Marfa Public Radio earns its 5th National Edward R. Murrow Award

MARFA — Marfa Public Radio has received a National Edward R. Murrow award for excellence in journalism from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Permian Basin reporter Mitch Borden was recognized in the hard news category among small-market radio stations. His reporting followed the convoluted and controversial story of Midland Independent School District’s 2019 bond election, where over 800 ballots disappeared — and when found, changed the outcome of the election.

“To receive a National Murrow Award is a huge achievement,” said Marfa Public Radio Executive Director Elise Pepple. “It reflects that the reporting at our station is on par with the best in the country. The reporters at Marfa Public Radio are exceptionally talented.”

This is Marfa Public Radio’s fifth national Murrow award. The first, in 2016, was for investigative reporting in Mexico’s Juarez Valley. Last year, the station received national Murrows for its use of social media, multimedia and feature reporting.

The awards are considered among the most prestigious and recognize “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.”

Mitch Borden joined Marfa Public Radio in 2018 and has since covered a wide range of stories affecting the Permian Basin. From hard news to a creative look at the story of Pee Wee Dalton to collaborating on the podcast Boomtown.

“Marfa Public Radio is dedicated to the stories for and from West Texas, because we believe that this is what matters,” said Pepple. “The station is dedicated to local journalism because we believe the stories of West Texas are important locally and nationally.”

Earlier this year, the station swept the small market radio category for region 6 — which includes Texas and Oklahoma — receiving 10 regional Murrow awards.

Since it began entering the awards competition in 2011, Marfa Public Radio has received 54 Regional Murrow Awards and five national awards.

A complete list of national Edward R. Murrow Award winners can be found at