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National Association of Broadcasters
Local stations' investigative units stand up for consumers every day.


Local stations' award-winning investigative news units uncover government corruption, question those in power and expose those who abuse their positions. Read the stories below to find out how these news teams are standing up for the little guy, ensuring consumers have a powerful voice to fight back against injustice. This valuable investigative work improves the quality of lives within communities and provides viewers and listeners with the information they need to be informed citizens.

Recent Investigative Stories from America's Broadcasters

Federal Watchdog to Examine DOJ Practices After NBC News Investigation

Date Posted: 5/17/2024

Congress’ investigative arm is launching a probe of the policies and practices of Justice Department law enforcement task forces in response to a request from Sen. Jon Ossoff to open a review of how the Justice Department oversees its task forces, which often include local police officers. The request comes after NBC News published a series on the lack of accountability for federal law enforcement agencies and the local officers granted federal powers who serve on task forces.

Cox Media Group Honored for Social Security Overpayment Investigation

Date Posted: 5/10/2024

Cox Media Group’s investigative teams and KFF Health News received a 2024 Goldsmith Award from The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School for their joint reporting, Overpayment Outrage. The series exposed how the Social Security Administration (SSA) routinely sent overpayments to recipients that the SSA then clawed back by reducing or suspending monthly checks.

“We’re honored to receive this prestigious award because it reflects CMG’s commitment to local news and investigative journalism,” says Marian Pittman, president of content, Cox Media Group. “The team’s relentless efforts to uncover the truth behind complex government policies and their implementation has resulted in tangible changes within the SSA and will directly benefit millions of people impacted by overpayments.”

ABC15 Investigation Leads to Changes in Health Regulation

Date Posted: 5/10/2024

Months of reporting by the ABC15 Investigators at the E.W. Scripps Company station in Phoenix, Ariz., has led health leaders to promise changes to how one of the area’s largest medical imaging providers is regulated. After reports of multiple patient safety concerns at SimonMed facilities, the station investigated how the provider was able to function without licensing and appropriate government oversight.

Houston’s KHOU and Policymakers Investigate Postal Service Delays

Date Posted: 3/4/2024

Since December, Tegna’s KHOU 11 in Houston, Texas, has been investigating ongoing issues with delayed mail at Houston-area USPS processing centers. “KHOU was the first station to report on the problems and worked to find solutions,” the station said. Policymakers including Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) and Rep. Al Green (TX-9) have spoken to the station about working to get answers for frustrated customers. "My hope is that we’ll get them to come around and have this level of transparency. I currently do not see it, and I’m still very much concerned, and I’m currently having conversations with members on determination as to whether or not it would take a congressional hearing to move us along," Green told the station in February.

Fox 8 New Orleans and ProPublica Investigate "Mayor’s Court"

Date Posted: 1/10/2024

A partnership between Gray television’s Fox 8 New Orleans and ProPublica investigated the judicial process of a town in Louisiana that brings in more than $1 million per year in traffic fines through a mayor’s court. “The mayor who’s trying to raise money for the city is in charge of prosecuting these minor criminal offenses and getting fines brought back to the city,” Joel Friedman, an emeritus professor at Tulane University in New Orleans who has taught procedural law for 46 years, told the investigation. “There’s no accountability. They can do whatever they want.”

7 Action News Investigates Officer Accused of Abuse

Date Posted: 1/10/2024

The 7 Investigators from Scripps Local Media station 7 Action News in Detroit reported on a Wayne County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant who was allowed to continue working after being charged with abusing his girlfriend, a fellow officer. The officer was suspended hours after the station contacted the sheriff’s office, alerting them of an upcoming story on the criminal case.

11Alive Investigates Backlog and Dangerous Conditions in Jail System

Date Posted: 1/3/2024

An investigation by Tegna station 11Alive News in Atlanta, Ga., uncovered the stories of hundreds of unconvicted defendants spending months waiting in dangerous conditions in the Fulton county jail system without formal charges. The report looked into the causes and consequences of these conditions for those moving through the legal system. "It is tragic," said Atlanta-based defense attorney Robert Rubin after reviewing the data.

WMTW Special Investigates Housing Costs

Date Posted: 10/18/2023

Hearst Television’s WMTW Channel 8 in Portland, Me., investigated the rising cost of living in their area in an hour-long primetime special. The station’s news director, Amy Beveridge, told TVNewsCheck that the special not only presented the problems but offered solutions and opportunities. “That is how we hope to bring our investigations to the next level,” she says.

News Channel 5 Investigates Local Candidate’s Social Media Claims

Date Posted: 10/2/2023

Scripps Local Media’s News Channel 5 in Nashville, Tenn., investigated a local mayoral candidate’s social media campaign to discover photos that appeared to be lifted from social media posts, falsely claiming individuals as her supporters. The station said she, “may not have thought that anyone would track down the women whose photos she posted last month on her campaign's social media accounts. But that's exactly what NewsChannel 5 Investigates did over the weekend, and those women were outraged about how their images were used.”

CMG Stations Investigate “Outrageous” Real Estate Contracts

Date Posted: 10/2/2023

In September, Cox Media Group (CMG)-owned WSOC-TV 9 reported on an update to a long-running collaboration by the investigative teams of CMG’s’s TV stations. The story involved MV Realty, a Florida-based company which offered quick cash to unsuspecting homeowners across the country in exchange for a contract ensuring homeowners would use the company as their realtor if they later decided to sell their house. Many failed to realize the contract was secured with a 40-year lien on their home. Now under investigation, the company recently filed for bankruptcy. A new reporting model implemented by CMG earlier this year enabled reporters across the country to work together to uncover the larger scope of the issue, even beyond their own markets.

Target 12 Investigates Congressional Candidate

Date Posted: 9/27/2023

Nexstar Media Group’s WPRI 12 in Providence, R.I., aired an in-depth investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior by a congressional candidate while teaching at a local college. The candidate, Don Carlson, eventually suspended his campaign. “Target 12 revealed last week that Williams officials had told Carlson in 2019 he couldn’t return to teach there in the future after he broached a romantic relationship with a student in a text message that referenced a website used by people who pay to go on dates,” the station reports. “Before the initial report aired, Carlson and his representatives spent a week trying to kill the story behind the scenes, then denied its accuracy until a second report aired Thursday with more details.”

KHOU 11 Investigates Hiring Practices at Local Police Department

Date Posted: 9/27/2023

An in-depth investigation from TEGNA’s KHOU 11 in Houston, Texas, explored the hiring practices of the police department of a small Texas town. Coffee City has about 250 residents and 50 sworn police officers, many of whom were “suspended, demoted, terminated or dishonorably discharged from their previous law enforcement jobs,” according to the station.

WRAL Investigates Contaminated Tap Water

Date Posted: 9/11/2023

WRAL, Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., produced a new documentary, Forever Chemicals: North Carolina’s Toxic Tap Water, to explore the legacy of chemical contamination left in the river, air and groundwater surrounding a chemical plant in the area. "We spent months traveling to the contaminated areas and talking with the people still living with contaminated water," WRAL Investigative Documentary Reporter Cristin Severance told TVNewsCheck. "It’s shocking that people are still fighting to get clean water in North Carolina in 2023."

NBC Connecticut Investigates Utility’s Emergency Response

Date Posted: 8/16/2023

NBC Connecticut’s investigative unit followed the story of an elderly couple who were trapped under live wires for close to an hour. Connecticut regulators are proposing new emergency response standards for electric utility Eversource during critical incidents. The state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority reported that Eversource’s response to the incident was delayed, and that the response team lacked certain appropriate training and resources.

ABC13 Investigates Jail Deaths

Date Posted: 4/26/2023

An investigation by ABC owned-and-operated ABC13 in Houston, Texas, looked into the death of Matthew Shelton, a young man with diabetes, in the Harris County jail, part of an ongoing investigation into jail deaths. During this process, the station reported on long wait times and a lack of information about these deaths in response to records requests. "For this to happen and then for there to be no answers - that’s almost even worse than actual death itself," Shelton’s sister told the station.

WKMG Investigates Public Record Delays

Date Posted: 3/20/2023

An investigation from Graham Media Group’s News 6 WKMG in Orlando explored delays in release of public records to citizens and journalists caused by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office’s practice of “reviewing” these records from state agencies. The report discussed the legality of these delays, including analysis from watchdog organizations and nonprofits, state officials and the governor’s office. “Whether it’s intentional or not, it has the obvious effect of unreasonably delaying the constitutional right of access to public records,” said a representative from the Florida Center for Government Accountability.

Journalism Partnership Explores Racial Disparity in Traffic Stops

Date Posted: 1/23/2023

Scripps-owned News 5 Cleveland partnered with nonprofit journalism organization The Marshall Project-Cleveland for a piece titled “How a Wealthy Cleveland Suburb Profits From Ticketing Black Drivers.” With digital and televised coverage, the piece explored individuals’ “lived experiences” and included statistics and interviews with local experts as well as discussions with residents, legislators and law enforcement.

KNTV Streaming Series Seeks Solutions To San Francisco’s Problems

Date Posted: 3/4/2022

NBC owned-and-operated KNTV San Francisco kicked off a six-part streaming investigative series, “Saving San Francisco,” exploring solutions to deep-rooted issues plaguing the city. The series delves into poverty, crime, homelessness and mental health, problems that can be found in nearly every community across the country.

“’Saving San Francisco’ is the latest in our series of investigations that explore systemic problems in the Bay Area and that offer possible solutions,” says Stephanie Adrouny, KNTV’s VP of news. “The beautiful city of San Francisco has changed drastically over the last few years and we want to contribute to a discussion that will spark change that leads to improving the quality of life for people in San Francisco and the Bay Area.”

KNXV Investigation Wins George Polk Award

Date Posted: 2/21/2022

KNXV, a Phoenix television station owned by The E.W. Scripps Company, won a George Polk Award for its original investigative piece, “Politically Charged,” that exposed tactics by the Phoenix justice system to target and frame protestors exercising their First Amendment rights following George Floyd’s murder in May 2020.

The George Polk Awards, which place a premium on investigative and enterprising reporting that gains attention and achieves results, annually honor special achievement in journalism and focus on the “intrepid, bold, and influential work of the reporters themselves.”

For “Politically Charged,” a series of 60 reports and an hourlong investigative special, KNXV reporter Dave Biscobing and the ABC15 Investigators spent a year probing the mass-arrest of more than 100 demonstrators and the attempts by the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Attorney’s office to distort facts to grand juries to obtain felony charges against them.

The team’s reporting led to the dismissal of every felony protest arrest in the county – 39 in total. Locally, officers and prosecutors have been reassigned – some are under criminal investigation – high-level county attorney’s office officials resigned, the police chief was suspended, and multiple class-action lawsuits have been filed. “Politically Charged” has also triggered a U.S. Department of Justice pattern-or-practice investigation to examine the history of policing policies in Phoenix. Further, when the city of Phoenix tried to subpoena KNXV’s raw materials for its police misconduct stories, the newsroom fought back and won in federal court.

“Politically Charged” also was recently honored with a 2022 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award along with KNXV’s “Full Disclosure” series, which exposed widespread and systemic problems with Arizona’s so-called “Brady” lists of police officers with documented behavioral problems.

TEGNA Stations KARE and KXTV Receive Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards

Date Posted: 2/9/2022

Two TEGNA, Inc., stations received a 2022 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award honoring excellence in broadcast, online and documentary journalism.

KARE (Minneapolis, Minn.) won for “KARE 11 Investigates: Cruel & Unusual,” which exposed how Minnesota jail officials ignored preventable inmate deaths. KXTV (Sacramento, Calif.) was honored for “Fire-Power-Money,” their investigative series on Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s role in the deadliest wildfire in California’s history.

ABC15 Wins duPont-Columbia Award for Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 2/8/2022

ABC15 received a 2022 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, one of the highest honors in journalism, for a pair of investigations uncovering police and prosecutor misconduct in Arizona.

ABC15 is being honored for “Full Disclosure” and “Politically Charged,” separate investigations that exposed widespread and systemic misconduct by Arizona police and prosecutors.

In “Full Disclosure,” ABC15 exposed problems with Arizona’s so-called “Brady” lists, which are supposed to track police officers with documented histories of dishonesty, false arrests, crimes and integrity concerns. The series included more than two dozen reports plus a pair of documentary specials. The reporting proved state law enforcement agencies routinely failed to track problematic officers, disclose their misconduct and hold them accountable. For the first time anywhere, ABC15 also compiled and published a statewide database of “Brady” list officers.

In “Politically Charged,” ABC15 dismantled a scheme by Phoenix Police officers and Maricopa County prosecutors to target and falsely charge a group of protesters as gang members. The station’s investigation also proved officials routinely exaggerated and lied in multiple other protest cases throughout 2020. The series directly led to the dismissal of every open felony protest case in Phoenix — 39 of them. The Department of Justice also launched a sweeping pattern-of-practice investigation.

WWL-TV Investigates the Source of Power Failures

Date Posted: 9/14/2021

TEGNA’s CBS affiliate WWL-TV New Orleans, La., investigated on August 30 how a massive transmission tower collapsed due to high winds and all eight transmission lines from power company Entergy failed simultaneously, leaving the entire New Orleans area south of Lake Pontchartrain without power and on an “island” after Hurricane Ida. Investigative Reporter David Hammer interviewed Entergy Louisiana CEO Phillip May about the four-day assessment process to determine the best way to get the lights back on and explained how the fees Entergy customers paid for hardening infrastructure were spent. Hammer also spoke with New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno, who regulates Entergy New Orleans and raised concerns about how Entergy managed its transmission system. “I’m just wondering whether this could have been prevented. And that’s what we’re going to be looking into,” she said. “So, yes, the focus is on absolute restoration. That is what we’re all about right now. But more will follow with investigations and getting to the bottom of how this happened and what can be done better by the company.”

South Dakota Public Broadcasting Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

South Dakota Public Broadcasting earned a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for their reporting on the issue of fireworks at Mount Rushmore, detailing the history of displays, fire risks, water pollution and other environmental concerns. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Hawaii Stations Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

Gray Television’s CBS affiliate KGMB and NBC affiliate KHNL share a news department, Hawaii News Now, and won the 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for investigating a local doctor’s suspicion that prescription marijuana vape cartridges sold in Oahu’s government-regulated dispensaries were not safe. The report revealed dangerously high levels of ethanol in the cartridges. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Colorado Springs Station Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

News-Press & Gazette Company’s ABC affiliate KRDO-TV was awarded the 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for their lengthy investigation into shutting down illicit massage parlors tied to prostitution and human trafficking in the Colorado Springs area. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Boston Station Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV won a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for a series of reports regarding a history of negligence and bad decisions that lead to dozens of deaths at a long-term care facility for veterans, particularly at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Wichita Station Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

Nexstar Media Group’s NBC/Telemundo affiliate KSNW-TV was awarded a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for their reporting on the dangers of X-Lite guardrails and exploring why they are still installed on some Kansas roads despite the decision by the Kansas Department of Transportation to discontinue their use in new projects in 2017. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Seattle Station Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KING-TV earned a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for their reporting on an undetected mold problem in the air handling system in some of the operating rooms at Seattle Children’s Hospital that led to several infections and deaths, and the station’s legal fight to release public health records. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

NHPR Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

New Hampshire Public Radio won a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for exposing over 80 legal settlements agreed to by municipalities in New Hampshire following allegations of civil rights violations by police officers since 2010. These settlements were shielded from public scrutiny and cost taxpayers more than $4.35 million. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Chattanooga Station Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s ABC/Fox affiliate WTVC won a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for their series investigating a near-fatal incident at a motorcar festival when a motorcar crashed into an orange traffic barrier that was not filled with water, causing it to go airborne and striking people working on the course. The station investigated the improper use of this barrier and what the city of Chattanooga is planning to do to regulate these types of events. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Lafayette Station Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

The E.W. Scripps Company’s ABC/CW affiliate KATC earned a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for reporting on the issue of Louisiana coroners signing cremation permits for deaths that have been listed as homicides, which is against the law and destroys the most crucial piece of evidence of the crime, denying families justice for their loved ones. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Pittsburgh Station Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

Cox Media Group’s NBC affiliate WPXI won a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for their investigation into local nursing homes’ practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the level of patient care due to staff shortages and the disturbing practice of putting healthy residents in the same rooms with residents who tested positive for COVID-19. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Rockford Station Honored For Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 5/6/2021

Quincy Media’s NBC/CW affiliate WREX was awarded a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award for reporting on accusations of systemic abuse of power, police misconduct and excessive force at a local police department, particularly involving complaints against specific officers and the lack of discipline even after complaints and lawsuits. The Edward R. Murrow Awards are announced each year by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.

Sens. Klobuchar, Smith and KTTC Inform Minnesotans After Insurrection

Date Posted: 1/20/2021

In Minnesota, Quincy Media’s NBC/CW affiliate KTTC Rochester spoke with Sens. Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar (MN) the next day. "The United States Capitol must be one of the safest places in the world," Smith said. "Less than 24 hours later, I was running down a hallway in the Capitol with my colleagues."

Rep. Castor and WUSF-FM Offer Insurrection Insight

Date Posted: 1/20/2021

Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) was in the House office building under lockdown during the attack, and spoke with University of South Florida’s WUSF-FM on the phone later that night before the House reconvened. "It was a grotesque spectacle, just shocking to see," she told WUSF’s Steve Newborn.

KCRA-TV Investigates Insurrection, Interviews Congress

Date Posted: 1/13/2021

Hearst Television’s NBC affiliate KCRA-TV Sacramento investigated the insurrection at the Capitol and conducted interviews with Congress to inform their coverage of the event. Following the attack at the U.S. Capitol, broadcasters spoke with U.S. Reps. John Garamendi, Josh Harder and Ami Bera, who jointly represent the viewing area. The station’s unbiased reporting also featured statements from all other Members of Congress who represent California.

During the interviews, the Congresspeople offered a first-hand account of the day and offered context and comfort to address misinformation being spread about the attack.

KDRV Interviews U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkeley, Reps. Bentz, deFazio on Capitol Attack

Date Posted: 1/12/2021

Allen Media Broadcasting’s KDRV-TV Medford, Or. conducted interviews with U.S. Senator Jeff Merkeley and U.S. Representatives Cliff Bentz and Peter deFazio following the attack at the U.S. Capitol. During the interviews, the government officials provided a first-hand account of the day and were able to offer context to combat misinformation being spread about the day.

Reps. Aderholt and Sewell Provide Context to Insurrection On WVTM

Date Posted: 1/12/2021

Hearst Television’s WVTM-TV Birmingham, Ala. connected with Reps. Robert Aderholt and Terri Sewell following the attack at the U.S. Capitol. During the interviews, the government officials provided a first-hand account of the day and were able to offer context to combat misinformation being spread about the day.

Atlanta’s WGCL Covers Insurrection, Interviews Rep. Williams

Date Posted: 1/12/2021

Meredith Local Media’s CBS affiliate WGCL-TV Atlanta conducted interviews with freshman Representative Nikema Williams and former Representative Kwanza Hall following the attack at the U.S. Capitol. During the interviews, Williams offered a first-hand account of the day and both were able to offer context to combat misinformation being spread about the attack.

Broadcasters Provide Information, Guidance During Insurrection

Date Posted: 1/10/2021

As the unique voice that reaches all people, broadcasters were instrumental at keeping the nation up-to-date with trusted and unbiased information, comfort and guidance during and in the days following the insurrection at United States Capitol on January 6.

As it unfolded, broadcasters sprung to action and connected with their Representatives and Senators to investigate what was happening. On January 6 and in the days following the attack, broadcasters continued to cover and investigate the insurrection by setting up interviews directly with Members of Congress. During these interviews, Members offered a first-hand account of the day’s events, answered questions and provided context on the potential impact of the day.

WVLT Investigates Drowning Dangers

Date Posted: 8/7/2020

News anchor Brittany Tarwater with Gray’s WVLT Knoxville has spent the last year working with families across the country who have lost children and loved ones to drowning. The investigation dove into questions around the high prevalence of drowning deaths and strict swimming guidelines. Read more here.

TEGNA’s ‘Facts Not Fear’ Approach to Coronavirus

Date Posted: 2/28/2020

TEGNA stations are committed to a “Facts Not Fear” approach to reporting on the coronavirus outbreak, with a focus on providing context and perspective, while not downplaying the severity of the situation. TEGNA is paying close attention to the graphics stations use and encourages reporters to take the time needed to ensure they report accurate information. National and local fact-checking teams at TEGNA’s project Verify are focused on coronavirus misinformation and are creating accurate reports.

NBC affiliate KPNX aired a segment addressing rumors about how coronavirus might spread on international flights.

NBC affiliate KUSA Denver produced an 80-second video mission statement promising viewers that it will not “play on our fears and yours” with click-bait headlines. It also pledged not to “guess or speculate or assume,” but instead seek out multiple experts and vetted sources.

NBC affiliate KSDK St. Louis also aired a segment about TEGNA’s “Facts Not Fear” approach. The station offered a phone number so viewers can text questions about the coronavirus and receive answers from medical professionals.

“Our journalists and our news leaders are handling this with such care and such a commitment to help their communities,” said TEGNA VP of News Ellen Crooke. “They have a great sense of this is a duty to our country, to do this well and to do this properly.”

WWWQ-FM Prompts New State Legislation to Help Working Moms

Date Posted: 2/4/2020

Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ-FM Atlanta investigated workplace protections for new mothers, prompting the introduction on January 28 of a new workplace protection bill in the Georgia State Senate. After reporting a story about the lack of workplace protections for new mothers who wish to pump breast milk during the workday, the station launched an online campaign and contacted local attorneys to discuss changing the law.

WUSA Investigates Amazon CEO’s $17,000 Unpaid Parking Violations

Date Posted: 2/1/2020

TEGNA’s CBS affiliate WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. aired an investigation on January 30 into nearly $17,000 worth of unpaid parking violations allegedly related to the renovation of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Washington mansion. Investigative reporter Eric Flack learned 564 citations were issued on the mansion’s block between October 2016 and October 2019 and witnessed workers leaving the construction site and departing in ticketed vehicles day after day .

WUSA found vehicles were cited for ignoring no parking zones, as well as blocking crosswalks and obstructing pedestrian traffic. Almost $6,000 worth of tickets were unpaid at the time of investigation.

Scripps Focuses on Local News With High School Journalists

Date Posted: 1/31/2020

Scripps TV stations worked with local high schools through National News Literacy Week, January 27-31, to produce original pieces of student journalism. The stories highlighted the importance of local news and were available on the stations and through Scripps’ multiplatform news brand, Newsy.

Participating Scripps stations included:

  • ABC affiliate KMGH-TV Denver;
  • ABC affiliate KGTV San Diego;
  • ABC affiliate WKBW-TV Buffalo;
  • CBS affiliate KMTV Omaha, Neb.;
  • CBS affiliate WTKR-TV Norfolk, VA;
  • CBS affiliate WTVF-TV Nashville; and
  • CBS affiliate WTVR-TV Richmond, VA.

WFAA Covers Climate Change With an ’Everyman’

Date Posted: 1/30/2020

TEGNA’s WFAA-TV Dallas aired on November 3 and 17 a two-part investigative report on climate change. "Verify: Climate Truth" followed WFAA reporter David Schechter and local roofer and self-proclaimed climate change skeptic Justin Fain as they investigated whether the environment has changed due to human activity. The two spoke with climatologists, geologists and other scientists throughout Texas to understand the impact of climate change before traveling to Alaska to report on environmental changes in one of the fastest warming regions of the country.

WREX Digs Into the Effect Of ‘Delinquent’ Property Taxes on the Community

Date Posted: 1/24/2020

Quincy Media’s NBC/CW affiliate WREX-TV Rockford, Ill., aired on November 12 – 14 “Delinquent,” a three-part investigative series focusing on the effect of mounting local property taxes. The series dug into the burden of property taxes on homeowners in Winnebago County, which maintains one of highest property tax rates in the country. Each part focused on a different issue, such as the cost of unpaid property tax, how businesses are fighting for lowered rates and the impact of tax incentives on the community.

The station continued the discussion on November 18 with a town hall featuring members of the community, city officials and area business and economic development leaders. Evening news anchors Kristin Crowley and James Stratton moderated the panel discussion.

Local Stations Win duPont-Columbia Awards

Date Posted: 1/22/2020

Columbia Journalism School honored four television stations on January 21 with Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University awards. Stations raised awareness for important issues such as immigration, political corruption, abuse of power and sexual assualt.

Television stations include TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KARE-TV Minneapolis; Scripps ABC affiliate WKWB-TV Buffalo; PBS affiliate WETA-TV Washington, D.C.; and Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSOC-TV Charlotte, N.C.

NBC San Francisco Investigates Dangerous Train System

Date Posted: 12/20/2019

NBC-owned KNTV San Francisco produced a five-part investigative series, “Derailed,” that exposes how the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system has become one of the most dangerous in the country. The BART system, which with 723 trains, 122 miles of track and 48 stations, sees more than 420,000 rides every day. Violent crime on BART has more than doubled in recent years. KNTV’s Investigative unit spent months recording on BART trains, interviewing passengers, questioning top BART officials, and analyzing thousands of crime records to discover what has happened to the once well-respected system.

Townsquare’s WKXW Addresses Online Child Predators

Date Posted: 12/11/2019

Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM Trenton, N.J., held a special Town Hall on December 11 addressing online child predators. Morning News Anchor Eric Scott moderated the panel, which featured live, call-in questions from listeners. Participants included New Jersey State Police Lt. John Pizzuro, Commander of the NJSP’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni; and Dr. Steven Tobias, Director of the Center for Child & Family Development in Morristown, N.J. The station also produced and aired special news segments from investigative reporter David Matthau prior to the Town Hall.

Univision and Poynter Fight Misinformation

Date Posted: 12/5/2019

The Poynter Institute announced on November 21 that its International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and Univision News will provide Spanish-speaking audiences in the U.S. with information about fact-checking work produced leading up to the presidential election. IFCN Associate Director Cristina Tardáguila has begun publishing a weekly op-ed column in Spanish on Univision Noticias. The English version appears on IFCN’s and Poynter’s social networks.

“For Univision News, this collaboration is an opportunity to continue offering high-quality content and new tools that allow the Hispanic community to distinguish facts from fiction and helps them discern information from disinformation online and on social media,” said Univision News President Daniel Coronell.

KWWL Special Focuses on Iowa’s Family Farms

Date Posted: 12/4/2019

Quincy’s dual NBC-CW affiliate KWWL Waterloo, IA, aired an hour-long special on November 21 focused on the challenges facing farmers. “Growing Forward: The Future of Farming in Iowa” special included a live panel discussion featuring Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. The special examined the impact of the trade war, changes in technology, the uncertainties of weather and markets, and issues with what happens to the family farm if younger generations choose different careers. They also talked about managing the growing size of conventional farm, as farm sizes in the past few decades have grown from a few hundred acres to several thousand acres.

KMSP Special Highlights Minnesota’s Farming Crisis

Date Posted: 11/28/2019

Fox-owned KMSP Minneapolis aired on November 28 a primetime, hour-long special investigative report, “FOX 9 Presents: The Last Harvest.” Reporter Tom Lyden spent 10 months investigating the crisis affecting Minnesota farmers, who faced the wettest year on record, historically low yields and the trade war with China, which affects commodity prices. Small local farmers have been struggling with debt under a system that encourages them to get bigger.

Radio Covers LA Wildfires

Date Posted: 11/1/2019

Listeners across Los Angeles tuned into local radio for updates as wildfires spread across the region, with one starting on October 24 and another beginning in the early morning hours of October 28. As of October 30, more than 600 acres burned and thousands evacuated their homes. The fire destroyed 12 homes and damaged five more. Local radio stations, including Entercom’s KNX-AM and iHeartMedia’s KFI-AM and KEIB-AM, aired critical safety information, evacuation instructions and interviews with local officials. All three stations saw a sharp uptick in listenership during their coverage. Radio Ink spoke with KNX Program Director Ken Charles in detail about the station’s around-the-clock coverage.

“They are committed to not only telling the story but doing whatever it takes to get the information out to our audience to help save lives,” said Charles.

WROC’s Hispanic Coverage Earns Governor’s Recognition

Date Posted: 10/30/2019

Nexstar’s CBS affiliate WROC Rochester, N.Y., celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by producing and airing special stories each Monday during its 5:30 p.m. newscast. It aired the half-hour special, “Hidden History: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage,” three times. Governor Andrew Cuomo presented WROC with a proclamation for its coverage of Hispanic Heritage Month and its commitment to fair representation. “It is fitting that all New Yorkers share in the events that highlight the extensive legacy of accomplishment, success, and abundantly rich Latino customs and traditions,” he said.

“This is truly an honor, and the credit goes to our entire news team,” said General Manager Wendy Bello. “Our Hispanic Heritage initiative is a collaboration of impactful stories celebrating the proud heritage of Hispanic culture and its influence in the Rochester community.”

The City of Houston Pays Intern $95,000

Date Posted: 10/21/2019

Graham’s NBC affiliate KPRC Houston aired on September 30 an investigation by Reporter Mario Diaz into a $95,000 publicly funded internship for the City of Houston, created to allow a former intern to sidestep a hiring freeze. Diaz looked at 8,000 e-mails between city officials and found that Mayor Sylvester Turner signed off on the position for Marvin Agumagu at the request of Houston’s Chief Development Officer Andy Icken. Turner later denied having met Agumagu, even though they have been photographed together at multiple events. Read the full story, including the mayor’s response.

KING Earns Emmy for Investigative Report

Date Posted: 10/20/2019

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KING-TV Seattle received a national Emmy award in the Outstanding Regional News Story: Investigative Report category for “Sick and Forgotten in Hanford.” Investigative Reporter Susannah Frame and Photojournalist Steve Douglas exposed the federal government for denying worker compensation claims related to the Hanford Nuclear Site, which is cited as the most toxic worksite in America. The report led to passage of the first state law to help Hanford workers made sick from exposure to chemicals and radiation, obtain medical care and compensation.

California TV Stations Examine Fault Line

Date Posted: 10/17/2019

ABC-owned KGO San Francisco and Hearst’s dual NBC-ABC affiliate KSBW Salinas aired special programs on October 17 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. The 6.9 magnitude earthquake killed 63 people, caused billions in damage, and altered California’s coastline.

KGO’s commercial-free documentary, “The Earthquake Effect,” featured a never-before-seen aerial view of the entire Hayward Fault using exclusive mapping technology. Experts discussed the impact that a similar earthquake would have today and urged viewers to be prepared.

KSBW’s special newscast, “Loma Prieta: 30 Years Later,” featured seldom-seen footage from that day, including video of KSBW’s live coverage. It also included new interviews from survivors and the stories of first responders.

Nexstar Hosts Town Hall with Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Date Posted: 9/3/2019

Nexstar hosted an hour-long live Town Hall meeting with Texas Governor Greg Abbott on August 15 that was broadcast and streamed on 14 Nexstar stations across Texas. Moderators from NBC affiliate KETK-TV Tyler and NBC affiliate KXAN-TV Austin hosted a ten-minute question and answer session with Governor Abbott, who spent the remainder of the program answering questions from the live audience. Local stations provided additional opportunities for voters to ask questions. KXAN produced pre- and post- Town Hall specials that stations streamed digitally.

“As one of the nation’s largest local media companies, Nexstar remains committed to supporting the evolving needs and interests of the local communities that we proudly serve in Texas and across the United States,” stated Nexstar President Tim Busch. “Town Halls provide an important public forum for constituents to engage with local leaders on the issues that matter to them and their families.”

Participating stations included KXAN-TV Austin (NBC), KRBC-TV Abilene (NBC), KAMR-TV Amarillo (NBC), KVEO-TV Brownsville (NBC), KTSM-TV El Paso (NBC), KLBK-TV Lubbock (CBS), KMID-TV Midland (ABC), KSAN-TV San Angelo (NBC), KTAL-TV Texarkana (NBC), KETK-TV Tyler (NBC), KWKT-TV Waco (FOX), KFDX-TV Wichita Falls (NBC), KIAH-TV Houston (CW) and KDAF-TV Dallas (CW).

InvestigateTV Debuts ’Measure of Hate’ Documentary

Date Posted: 9/1/2019

Gray’s InvestigateTV launched on August 4 a half-hour documentary, “Measure of Hate,” that focuses on the undercounting of hate crimes throughout the country and issues with laws related to tracking and punishing hate crimes. The program, which aired on all Gray television stations throughout August, showed that dozens of high-profile hate crimes investigated and prosecuted by the FBI and DOJ are not counted in the FBI federal database.

“We’re proud of the work by our investigative team on this project,” said SVP of Local Media Sandy Breland. “Their many months of reporting on this issue not only raised awareness but also sparked real change.”

“We hope this investigation encourages increased transparency to enable our leaders to better monitor hate crimes and highlight the importance of wide-ranging efforts to reduce hate crimes,” said Director of Investigations Lee Zurik.

