COLUMBIA — KOMU 8 News won four Emmy awards Saturday at the 35th Annual Mid-America Emmy awards ceremony in St. Louis.
The station took awards for photography, community service, video editing and historical and cultural coverage. The event, which recognizes excellence in broadcast, was hosted by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
"We stand out because everybody (at KOMU) is so excited about journalism," KOMU 8 News Today anchor Megan Murphy said.
She said the environment at KOMU is open to ideas and opinions, and people write and edit as a team.
Murphy has anchored at KOMU for almost seven years. She received her first Emmy Saturday for her work with photojournalist Scott Schaefer covering "WWII Model Planes." The story featured a Columbia man, Jim Cooper, and his quest to renovate the only flying WWII Seafire 15 airplane. They received the historical and cultural category award.
Murphy said she and Schaefer had the perfect reporter-photojournalist relationship. "We almost didn't even need to speak. I always know what he's trying to do, and he knows what I'm trying to do," she said.
They worked on the project for more than a year.
"It was a story that I feel like the whole station supported," Murphy said. "All of our coworkers heard of us talking about and watched a million versions of it. It was such a team effort."
Schaefer, a 2004 MU graduate, received another award for his video editing of a part of the story showing Cooper building airplanes in his house. He also received awards for news photography and community service. With four this year, he has received 13 Emmys in five years.
He said it's always a good feeling to be recognized for the time and hard work that goes into a story.
Schaefer, along with KOMU 8 News Anchor Sarah Hill and General Manager Marty Siddall, were awarded the community service Emmy for their support in the Central Missouri Honor Flight. The flight is a part of a national Honor Flight organization that flies aging and terminally ill veterans for free to see their memorials in Washington D.C.
KOMU 8 founded the Central Missouri Honor Flight in 2009. Schaefer went on several flights and documented stories of veterans. After watching the video, KOMU viewers could donate money for veterans.
"I get to experience something new everyday and at the end I get to see that finished product and all the hard work," Schaefer said. "It's just fun."
To Murphy, everyone has a story to be told.
"There are so many people in our community who have fascinating stories," she said. "I want them to watch it and be amazed at themselves."
Murphy said she enjoys working with students and she has no plans to leave the station anytime soon.
"It's my home," she said.