Montana Public Radio Reporter Wins Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize

Nora Saks is a reporter for Montana Public Radio and host and producer of the “Richest Hill” podcast. She’s covered Superfund issues in Butte since 2016. (Credit: Clark Grant)

The Berkeley Pit in Butte filled with water
A satellite view of the Berkeley Pit and the city of Butte, star of the “Richest Hill” podcast. (Credit: NASA, Public Domain)

MISSOULA – University of Montana alumna Nora Saks has been awarded the 2019 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for her work as reporter, producer and host of Montana Public Radio’s “Richest Hill” podcast.

Saks is a graduate of UM’s Master’s in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism program, and her radio reporting has earned numerous awards from the Associated Press Television and Radio Association, the Society for Professional Journalists, the Alaska Press Club and the Broadcast Education Association.

“Richest Hill” dives deep into the history of Butte to tell the colorful and complicated story of how the city became one of America's largest and most notorious Superfund sites. Saks follows that thread to the present day, reporting on current developments and asking “What comes next?”

“It’s great to see Nora’s hard work and talent recognized,” MTPR News Director Corin Cates-Carney said. “Her work on the ‘Richest Hill’ podcast is an outstanding journalistic service to MTPR listeners and audiences around the country.”

The Schorr Prize is named for the late NPR senior news analyst and veteran Washington journalist Daniel Schorr. Schorr believed in supporting talented young journalists as they rose through the ranks of public radio. The annual prize – sponsored by WBUR and Boston University and funded by Jim and Nancy Bildner – salutes a new generation of public radio journalists under the age of 35, seeking to inspire them to stretch the boundaries of the medium.

“As local journalism continues to struggle, the promise demonstrated in the submissions of such young journalists makes me hopeful for the future of public media,” said Lynette Clemetson, director of the Wallace House at the University of Michigan, who served as the finalist judge. “‘Richest Hill’ is consistently excellent, and Nora set a high bar for young reporters and storytellers to aspire to. She hooked me with a story that I didn’t even know I cared about.”

Saks will be presented with the prize at a virtual event for The Edward R. Murrow Society on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Members of WBUR’s Murrow Society preserve the journalistic values of Edward Murrow, an influential figure in American broadcast journalism, and play a crucial role in supporting insightful and responsible journalism.

Montana Public Radio is a service of UM. MTPR FM broadcast stations include 89.1 Missoula (KUFM); 91.5 Missoula, city (K218AI); 91.9 Hamilton (KUFN); 89.5 Polson (KPJH); 90.1 Kalispell, Whitefish, North Valley (KUKL); 90.5 Libby (KUFL); 91.7 Kalispell, city (K219BN); 101.3 Swan Lake (K267BJ); 91.3 Butte (KAPC); 91.7 Helena (KUHM); 91.7 Dillon (K219DN) and 89.9 Great Falls (KGPR).

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Contact: Josh Burnham, MTPR digital editor, 406-370-4496,