KARE-TV Investigates Untested Criminal Evidence

Date Posted: 8/28/2019

TENGA’s NBC affiliate KARE-TV Minneapolis’s investigative report revealed the state left several thousand rape kits untested and partially-tested. KARE’s investigation, which aired on August 15, reported that the number of untested kits may be twice what Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) initially stated. Even when kits were sent to the BCA for testing, the station learned that DNA evidence was not collected or submitted to the nationwide suspect database. The investigation also uncovered evidence that the BCA knew of the inaccuracy and expressed concern about what would happen if the public knew.

“It’s just so incredibly disappointing and it’s infuriating,” Minnesota state Representative Marion O’Neill remarked when KARE informed her of their discovery. Rep. O’Neill, who helped pass the 2015 legislation mandating an untested kits count, wishes to revisit the law and require full rape kit testing for anyone who seeks it.

RTDNA Winners

Date Posted: 7/2/2019

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced on June 18 the winners of the 2019 National Murrow Awards, recognizing 100 radio, television and digital news organizations for 122 examples of outstanding journalism. RTDNA received more than 4,600 entries across 16 categories, which include technical aspects of multimedia news, innovation, engagement and investigation.

"These winning pieces from news organizations large and small have educated, uplifted, inspired, uncovered and enlightened,” said Executive Director Dan Shelley. "We’re proud to recognize the most outstanding ways journalists are keeping the public informed, holding the powerful accountable and enhancing the quality of life in their communities."

Hubbard’s WTOP-FM Washington, D.C., won for Overall Excellence in large market radio for the third straight year. Overall Excellence awards also go to Scripps’ ABC affiliate KMGH-TV Denver for large market television and Pikes Peak Television’s ABC affiliate KRDO-TV Colorado Springs for small market.

“Our news team places a high value on consistency, innovation, and collaboration across all platforms,” said Director of News and Programming Mike McMearty. “To be recognized three years in-a-row by the Murrow judges fills us all with such a great sense of pride… it’s truly a great honor.”

WTAE Earns First Amendment Award for Investigative Series

Date Posted: 6/1/2019

Hearst’s ABC affiliate WTAE-TV Pittsburgh was awarded the Pennsylvania Associated Press Media Editors First Amendment Award for their year-long investigative efforts to uncover the secretive bid process involved in attempts to lure Amazon’s headquarters with over $2 billion in tax incentives. Their ongoing series, titled “Pittsburgh’s Secret Amazon Bid,” was said by judges to exemplify the spirit and intent of the First Amendment and demonstrate the ability of broadcasters to overcome great obstacles to bring important stories to viewers.

“It’s not the first time our station has gone to court and fought for our viewers’ right to know, and it won’t be the last,” said Jim Parsons, WTAE’s news director.

KUSA-TV Investigation Prompts New Mental Health Care Law

Date Posted: 6/1/2019

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KUSA-TV Denver produced a multi-part series called “STRANDED,” that revealed a growing problem in the community: at-risk people with conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are increasingly being abandoned by family and conventional nursing homes and end up spending months or years in hospital rooms. In response to the attention that KUSA-TV’s series brought to the under-reported epidemic, Governor Jared Polis signed into law a new bill on May 20 that is designed to help people who are languishing in hospitals but who don’t need critical or acute care.

“I want to thank Channel 9 News [KUSA-TV] and their STRANDED episode,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer, a sponsor of the bill. “A mental health issue should never be a life sentence to a hospital bed.”

WPIX Documents Conditions for Immigrants From Central America

Date Posted: 6/1/2019

Tribune’s CW affiliate WPIX-TV New York City sent Reporter Cristian Benavides and Photographer Kenneth Pelczar to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, Central America’s Northern Triangle, to report what the conditions are like in the root of America’s migrant crisis. Meeting with church officials, local leaders, displaced workers and union representatives, the team gathered information for use in WPIX’s news series titled “Trapped in the Triangle,” to help viewers understand the driving factors behind the current waves of migrants from these countries to the United States.

“The story of migration from Central America is one of profound complexity. It’s about people not politics. We at [WPIX] are pleased to take our viewers to the heart of a region to discover why so many are willing to risk so much and to come so far,” said WPIX Vice President of News and Content Vickie Burns.

NBC Owned Stations Steps Up Consumer Investigative Units

Date Posted: 5/6/2019

NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations is making a bigger bet on the NBC Responds/Telemundo Responde units that win back cash for viewers who feel they’ve been ripped off. Telemundo station WTMO Orlando launched a Responde consumer investigative unit April 11, and KTDO El Paso will launch one in mid-May.

Priest Sex Abuse Investigation Earns WKBW National Award

Date Posted: 5/6/2019

Scripps’ ABC affiliate WKBW Buffalo, N.Y., earned recognition by Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) for its work to uncover child sexual abuse inside the Catholic Church in Western New York.

WKBW won for its 2018 investigative series, Fall from Grace: How Buffalo’s Bishop Hid Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. As a result of its initial reporting, a source within the Buffalo diocese agreed to work with WKBW investigative reporter Charlie Specht and photojournalist Jeff Wick, providing the investigative team with evidence of a church cover-up. The FBI launched a criminal investigation centered on the leadership of the diocese, and more victims have come forward to tell their stories exclusively to Specht.

“The persistent and careful storytelling of Charlie, Jeff and the WKBW I-team brought to light a story with difficult subject matter and tragic consequences for the children involved,” said Brian Lawlor, Scripps’ president of local media. “We are proud of the team’s relentless pursuit of the truth and their commitment to holding the powerful accountable.”

WDIV Podcast Examines Local Crimes

Date Posted: 3/31/2019

Graham’s NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Detroit released on March 19 season three of its “Shattered” podcast. “Shattered: Child Killer” discusses the cold case of children murdered 40 years ago and the suspected cover-up by a local millionaire. It spotlights the murdered children’s relatives, investigators on the case, and journalists who continue covering the story. “Shattered” seasons one and two amassed 2.1 million downloads. Season 1 explores the 2010 disappearance of three brothers in Morenci, Mich., whose father said he gave them to an underground organization. Season 2 covers the life of Richard Wershe, Jr., (“White Boy Rick”) the youngest FBI informant turned drug dealer.

WCVB Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Pine Street Inn’s Homeless Services

Date Posted: 3/31/2019

Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB Boston is the year-long television partner for the 50th anniversary of Pine Street Inn, New England’s largest homeless services provider, which supports 2,000 men and women daily. In addition to airing PSAs, WCVB’s ‘5 Fixer Upper’ program will update kitchens, bathrooms, paint and furniture at one of Pine Street’s residences. Anchor Nichole Berlie will host the “Home Remedy Breakfast,” held May 2 to recognize Pine Street’s community impact. The effort is part of WCVB’s Project CommUNITY, which provides resources to those living in poverty and aims to break stereotypes.

WISN Collects 119,000 Pound of Food to Support Relief Efforts

Date Posted: 3/30/2019

Hearst’s ABC affiliate WISN Milwaukee collected 210,322 meals for Wisconsinites facing hunger during February and March. In collaboration with Feeding American Eastern Wisconsin, WISN’s ‘Peanut Nut & Jelly Challenge’ and ‘Scouting for Food’ initiatives collected 119,000 pounds of food and over $37,000 in donations. Over 60 schools and companies donated jars of peanut butter and jelly to benefit the Milwaukee and Appleton food banks during the ‘Peanut Butter and Jelly Challenge.’ Local Boy Scout troops also participated.

“The WISN 12 family loves being part of these efforts and thanks the community for their generosity in coming together to make a positive impact,” said President and GM Jan Wade.

WYFF Airs Live Special to Raise Awareness for Domestic Violence

Date Posted: 3/30/2019

Hearst’s NBC affiliate WYFF-TV Greenville, S.C., aired a one-hour town hall special about domestic violence on March 28th. In partnership with Safe Harbor, the station brought a panel of therapists, community leaders and survivors together to discuss the cycle of domestic abuse and possible solutions. Safe Harbor serves victims of domestic violence in four counties across South Carolina.

“This issue has devastated so many South Carolina families. We want to continue to tell the stories of these courageous survivors and work to find ways to stop the violence,” said news director Bruce Barkley.

KOMO Documentary Sparks Discussion About Seattle’s Homeless Crisis

Date Posted: 3/30/2019

Sinclair’s ABC affiliate KOMO Seattle’s documentary on homelessness raised awareness for and sparked discussion about the crisis throughout the state. Originally aired on March 16, Seattle is Dying generated over 3.5 million views on broadcast and social.

“Our report sparked hearings in the State Capitol and questions in the Seattle City Council, as well as community meetings in towns around the market. From the Governor, to Seattle’s Mayor, to neighbors in coffee shops, the state is still talking about [the documentary],” said Creative Services Director Scott Altus.

WLBT and Mississippi Today Collaborate on Investigative Journalism

Date Posted: 3/4/2019

Gray’s NBC affiliate WLBT Jackson, MS, collaborated with newspaper Mississippi Today on a series of investigative reports. A grant from the Knight Foundation brought the two organizations together. In February 2019, the organizations exposed doctors accused of sexual misconduct. A report last September examined a housing program that trapped low income residents in a cycle of evictions

WJXT Keeps Search for Missing Girl

Date Posted: 3/4/2019

Graham Media’s WJXT Jacksonville, Fla., aired special reports and podcasts in hopes of generating new leads into the disappearance of Haleigh Cummings, who vanished 10 years ago at age five. The three-minute on-air reports and 22-minute podcasts discussed facts and theories about her disappearance. WJXT aims “to bring some attention to this case because it’s still unsolved,” said Digital Executive Producer Garrett Pelican. “The hope is somebody will have some helpful information and come forward.”

WXIA Atlanta Investigation Prompts School Bus Law

Date Posted: 3/4/2019

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate WXIA Atlanta published a story on February 17 explaining that Georgia’s governor signed legislation to fix a school bus safety law that unintentionally allowed drivers on some roads to pass school buses that were stopped to load and unload kids. WXIA had investigated more than 100 instances where local school bus drivers were caught on camera breaking laws related to the use of the bus safety arm. Violations occurred across multiple counties between May 2014 and January 2019.

WTTG Inspires Probe of Missing School Funds

Date Posted: 3/1/2019

Fox-owned WTTG Washington, D.C., aired an investigation on January 31 exposing missing money and possible fraud inside the Prince George’s County Public School system. The next day, the school system announced that they are “referring all cases of missing funds and alleged fraud dating back to 2015 to the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for review and possible prosecution.” “This is a great example of how TV station news operations can, and do, hold community leaders accountable,” said TVNewsCheck reporter Paul Greeley.

WBEZ-FM Studies Gambling Addiction

Date Posted: 3/1/2019

Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM Chicago aired an investigation on Illinois’ failure to study the impact of legalized gambling on addiction. WBEZ found that the state spends less on addiction services now than before legalizing video gambling 10 years ago, raising concerns about the growing sports betting industry.

WPIX Creates ’Only in New York’ Series

Date Posted: 3/1/2019

Tribune’s CW affiliate WPIX New York created a four-part documentary series, “Only in New York,” that will air weekly beginning March 8. The series showcases highly controversial moments in New York City history, including a racially-charged subway shooting, the crack epidemic, two high-profile domestic abuse trials and the assassination of a rising political star. “Only in New York” features rare footage from the WPIX archives, expert analysts and new interviews.

