“This type of coverage is what we take pride in here at WRAL…serving our community with the resources, dedication, and passion a story like this deserves.”
–WRAL-TV Anchor Debra Morgan
The North Carolina Broadcasters Association recognized WRAL-TV with one of the organization’s top honors at the NCAB Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. WRAL-TV received the award for Outstanding Hard News or Breaking Story for coverage of the 2020 Riots in Downtown Raleigh and Fayetteville.
“This weekend in May of 2020 is a time none of us will ever forget,” said WRAL-TV Anchor Debra Morgan as she accepted the award on behalf of the station. “The impact on our community and those of us who serve it is immeasurable.”
The awards presentation took place virtually, and Morgan thanked the NCAB for the honor.
“We began live continuous coverage early in the afternoon, walking with demonstrators and sharing their stories,” she explained. “Over the next several hours, we included interviews with those who felt compelled to join the cause, elected leaders, and law enforcement. As the sun set, the violence began, and our coverage continued late into the night… with chaos and destruction in downtown Raleigh… and a fire set in one of the most recognized landmarks in Fayetteville.”
During the evening’s coverage, Sky5 also took to the air to bring footage of the unreset and commentary from the journalists on board.
“We especially want to recognize all our crews for putting themselves in the middle of a very complex story to bring us the many perspectives and emotions it provoked,” said Morgan. “In addition to the ongoing concerns of COVID, we had photographers and reporters who were tear-gassed, taunted… had to dodge flying objects, and one photographer who could barely walk – yet kept rolling – after being hit by an officer’s errant rubber bullet.”
She concluded, “This type of coverage is what we take pride in here at WRAL…serving our community with the resources, dedication, and passion a story like this deserves.
On Saturday, May 30th, hundreds of people gathered in Raleigh and Fayetteville to protest, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. As the sun set, the peaceful demonstrations turned to riots. Countless store windows were smashed in downtown Raleigh, as police in riot gear deployed tear gas. In Fayetteville, protests centered on the historic Market House, where slaves had once been sold. Protesters broke into the building and set a fire. In Durham, a peaceful crowd marched through city streets to the jail, to voice support for the people imprisoned there. WRAL’s team coverage spanned 3 cities, and covered looting, fires set in the streets, and violence – along with the peaceful demonstrations that came before.
WRAL-TV’s sister radio station, WRAL-FM MIX 101.5, also received an honor at the 2021 NCAB event. The NCAB awarded MIX 101.5 as the 2021 Radio Large Market Station of the Year: