-hearted aspect to it. It had all the great parts of a good story." WW: What should other journalists take away for it?
GH: It sounds cheesy, but if you find a good story, everything else will follow. Keep your ears open for really good story. They are hard to come by.