WECT Exposes Issues that Led to Hurricane Florence Flooding

Date Posted: 3/1/2019

Gray Television’s NBC affiliate WECT Wilmington, N.C., investigated government mismanagement of a dike that breached during Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Flooding in the small town of Kelly, caused by the breach, forced 340 to evacuate their homes and 111 to be air-lifted to safety. Many of these residents’ homes were destroyed or nearly destroyed by the floodwater.

WECT Uncovers Food Safety Violations

Date Posted: 2/28/2019

Gray Television’s NBC affiliate WECT Wilmington, N.C., aired an investigative report on February 25 on local compliance with a state food refrigeration temperature law. The report found that 40 percent of inspected establishments did not meet the new requirements. North Carolina’s law officially lowering the food storage temperature from 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 41 degrees in 2012 went into effect in 2019. Storing food above 41ºF can promote harmful bacteria growth.

KNTV Uncovers Sex Abuse at Girl’s School

Date Posted: 2/6/2019

NBC-owned KNTV San Francisco aired a documentary on January 12 about a sex abuse scandal at Presentation High, a private Catholic girl’s school. “Not Words but Deeds” explores allegations that the school covered up nearly 30 years of sexual abuse, with at least 10 alleged victims and seven teachers or staff members accused. KNTV’s Vicky Nguyen was the first to break the story.

“If it weren’t for our investigative team’s reporting, many of these allegations may have never come to light,” said News Director Stephanie Adrouny.

WGN Airs ’Sold for Sex’ Special

Date Posted: 2/6/2019

Tribune-owned WGN Chicago aired “Sold for Sex: A WGN News Special” on January 25 to show how sex trafficking affects people of all races, religions and neighborhoods. WGN shared stories of teens who were offered shelter while they were living on the streets, only to find that their “protectors” were sex traffickers. One survivor had been sexually abused since the age of three. She ran away at 12 and into the house of a trafficker.

WGN also showed how the opioid epidemic and sex trafficking overlap through the story of a mother who repeatedly chose crack cocaine over her daughter. During the special, a Cook County Sheriff shared the locations most recently discovered to harbor sex trafficking and how law enforcement’s focus has changed.

WPTA Work Safety Investigation Prompts Action

Date Posted: 2/5/2019

Quincy’s ABC-NBC affiliate WPTA Fort Wayne, Ind., aired an investigative series, “Dying on the Job,” in December and January. The series focused on 23-year-old Shacarra Hogue, who died after her employer intentionally disabled safety features on the equipment she operated. After the company was fined only $6,300, WPTA reviewed every safety order issued by the state over six months and found that companies often pay small amounts for serious and repeated code violations. The stories inspired legislative reforms.

“Your story was very moving to me,” State Rep. Martin Carbaugh. “[It] hit me in the heart, and also made me pretty frustrated.”

“Quite frankly, if you hadn’t brought it to our attention, we might not be aware that we haven’t made changes in some time,” State Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne).

Broadcasters Produce Award-Winning Investigations

Date Posted: 2/5/2019

Broadcasters honored on January 22 with duPont Awards for excellence in journalism include:

  • CBS-owned WFOR-TV Miami documentary “The Everglades: Where Politics, Money and Race Collide” explores environmental, political and social factors leading to contamination in the Everglades.
  • CBS News 60 Minutes / The Washington Post’s “The Whistleblower & Too Big to Prosecute” exposes a war within the DEA over the pharmaceutical industry’s role in the opioid epidemic.
  • TEGNA’s CBS affiliate WTSP and the Tampa Bay Times for the “Zombie Campaigns” investigation that combined computer-assisted reporting and storytelling to expose loopholes in federal campaign laws. The loopholes allow politicians continue using campaign funds after they leave office or die.
  • NBC-owned KNTV San Francisco for “Drivers Under Siege,” a local investigative series showing an increase in violent attacks on Bay Area bus drivers.

KUSA Dedicates Three Years to Investigating Hospital Bills

Date Posted: 12/31/2018

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KUSA Denver Investigative Reporter Chris Vanderveen, Investigative Producer Katie Wilcox and Photojournalist/Editor Anna Hewson produced 36 in-depth stories and two hours of prime-time specials  for the “Show Us Your Bills” campaign. The investigations highlight Colorado patients who were charged for medical care in error, some of whom risk their homes and credit ratings for non-payments. The “Show Us Your Bills” investigations have helped viewers correct nearly $300,000 in billing errors. After each KUSA story, dozens of viewers submitted detailed medical bills for inclusion.

WFOR Documentary Earns DuPont Award

Date Posted: 12/19/2018

CBS Miami’s WFOR won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for its hour-long documentary, “The Everglades: Where Politics, Money and Race Collide.” WFOR spent a year exploring the causes of the contaminated algae in Florida’s Everglades after the toxic blue-green algae shut down beaches and businesses in 2016, prompting an economic crisis and pitting communities against each other.

“The Everglades is a beloved national treasure,” said News Director Liz Roldan. “We sought to tell its story differently for local news, via an ambitious documentary that shows how politics, growth and pollution have impacted The River of Grass.”

WFIE Airs Special on Sexual Violence

Date Posted: 12/6/2018

Raycom’s NBC affiliate WFIE Evansville, Ind., produced and aired “Choosing to Survive,” an hour-long special on sexual violence, on October 18 in primetime. The idea came from Creative Director Brandon Ridge, who witnessed a sexual assault while commuting to work and called 911. He later visited a women’s shelter, where he met the three survivors WFIE later featured in the special.

“We could literally be saving someone’s life if we motivate them to get out of a relationship,” said Ridge.

InvestigateTV Releases ‘Killing Pavel’ Documentary

Date Posted: 11/2/2018

Raycom Media’s InvestigateTV has released “Killing Pavel,” a documentary on investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet, who was killed in a car bombing two years ago. Sheremet was critical of authoritarian leadership in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Ukranian investigative unit Slidstvo.Info explored Sheremet’s death. They used surveillance video and forensic analysis to find new witnesses and uncover additional details, which were included in the award-winning documentary “Killing Pavel.”

KNXV-TV Phoenix Helps Consumers

Date Posted: 11/1/2018

Scripps’ ABC affiliate KNXV-TV Phoenix. KNXV-TV Consumer Investigative Reporter Joe Ducey is hosting an event October 17 where viewers can meet with experts on challenges regarding cars, credit, bankruptcy and homeowners’ associations.

WFAA-TV Investigative Reporting Earns Murrow Award

Date Posted: 8/28/2018

TEGNA’s ABC affiliate WFAA-TV Dallas earned a Murrow Award for its investigative report, “Criminal Caretakers.” WFAA found that nearly 200 certified nursing aides (CNAs) that are legally certified to work in Texas nursing homes have serious or violent criminal histories. The CNAs have been arrested for crimes including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, continuous violence against family, injury to a child, abandoning a child, aggravated robbery and aggravated sexual contact with a child. State Representative Bill Zedler, together with Health and Human Services, have come up with a solution that would require FBI background checks for all CNAs. Previously, CNAs received a one-time background check through the Texas Department of Public Safety as part of their initial certification.

“[WFAA] performed a very important service,” said State Representative Bill Zedler of the Public Health Committee, “because a lot of times you don’t know you have a problem until someone brings it to your attention.”

Raycom Stations Expose High Opioid Prescribers

Date Posted: 8/14/2018

Raycom announced on August 1 that all 50 Raycom markets would air "Licensed to Pill," the one-hour documentary exposing doctors who prescribe addictive opioids for their own profit. Raycom’s National Investigative Team, led by Fox affiliate WVUE-TV New Orleans Investigative Reporter Lee Zurik, produced “Licensed to Pill,” a three-part series on high opioid prescribers nationwide. A week after the story aired, federal agents raided the Tennessee office of the nation’s top opioid prescriber.

“One law enforcement officer told us that our data analysis gave him a new roadmap to investigate doctors,” Zurik said.

The series was offered to all Raycom’s stations, with each part available in three different lengths. The creative services department at CBS affiliate WAFB-TV Baton Rouge also created a tool kit for the series that stations could use and customize. Findings include:

  • Ten percent of America’s top 1,000 prescribers of opioids to Medicare patients are sanctioned.
  • Family physicians, nurse practitioners and doctors whose specialties focus on non-narcotic therapies are some of the most prolific prescribers. Federal guidelines say they should not prescribe opioids.
  • Some wrote prescriptions for so many opioids that patient’s daily supply exceeded, on average, the number of days in a year.
  • Dozens of doctors sanctioned by a state medical board for excessive prescribing still hold active licenses.
  • Non-cancer doctors are prescribing dangerous fentanyl spray intended for cancer patients, while taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a controversial drug maker.

WREX-TV Rockford, Ill. Wins Murrow Award

Date Posted: 8/1/2018

Quincy’s NBC affiliate WREX-TV Rockford, Ill. won a Murrow Award in the “Overall Excellence” category for Small Market Television. The award recognized a variety of initiatives undertaken throughout the year, including outstanding coverage of Hurricane Harvey and the Heartland Church shooting. WREX-TV also made a difference in the community by promoting organ donations and highlighting a program that helped special needs students find dresses for prom.

’Coin-flip Arrest’ Uncovered in WXIA Investigation

    View Video
Date Posted: 7/24/2018

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate WXIA-TV Atlanta discovered that officers decided to arrest or release a local citizen who they stopped at a traffic stop based on flipping a coin. The case against the woman was dropped after the prosecutor watched the body camera footage, showing the arrest decision was based on a coin-flip app (heads for release and tails for jail). Both officers were placed on administrative leave.

WTMJ-TV and Call for Action Expose Counterfeit Prescriptions

Date Posted: 7/1/2018

Scripps’ NBC affiliate WTMJ-TV Milwaukee exposed a local pharmacy for selling fake pills, following a phone call received by WTMJ’s non-profit partner Call For Action. Volunteers at Call For Action learned that the online pharmacy would close in mid-July as a result of a DOJ action for selling counterfeit drugs. The pharmacy promised consumers they could purchase up to a year’s worth of prescriptions before the close, but the WTMJ story warned viewers to be wary.

Hearst Launches Investigative Unit in D.C.

Date Posted: 7/1/2018

Hearst Television added a national investigative unit at the station group’s Washington, D.C., bureau on June 19. Investigative and political reporter Mark Albert leads the unit as Chief National Investigative Correspondent and is joined by Multimedia journalist and anchor Matt Prichard. They produce long-form investigative reports and contribute investigative insights to breaking news stories.

“Our primary focus has been and will continue to be localism -- but increasingly, in this connected world, our viewers look to their trusted news sources to provide national context. Our efforts in Washington will be designed to provide added resonance to the journalism in our local markets,” said Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb. “This latest step represents a firm commitment to coordinate and augment at the national level the award-winning investigative efforts our stations have been undertaking for decades at the local and regional levels.”

