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Side Effects Reporter Wins National Award For Coverage Of Rural Hospitals

Bram Sable-Smith
KBIA/Side Effects Public Media
Pemiscot County Hospital in Hayti, Missouri.

Side Effects Public Media and KBIA reporter Bram Sable-Smith has just received a 2018 Edward R. Murrow Award for his continuing coverage of the issues forcing hospitals in rural Missouri communities to close.

Sable-Smith was honored with the National Murrow Award for his story "Urgent for Care: Can Missouri's Poorest County Keep Its Hospital Alive?"

This investigative story was also included in the coverage in which Sable-Smith looked into the company behind questionable billing practices at a rural Missouri hospital, analyzing its larger network across the country. The story was a collaboration between Side Effects Public Media, KBIA and KCUR.  

Credit Sara Shahriari
Bram Sable-Smith is a reporter with Side Effects Public Media and is the lead reporter of KBIA's Health and Wealth desk.

The stories were also recognized with Regional Murrow Awards, which were announced in April, for continuing coverage, news series and investigative reporting. There were more than 4,400 entries for the 2018 awards.

During a year long reporting fellowship in 2017, Sable-Smith investigated the unique challenges rural hospitals face, and how changes in politics affected these communities. 

"At least 11 journalists had a hand in bringing these stories to life: my talented colleagues at Side Effects, KBIA and KCUR, among others. I feel very fortunate to work for an organization that values providing high quality journalism that spotlights underreported issues and communities," Sable-Smith said of the award.

This is Sable-Smith's second national award that recognizes his reporting on rural Missouri hospitals. His series of stories also won a health policy award from the Association of Health Care Journalists

The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. National winners were announced June 19, and winners will be celebrated at the Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala in October.