KTEP nabs 3 Murrow awards


Maria Ramos

Emmy winning multimedia journalist Angela Kocherga joins KTEP.

Itzel Giron, Multimedia Editor

Being recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for the diligent work of KTEP meant bestowing one of the highest honors in the journalism field. Named after journalist Edward R. Murrow – a broadcast correspondent who gained prominence for his reporting on World War II. The awards are presented to radio stations that foster growth, quality and a positive image of public radio. 

KTEP, a public radio station in El Paso and based on the UTEP campus, , received three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and a national award for the storytelling done by News Director Angela Kocherga. The award-winning stories are, “Migrants Expelled” for hard news, “Border Wall Falls” for investigative reporting, and “Private Asia Graham” for continuing coverage. 

“It has been great and it’s especially a wonderful testament to KTEP, to be able to have this many awards in the short time we’ve been doing local news,” Kocherga said. “(I am) really proud that KTEP and our region can take that honor.” 

All three stories won the regional award, but it is “Migrants Expelled,” which won the national award for Kochergas’ reporting on the arrival of migrants who were turned away by the U.S. and rejected by some border cities in Mexico. Kocherga reports on how these migrants were flown to other cities in Mexico where officials would accept them, including our border city of Ciudad Juárez. 

“We all know that in our region we had a lot of migration, primarily Central America, and it’s been dating back to 2019, the previous administration, the Trump administration. We were seeing a huge number of people coming through,” Kocherga said. “They were being turned away at different ports of entry, different border crossings, not allowed to claim asylum and some who managed to cross in the Rio Grande Valley (in) South Texas, were being sent to El Paso and back across the border but this time into Juárez.”

Kocherga detailed why she chose the title “Migrants Expelled” and how it felt to arrive at the border finding migrants lost and confused. 

“‘Expelled’ was the official term because there was no process at that point. There was a pandemic and people were being sent back as a pandemic health order, so they couldn’t claim asylum,” Kocherga said. “So, I went across; (the migrants) had just gotten off a plane then put on a bus and then they were suddenly at the bridge and did not know where they were and asked me, the reporter, ‘Where are we?”’

The awards come after an announcement earlier this year that KTEP would receive a $2 million endowment from Margaret O. Herman for both scholarships and new equipment. The awards are just a continuation of the clever work and unique storytelling happening inside Cotton Memorial. 

“This is a region that has wonderful and compelling stories, human stories and so it shows we can get the awards and the journalistic work done here,” Kocherga said. 

To hear the full interview with Angela Kocherga, listen to The Prospector Podcast on your preffered podcast platform. 

Itzel Giron is the multimedia editor and can be reached at [email protected];: @by.itzel.giron on Instagram; @itzel_anahi_16 on Twitter.