Raycom Launches ‘InvestigateTV’

Date Posted: 7/1/2018

Raycom Media recently launched an OTT app, InvestigateTV, that is currently available on Roku and will be released to other digital streaming services soon. The app showcases longer-form reporting from Raycom Media and partners, including ProPublica, News21 at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism, and NerdWallet. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation invested $188,000 into Pulitzer Prize-winning non-profit ProPublica’s collaboration on InvestigateTV.

“We know viewers are interested in meaningful investigations that dig deeper into issues they face in their everyday lives,” said Raycom President and CEO Pat LaPlatney. “We are thrilled to offer InvestigateTV, a place to highlight the tremendous efforts of our Raycom Media National Investigative Unit and our outstanding content partners. This gives us the ability to aggregate investigative materials, including stories that our local stations generate. Then it is bundled into one, easy, on-demand viewing experience.”

“We hold public officials accountable. Stories from Raycom Media’s award-winning journalists and partners focus on government corruption, corporate greed, and healthcare,” said Raycom Media Chief Investigative Reporter Lee Zurik “Our consumer- focused journalism gives viewers practical tips to save money on everything from cable bills to prescriptions.”

RTDNA Announces Murrow Award Winners

Date Posted: 7/1/2018

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) recently announced the winners of the 2018 Edward R. Murrow Awards, recognizing the best journalism produced by radio, television and digital news organizations. “Winning an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world,” said RTDNA Executive Director Dan Shelley.

CBS News received Overall Excellence awards in both the network radio and network television categories. Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington D.C. won its second consecutive Murrow for Overall Excellence in large market radio. Overall Excellence awards also went to Hearst’s NBC affiliate KCRA-TV Sacramento (large market) and Quincy’s NBC affiliate WREX-TV Rockford, Ill., (small market).

WFTV Relieves Medical Debt for 1,000 People

Date Posted: 6/28/2018

Cox Media’s ABC affiliate WFTV-TV Orlando recently paid $1 million of medical debt for 1,000 people after Investigative Reporter Todd Ulrich investigated the system under which medical debt can be sold to collection agencies multiple times and for pennies on the dollar. WFTV received a flood of responses from viewers wanting to help, so they created an online donation page to continue the effort.

“Todd Ulrich has been making a difference in the lives of Central Floridians for decades,” said News Director Matt Parcell. “This is some of the most impactful reporting he and Channel 9 have ever done.”

NBC Stations Awarded for Investigative Reporting

Date Posted: 5/29/2018

NBC-owned WNBC-TV New York City earned 15 regional Emmy Awards, including top Investigative Report for “The Rape Table: Extreme Hazing at Newark Airport.” “They follow the story wherever it leads, ask the questions our viewers want answered and generate change in our local communities,” said News Director Amy Morris.

Also, NBC-owned KXAS-TV Dallas won a Peabody Award for “Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Taxpayers Taken for a Ride.” KXAS exposed questionable real estate deals by the Dallas County Schools involving a school bus camera-system investment. The Texas government subsequently took action to address the extensive corruption and financial mismanagement that KXAS uncovered.

Univision NY Honored with Multiple Regional Emmys

Date Posted: 4/30/2018

Univision-owned WXTV-TV New York City received multiple regional Emmys across eight categories. Notable wins include Emmys for Continuing Coverage and for “Tu Gente. Tu Voz.,” the campaign highlighting the deep connection between its local news team and the community. The Continuing Coverage award recognizes journalism led by News Reporter Yisel Tejeda and Cameraman/Editor Cesar Serra following the Jersey City incident in which police officers beat an innocent man who was engulfed in flames after escaping a car crash. Tejeda and Serra also received an award for Journalistic Enterprise.

WCVB Honored with Eight National Headliner Awards

Date Posted: 4/30/2018

Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston won eight National Headliner Awards for outstanding journalism, including breaking news, consumer reporting and public service. WCVB took first and second place for “Broadcast or Cable Television Newscast” and won first place in the “Public Service” and “Health/Science Reporting” categories. WCVB also earned second and third place in “Breaking News,” second place in “Business/Consumer Reporting,” and third in “Health/Science Reporting.” Winning stories explored topics such as the opioid crisis, cancer treatments, plane crashes, and breaking news for car crashes.

RTDNA Announces Regional Award Winners

Date Posted: 4/30/2018

The Radio and Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced the 2018 Regional Award winners. The 54 investigative reporting winners include submissions for uncovering water contamination, holding local and federal agencies accountable for spending, and exposing sexual assault in statehouses and schools. Stations were also honored for their innovative use of video and fact-checking projects.

TEGNA Investigates Disappearance of Little Boy

Date Posted: 4/30/2018

TEGNA’s NBC affiliate WXIA-TV Atlanta produced a six-part investigative series, “Little Man Lost,” that delved into a cold case surrounding Deorr Kuntz Jr. The 2-year-old boy disappeared while on a camping trip with his family in Idaho. The series first aired on NBC affiliate KTVB-TV Boise over three days in late February, with segments airing in its 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. TEGNA stations across the country shared the series as an immersive video experience on digital platforms. WXIA investigative reporter Jeremey Campbell edited the series into an hour-long special that aired March 15 on WXIA.

Campbell received thousands of emails and Facebook comments, some with tips about the disappearance. “The response is overwhelming,” said News Director Lisa Chavez. “We actually had people in the community tell us that they were making an appointment with their TV to make sure they were home to watch.”

“TEGNA’s investigations are an important part of fulfilling our mission to serve the greater good of our communities,” said TEGNA’s Chief Digital Officer Adam Ostrow. “Most importantly, we hope these efforts generate additional clues that could help solve the mystery of little DeOrr Kuntz Jr.”

Raycom Media Investigations Unit Wins Awards

Date Posted: 4/30/2018

Raycom’s Fox affiliate WVUE-TV New Orleans investigation “State of Unrest” won in the Broadcast / Video Division IV category of the Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. (IRE) Awards. WVUE’s examination of Louisiana State Police travel records found payroll fraud, falsified documents, fixed tickets and padded expenses. “This was a great example of how journalists can bring video, public records and key interviews together to produce a bulletproof accountability story,” judges said.

Also, Raycom’s CBS affiliate WAFB Baton Rouge was a finalist for “The BRAVE Fallout,” which exposed questionable distribution of federal money earmarked for the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project, or BRAVE. The story resulted in canceled contracts, a mayoral aide’s resignation and the return of more than $1 million to taxpayers.

WRAL Airs Documentary on Child Sex Victims

Date Posted: 4/30/2018

Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired on April 12 a documentary, “Speaking the Unspeakable,” that tells the story of two men who experienced sexual abuse as children in North Carolina. “Speaking the Unspeakable” covered common themes in child sexual abuse, the guilt and shame many survivors feel, the fear of speaking out, and manipulation from abusers. Knight Chamberlain was nine years old when a stranger sexually assaulted him. A Catholic priest sexually assaulted his stepbrother, Michael, when he was 11. Speaking about their experiences has helped them heal.

KXAN Investigation Uncovers Police Loophole

Date Posted: 4/22/2018

Nexstar’s NBC affiliate KXAN-TV Austin produced a five-part investigative series, “Denied,” on a loophole in Texas law allowing police to withhold crucial information when a person dies in custody. KXAN began investigating after a police department denied KXAN reporters access to video captured during a high-profile in-custody death. KXAN’s series features interviews with families and explores the efforts to close the legal loophole without hindering active police investigations. “Denied” launched April 22 on Facebook and KXAN.com and broadcast on KXAN at 10 p.m. on April 26 and 27.

TEGNA Awarded Service to Community Award for Television – Ownership Group

Date Posted: 4/1/2018

Upon asking viewers in all 38 of its television markets what they thought was the most underreported story, TEGNA created a six-part series that highlights the complex problem of child sex trafficking. Stories included crime data analysis, court records and scrutinization of the sometimes-inconsistent sentencing guidelines carried out by lawmakers. All TEGNA news operations across the country produced investigations on how child sex trafficking was affecting their local community. The series is now being used for education and training by organizations such as the U.S. State Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, The United Way, the Jimmy Carter Center, and the South Carolina Air National Guard, as well as several schools and individual professors.

WSMV Investigates Sexual Misconduct Accusations Against State Rep.

Date Posted: 4/1/2018

Meredith’s NBC affiliate WSMV-TV Nashville aired on March 27 an investigation into three women’s accusations of sexual misconduct by State Rep. David Byrd while they were teenagers on the high school basketball team he coached. WSMV obtained a secretly recorded phone conversation in which Byrd apologized to one of his accusers. Two hours before WSMV’s investigation aired, Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell asked Byrd to resign. Lt. Gov. Randy McNally has also called for Byrd to resign.

WJLA-TV Investigates Lethal Dog Food

Date Posted: 3/1/2018

Sinclair’s ABC affiliate WJLA-TV Washington, D.C., broke a story on February 8 when its investigative team exposed numerous dog food brands for containing the euthanasia drug pentobarbital. This has caused pets to become ill, and in some cases, die. The story ran on Sinclair stations across the country and was amplified by The New York Times and The Washington Post. The J.M. Smucker Co., which produces the dog food, voluntarily recalled the tainted product from thousands of retail stores nationwide.

WSB Photographer Helps Police Locate Missing Child

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Date Posted: 2/1/2018

Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSB-TV Atlanta photographer Brian Ferguson helped police locate a missing infant on January 19 after the Clayton County police reported two children, a four-year-old and one month old, missing. The kids’ mother left them in the car with the keys in the ignition and someone then stole the car. WSB photographer Brian Ferguson later alerted the police to an object he spotted on the side of the road. Police found the infant in her car seat and later found the four-year-old and the abandoned car.

WNBC-TV New York Tracks down “Gold Bucket Bandit”

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Date Posted: 2/1/2018

NBC-owned WNBC-New York aired on February 4 the first interview with a man who grabbed $1.6 million of gold in an 86-pound bucket from the back of an armored truck in Manhattan in 2016 and disappeared.

WNBC tracked him down in Ecuador and provides an inside look at the robbery and his escape to South America. Watch the video here.

WRAL Documentary Examines Hispanic Immigration

Date Posted: 2/1/2018

Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired and streamed a documentary on January 18 titled “Land of Opportunity” about the impact of Hispanic immigrants in North Carolina. “Land of Opportunity” profiles successful Hispanic immigrants, highlighting their contributions to North Carolina’s economy and communities. Hispanic immigrants make up nearly 30 percent of North Carolina’s workforce in farming, fishing and forestry, and 20 percent of its construction workforce. They contribute more than $10 billion to the state’s economy annually, and nearly $500 million in state and local tax revenue.

2018 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Winners Announced

Date Posted: 1/1/2018

ABC News will receive an award for the documentary “Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992,” produced in partnership with Hollywood luminary, John Ridley. CBS News will be awarded for the Syrian war coverage of veteran correspondent Elizabeth Palmer, as well as for their two-part “60 Minutes” report from inside the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Scripps’ ABC affiliate KNXV-TV Phoenix will receive an award for their investigative reporting into the abuse of the Americans with Disabilities Act. TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KARE-TV Minneapolis will receive awards for three separate investigative stories. NBC-owned KNTV-TV San Jose will receive an award for an investigative series that chronicled the misuse of school police officers to discipline students. Tribune Broadcasting Company’s FOX affiliate WITI-TV Milwaukee will be awarded for challenging public opinion about laws intended to safeguard children that paradoxically may put them at greater risk. TEGNA Media’s CBS affiliate KHOU-TV Houston will be awarded for revealing Houston’s wasteful police body camera program.

