By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Apr 23, 2013 at 3:14 PM

When a lone gunman started shooting members of the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, the community was rocked by the death and devastation left in his wake.

As the community responded to this horrific act, we supported each other, letting our humanity outshine the cowardly act of a small man.

When the initial reports were sent by law enforcement, the area media scrambled to cover the story and to let the community know what was going on.

This past week, WISN-TV Ch. 12 found out that its ongoing coverage of that event earned a regional Edward R. Murrow award and a Wisconsin Associated Press Award for "Best Newscast."

"When unbelievable tragedy struck our community last summer, WISN 12 News did what it does best and led the way with unparalleled, in-depth coverage,"  Jan Wade, president and general manager of WISN-TV, said in a statement.

"Our job was to inform the public and keep viewers in the area safe. Almost every member of our news team touched this story through our on-going and sustained coverage in the days and weeks that followed," Wade said. "I am very proud of the effort, dedication and compassion of our newsroom in bringing this story to the viewers of southeastern Wisconsin."

The Radio and Television Digital News Association grants Edward R. Murrow awards to broadcast news outlets to recognize excellence in the production and presentation of a story. This is the 10th Murrow for Ch. 12 in seven years.

"It is an honor for WISN 12 News to be recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Wisconsin AP," said Chris Gegg, WISN news director. "My colleagues at WISN 12 are among the best in the business. They are committed to bringing our viewers distinctive, comprehensive coverage on-air and online."

The regional nod automatically enters the station into the national competition.

The station also announced it was given awards by the WAP for spot news of the Azana Salon shooting, a hard news award and a nod for continuing coverage and best newscast of the Sikh Temple shooting.

RATING THE RATINGS: Nielsen may not be the only ratings game in town for broadcast outlets. Because of how competitive TV ratings and rankings are, many outlets are searching out ways to prove how many people are actually watching what’s on air.

Nielsen, with its methods of measuring households with meters and diaries of a mathematical sample in each market, has been the standard. In Milwaukee and the area counties in the designated market area (DMA), that is a measure of roughly 375-400 households.

Using new technology, other companies are fighting for a share of the lucrative measuring business, charging media outlets for better numbers to give area advertisers. The advertising rates, and the bottom line, are often determined by the ratings.

Rentrak, a company which has developed technology to record even home video on demand viewing, has been growing a share on the national stage. One Journal Communications station, KMTV-TV in Omaha, Nebraska, has been added to the list of Journal properties measured by Rentrak.

"I have long been a fan of Rentrak and thrilled to finally have the opportunity to use its services here in Omaha," Chris Sehring, Vice President and General Manager of KMTV-TV, said in a press release.

"Our Journal Media cluster is focused on generating results – not just impressions – for our advertisers. Now, with Rentrak, we can be of even greater service to our customers in helping them sell more products, increase their market share, and build their companies' brands."

The release didn’t mention the Milwaukee market specifically, but Journal Communications, which owns WTMJ-TV Ch. 4, has to be interested – as well as its peers – in who is watching what in our backyard. Rentrak is just another tool to do that.

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.