Service to Community Award for Television – Medium Market
Following six teen suicides from one local high school in three years, WBIR felt something more than another news story was needed to change the stigma surrounding mental illness and help save the lives of students. The station started by telling the stories of three mothers who lost their own teens to this tragedy and expanded to discussions with local experts to help begin the difficult but necessary conversations about teen suicide. To connect with younger viewers, the station launched a documentary streamed on YouTube and the WBIR website. In addition, this news team curated a resource guide to help families with difficult conversations and opening the discussion around mental health. Through this campaign, WBIR started a movement to help save the students of the Knoxville community.
This coverage was the most-viewed story on WBIR.com for several days. When WBIR finally took the coverage to TV, it was one of the highest rated newscasts of the year. These numbers prove we reached a wide audience.