RTDNF Announces 2018 First Amendment Award Honorees

Date Posted: 1/1/2018

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) announced on January 16 its First Amendment Awards winners, who will be honored on March 8. “Through our First Amendment Awards, we shine a light on individuals and news organizations who seek and report the truth ethically and responsibly,” said RTDNF Executive Director Dan Shelley. The 2018 honorees include NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS News’ David Rhodes, ABC News’ Robin Roberts and industry leader Gretchen Carlson.

First Amendment Award – NBC’s Meet the Press
"Meet the Press," moderated by NBC News political director Chuck Todd, is the longest-running show in television history, with 70 years on the air. The show spotlights how Washington decision-making impacts Americans across the country. It was the number one most-watched Sunday public affairs show for the 2016-2017 season, reaching more than three million viewers weekly and millions more through social, digital and on-demand platforms.

First Amendment Service Award – David Rhodes, CBS News
This award honors professionals in local or network news who work in a management or largely behind-the-scenes capacity. Rhodes oversaw the creation of “CBS This Morning" in 2012, which has more than a million daily viewers. In 2014, Rhodes launched the streaming video news channel CBSN. He has twice been named to Fortune magazine’s “40 Under 40” list and to GQ’s “50 Most Powerful People in Washington.”

Lifetime Achievement Award – Robin Roberts, ABC News
Robin Roberts is co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Under her leadership, the show has won five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program and the 2017 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Daytime TV Hosting Team. Her numerous awards include the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. She was voted the “Most Trusted Person on Television” by a Reader’s Digest poll in 2013.

First Amendment Leadership Award – Gretchen Carlson
This award is presented to a business or government leader or other individual who has made a significant contribution to the protection of the First Amendment and freedom of the press. Gretchen Carlson is one of the nation’s most successful and recognized news anchors and a tireless advocate for workplace equality and the empowerment of women.

WWL Exposes Failures During New Orleans Flood

Date Posted: 11/15/2017

TEGNA’s CBS affiliate WWL-TV New Orleans aired an investigation into the city’s sewer and water board on November 15. The hour-long primetime special, “Down the Drain,” was inspired by a failure of the city’s pumping and drainage system during a typical rain storm on August 5. WWL spent months investigating why it failed and how many millions of dollars are wasted in maintaining the century-old system with more than 1,200 miles of underground drainage pipes, some that go nowhere. WWL also launched a Facebook group for residents to discuss concerns. “We are working to continue to hold officials accountable, both elected and otherwise, as the problems with this utility continue to plague residents in the metro New Orleans area,” said Investigative Reporter Katie Moore. “It has been hugely successful for both our reporting and for people to have a place to commiserate and to feel like their voices are being heard, because they seem to feel like their concerns are falling on deaf ears with the Sewerage & Water Board.”

WNBC I-Team Investigations Get Results

Date Posted: 11/10/2017

NBC-owned WNBC-TV New York City gets results through investigative journalism. Its special edition of “The I-Team Reports” on November 10 spotlighted positive changes from several stories. “High Rise” showed that construction workers on a high-rise project smoked what looked and smelled like marijuana during work. “Security Risks” at JFK Airport uncovered a culture of harassment affecting female employees. The city ramped up enforcement efforts following “Black Market Bogus Safety Cards,” an investigation produced jointly with Telemundo’s WNJU-TV that exposed a connection between fake safety training cards and dozens of construction-related deaths. “Mayor Arrested” tracked the story of a New Jersey mayor who pled guilty to corruption charges after ordering city construction teams to work on a relative’s business. “Taxpayer Triumph” showed how a WNBC investigation prompted the Administration for Children’s Services to significantly reduce its fees, saving taxpayers millions. The New York State Attorney General’s office continues to monitor companies posting fake reviews of local businesses, following WNBC’s “Phony Online Reviews.”

TEGNA Exposes World of Under-Age Girls Trafficked for Sex

Date Posted: 10/22/2017

Tegna stations revealed how young girls are trafficked into the sex industry in the six-part digital series "Selling Girls." The series is produced by investigative news teams from Tegna’s WXIA in Atlanta and KHOU in Houston. On-air coverage on Tegna stations began October 22. "We hope that ‘Selling Girls’ educates and informs our audiences and helps reverse the course of human trafficking in this country," said Tegna’s Vice President of News Ellen Crooke.

KCCI Earns Emmy for Football Concussion

Date Posted: 10/11/2017

Hearst’s CBS affiliate KCCI-TV Des Moines earned an Emmy Award from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for its sports special “Impact: Concussions, CTE, and the Fight To Save Football.” Of the over one million students who play football in the United States, an estimate 20 percent suffer a concussion, which often goes undiagnosed. The special explores the effects and what is being done to make the game safer.

KTVU Reveals Mental Hospital Hell

Date Posted: 8/24/2017

Fox-owned KTVU San Francisco’s investigation, “Mental Hospital Hell” exposed deplorable conditions at the John George Psychiatric Hospital. Hidden camera videos showed patients sleeping and eating on the floor, moaning and crying out for help. The 2016 investigation led to the hospital director’s resignation, the hiring of more staff and a state investigation into reports of violence. Recently, KTVU Executive Producer Simone Aponte, Anchor Ken Wayne, Photographer Videographer Tony Hodrick and News Editor Ron Acker received the American Legion’s Fourth Estate Award for Excellence in Journalism.

WXYZ Examines Detroit Riot 50 Years Ago

Date Posted: 7/23/2017

Scripps’ ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Detroit aired a documentary commercial-free on July 23 called “12th and Clairmount” about the 1967 Detroit riot. WXZT, The Detroit Free Press and Bridge Magazine collaborated to produce the documentary, which features WXYZ archival film on the five-day rebellion and highlights the racial and economic tensions that led to the uprising. In the week prior to the airing, WXYZ presented daily special reports on the uprising in the 5 p.m. newscast. “It’s so important that we reflect on the past and learn from those experiences if we’re going to move our community forward,” said General Manager Mike Murri. “Improving our community is core to our mission at WXYZ and the mission of our Detroit 2020 project … to unify our region and inspire people to act.”

KELO-TV Investigates Education Initiative

Date Posted: 7/5/2017

Nexstar’s CBS affiliate KELO-TV Sioux Falls, S.D., aired an in-depth investigative report on the “GEAR UP” scandal. The U.S. Department of Education awarded South Dakota $62 million in 2005 to help prepare Native American students for college. The state was required to match every federal dollar. KELO uncovered several issues with the grant money, including a lack of data proving that any Native American student attended college because of GEAR UP.

WFTV Catches Cons

Date Posted: 7/5/2017

Cox Media Group’s WFTV-TV Atlanta consumer reporter Todd Ulrich exposed an air conditioning company for up-selling unnecessary repairs. Ulrich set up hidden cameras that showed the company claiming to find mold that did not exist when doing routine maintenance. “He was really instilling fear that if I didn’t do something I was going to be sick,” said the homeowner. “This investigation really resonated with some viewers,” said Paul Greely of TVNewsCheck.

WNYW Goes Inside Rikers Island

Date Posted: 6/23/2017

Fox-owned WNYW-TV New York City examined life at Rikers Island in a half-hour special report, “Street Soldiers with Lisa Evers,” on June 23. Reporter Lisa Evers hosted the town hall at the controversial correctional facility to look at the impact of new programs meant to rehabilitate 18 to 21-year-old inmates, many of whom were arrested for the first time and awaiting resolution of their cases. The program gave inmates, correction officers and program providers the chance to speak about their experiences.

Raycom Adds Journalists to Investigative Unit

Date Posted: 6/22/2017

Raycom Media on June 22 announced that journalists Andy Miller, Jill Riepenhoff and Megan Luther will join the national investigative unit led by Lee Zurik. Viewers can access long-form documentary style investigations or shorter segments on a variety of platforms. “Andy, Jill and Megan bring a diverse skillset with a clear understanding of how to produce impactful, interesting, and important investigative journalism online and on television,” said Zurik. “Each has done award winning work, and I’m confident our new team will produce stories that make a difference in all of our Raycom Media communities.”

WTTG Investigates High School Grade Inflation

Date Posted: 6/17/2017

Fox-owned WTTG-TV reporter Washington, D.C Lindsay Watts and photojournalist Van Applegate broke a story on June 17, 2017 about grade inflation in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The station investigated concerns voiced by school board members and local officials, including Delegate Jay Walker, chair of the Prince George’s County Delegation. WTTG-TV uncovered claims that high school teachers and counselors were asked to change grades to boost the graduation rate, leading to record highs. Following WTTG’s investigative reports, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called for the Maryland State Board of Education to conduct a “complete, thorough, and exhaustive investigation” into allegations of fraud and corruption in Prince George’s County Schools.

WJLA Explores Link Between Breast Implants and Cancer

Date Posted: 5/4/2017

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s ABC affiliate WJLA-TV Washington, D.C., investigated a potential link between textured breast implants and a rare form of lymphoma. Headed by WJLA’s Kimberly Suiters, the investigation was born from a previous story where Suiters discovered that women with breast implants had higher suicide rates than women who did not.

In 2016, the World Health Organization classified breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) as a new type of cancer. However, Suiters reported the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not explicitly stated the implants cause lymphoma, even though the organization warned of an association in 2011 and 2016.

The station submitted a FOIA request to the FDA and discovered 441 related cases and at least 12 confirmed deaths.

The investigation featured Raylene Hollrah, a breast cancer survivor who had received the implants during reconstructive surgery. “I did everything to keep cancer away,” said Hollrah. “Yet I put a device in my body that caused cancer.”

Trudy Lieberman profiled WJLA’s investigative series and noted their history of watchdog journalism in this “Columbia Journalism Review” article.

KSHB Investigation Leads to Proposed Child Abuse Legislation

Date Posted: 5/4/2017

Scripp’s NBC affiliate KSHB-TV Kansas City conducted a three-part investigation into the death of seven-year-old Adrian Jones. The station uncovered footage from inside the boy’s home showing his mother and stepfather repeatedly abused him until his eventual death. Adrian is believed to have died in September or October, but his body was found in November in the family’s livestock pen. In response, Kansas State Representative Louis Ruiz introduced “Adrian’s Act” to strengthen child abuse laws. The parents now face life in prison.

KNX-TV Reveals Fraud in Advocacy Group

Date Posted: 5/3/2017

Scripps’ ABC affiliate KNX-TV Phoenix received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for its investigative series “Cash for Compliance.” Reporters produced more than two dozen stories that highlighted how non-profit Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities exploited a civil rights law to make money. As a direct result of the series, the Arizona Attorney General’s office intervened and the state is now pursuing fraud allegations against the group. “’Cash for Compliance’ is an example of how journalism continues to be a society watchdog,” said KNX-TV News Director Chris Kline. “Every story the ABC15 Investigators produce reflects our commitment to make Arizona a better place to live.”

RTDNA Announces 2017 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award Winners

Date Posted: 4/25/2017

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced winners of the 2017 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards on April 25. The awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and digital news organizations around the world. This year, RTDNA awarded 751 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in 16 categories and received nearly 4,300 entries. Examples of the winners include:

  • TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KUSA-TV Denver was the top winner at the regional level, winning 12 awards in Large Market Television, including newscast, excellence in video, sound and writing, sports and overall excellence

  • Raycom Media’s Fox affiliate WVUE-TV New Orleans came in second with a total of 11 awards. Tegan’s NBC affiliate KARE-TV in Minneapolis took home 10 regional Murrows

  • In Small Market Television, three stations won nine awards each: Raycom Media’s CBS affiliate WAFB-TV Baton Rouge; TEGNA’s NBC affiliate WBIR Knoxville; and Sinclair’s CBS affiliate WGME Portland, Maine

  • A complete list of the 2017 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards winners is available here.

    WTHR Awarded Two Peabody Awards

    Date Posted: 4/25/2017

    Dispatch Broadcast Group’s NBC affiliate WTHR-TV Indianapolis became the first local television station to be honored with two separate Peabody Awards in the same year. The station was honored at an event on April 25 for “Charity Caught on Camera,” an undercover investigation that exposed mismanagement at an Indiana charity, and “Dangerous Exposure,” which discovered lax oversight by environmental regulators. The investigations are WTHR’s fourth and fifth Peabody Awards.

    Local Broadcasters Win Cronkite Awards

    Date Posted: 3/31/2017

    Local broadcast stations owned by Hearst, Scripps, TEGNA and Nexstar won 2017 Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Television for their political coverage.

    Brooks Jackson Prize for Fact-Checking Political Messages

    • TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KUSA-TV Denver won its third consecutive local fact-checking award.
    • The E.W. Scripps Company won the national fact-checking award for its local stations’ national impact.
    Achievement by a Local Station
    • Nexstar’s NBC affiliate KXAN-TV Austin covered the government’s effort to stop drug smugglers coming from Mexico. KXAN-TV held elected officials accountable and featured people directly impacted by federal and state policies.
    • TEGNA’s ABC affiliate WXIA Atlanta won for its five-part investigation of a military policy stripping benefits and veteran status from service members suffering from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. The story demonstrated the issue’s human impact prompted legislative action.
    Individual Achievement by a Local Journalist
    • KUSA-TV political reporter Brandon Rittiman earned his second Cronkite award for his reporting on local judicial elections that judges said gives voice to “real people.”
    • Nexstar’s ABC affiliate WOI-TV Des Moines reporter Sabrina Ahmed won for her reporting on medical cannabis, "combining emotion with policy and medicine."
    Station Group
    • Hearst Television and The E.W. Scripps Company were honored for "top-down commitment" to political coverage across all their stations. Special Commendation for Local Investigative Journalism
    • Marshall Zelinger with Scripps’ ABC affiliate KMGH-TV Denver won for the story of a signature forgery scandal in a U.S. Senate race, triggering an official investigation and policy change.
    Special Commendation for Voter Education
    • Independently owned KCET-TV Los Angeles was recognized for its online and on-air initiative, "Props in a Minute." The 60-second videos explain 17 propositions on California’s ballot, including school bonds, criminal sentencing and prescription drug prices.

    Raycom Launches National Investigative Unit

    Date Posted: 3/31/2017

    Raycom Media launched a national investigative unit, to be led by investigative reporter Lee Zurik from Fox affiliate WVUE-TV New Orleans. The unit will produce investigative reports focusing on the local impact of national issues. Raycom will tackle abuses in government spending, consumer protection, public safety, tax policy, job creation, health care, infrastructure and immigration. “We are going to make a difference in our communities,” Zurik said. “We will be taking subjects outside of the ‘beltway of Washington’ mentality of the national news networks and answering the viewers’ biggest concern: how does this affect me and my family here in Cleveland, Baton Rouge, Cape Girardeau or Charleston?”

    KARE-TV Wins Award for Investigative Reporting

    Date Posted: 2/27/2017

    TEGNA’s NBC affiliate KARE-TV Minneapolis won a George Polk Award for television reporting for its investigative series “Invisible Wounds.” The George Polk Awards, established in 1949 by Long Island University, honor special achievement in journalism, which emphasis on investigative and enterprising reporting that achieves results. KARE’s year-long investigation showed that the Department of Veterans Affairs used unqualified medical personnel to perform examinations and deny benefits for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) at the Minneapolis VA Medical center. KARE examined hundreds of cases from 2010 to 2014. “Their reporting is a testament to the power of local news and the positive impact we have on our communities,” said TEGNA Media President Dave Lougee.

    Cleveland Anchor Helps Locate Missing People

    Date Posted: 2/23/2017

    Tribune’s Fox affiliate WJW Cleveland anchor Amanda Berry hosts a daily segment to help locate missing people and support their families. The issue is personal for Berry, as she had escaped a home where she and two others were held captive for a decade. On the segment, Berry discusses details of a different northeastern Ohio missing-person case each day and talks about how viewers can help the families and investigators. "When I was missing, the people who were looking for me never gave up," Berry said. "My wish is that this segment will not only help find those who are missing but offer hope for the loved ones who are looking for them."

    ABC News Radio Investigates Fentanyl Crisis

    Date Posted: 2/23/2017

    ABC News Radio launched a new five-part series “America’s Fentanyl Crisis.” Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic pain killer and popular street drug. CDC data shows that deaths caused by Fentanyl have nearly doubled in the last year. During the series, Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas visits a Drug Enforcement Administration drug lab, participates in law enforcement ride-alongs and meets with survivors trying to stay clean. Listen to part one here .

    WVUE Exposes Fishing Entitlement Program

    Date Posted: 2/16/2017

    Raycom’s Fox affiliate WVUE New Orleans investigated fishermen who make millions through an entitlement program in a five-part investigation titled “Hooked Up.” Recreational and commercial fishing is worth billions in Louisiana, but 50 businesses and fishermen control 81 percent of the commercial red snapper allocation. They can make a total of $23 million every year, many without actually fishing.

    WTFX Investigation Prompts Action

    Date Posted: 2/6/2017

    Fox owned-and-operated WTXF-TV Philadelphia investigated a sexual harassment scandal at ASPIRA, a local charter school operator. Reporter Jeff Cole questioned ASPIRA’s CEO in the parking lot of his office regarding a related $350,000 payoff. The payoff was confirmed through ASPIRA’s insurance company, yet the CEO remained in his position. The story prompted action from the state of Pennsylvania.

    Todd Ulrich of WFTV is Consumer Champion

    Date Posted: 1/29/2017

    The Orlando Sentinel recently profiled Todd Ulrich, a well-respected, long-time consumer investigative reporter with Cox Media’s ABC affiliate WFTV Orlando. “Todd Ulrich is a champion for trust,” said Holly Salmons, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Central Florida. “We appreciate his love for transparency and ethics. His tenacity has helped countless consumers and has helped to drive a larger divide between the good guys and the bad guys in business.”

    Ulrich receives more than 250 requests per week and reports roughly 100 stories a year. WFTV contacts the business even if a story doesn’t air and keeps a database of complaints so Ulrich can look for patterns. Many stories involve restaurant inspections and used car sales. As Florida is one of the few states with no used-car sales protection, these stories often affect low-income families.

    Other recent stories have included local grocery stores with poor inspection histories, a new automobile scam on Facebook and a local man who lost $28,000 in a social media scam. Viewer Kevin Nowak had trouble with his refrigerator from Sears Home Services for more than a year. Within a month of Ulrich’s contact with the corporate office, Nowak received a replacement. Some business people hurl insults at Ulrich when he confronts them. “You’re the biggest piece of garbage, and I’m sure that will be edited out,” said one. Ulrich does not let this bother him. “I consider myself a consumer advocate along with being a consumer investigator,” he said.

    KLTV’s “7 Investigates” Uncovers Critical Issues

    Date Posted: 1/24/2017

    Raycom’s ABC affiliate KLTV Tyler, Tx. achieves results with its “7 Investigates” initiative. This includes exposing water problems in Tyler and prompting the city to respond; launching an investigation that led to new state and (pending) federal legislation on 911 call with Kari’s Law; and uncovering unethical actions by Judge Joel Baker. “KLTV’s 7 Investigates is constantly working for the people in East Texas,” said a station representative. “Through this initiative, we’ve helped empower citizens with knowledge, and we vigilantly work to make East Texas a better, more transparent place to live.

    TEGNA Stations Air In-Depth Investigative Report

    Date Posted: 12/30/2016

    Local TEGNA stations are focusing on in-depth investigations. Reporter Jeremy Campbell led NBC affiliate WXIA-TV Atlanta on “Charlie Foxtrot,” a five-part series showing that veterans are denied benefits after being less-than-honorably discharged when they should be offered treatment for PTSD. WXIA posted the series online before broadcasting it on Veteran’s Day, and provided it to other stations with tips on localizing the story. WXIA and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chair Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) hosted a viewing and panel discussion on Capitol Hill. WXIA also got 12,000 people to sign a petition urging Congress to pass the Fairness for Veterans bill, requiring the military to consider PTSD or traumatic brain injury in discharge decisions. The bill passed.

    Other examples of long-form investigative journalism include Campbell’s four-part series on heroin overdoses in Atlanta’s wealthy suburbs, which generated four million views online in one week. The follow-up on-air special was one of WXIA’s most-watched specials in recent years. Investigative reporter Noah Pransky at CBS affiliate WTSP Tampa wrote a 6,000-word story to accompany his five-minute television story on one PR consultant’s influence on local politics. CBS affiliate KHOU-TV Houston investigated police body cameras. Through an initiative at ABC affiliate WFAA Dallas, citizens join a reporter to conduct interviews to help them better understand journalism.

    WBRZ’s Investigative Unit Wins Emmy

    Date Posted: 12/28/2016

    Manship Stations’ ABC affiliate WBRZ Baton Rouge staffers Chris Nakamoto, Joe McCoy III and Michael Shingleton won a regional Emmy in the “Politics and Government” category for its story “Reporters’ Unlawful Arrest.” While investigating possible fraudulent activity in the Town of White Castle, Nakamoto was unlawfully arrested and charged (later dropped). Shingleton continued coverage after his arrest. “This award shows Chris Nakamoto’s dedication to holding the powerful accountable,” Shingleton said. “WBRZ will continue to expose elected officials breaking rules and unlawfully spending taxpayer money.”

    Four Local Stations Among DuPont Winners

    Date Posted: 12/1/2016

    Four local television stations won 2017 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for investigative reporting: Media General’s NBC affiliate KXAN-TV Austin for documenting racial profiling; NBC-owned WVIT-TV West Hartford, Conn., for uncovering widespread faulty home construction; Dispatch’s NBC affiliate WTHR Indianapolis for exposing a corrupt charity; and TEGNA’s NBC affiliate WXIA-TV Atlanta for spotlighting problems with the 911 emergency system. Also, NBC News’ "Dateline" won for "The Cosby Accusers Speak" and CBS News was honored for breaking coverage of the migrant crisis.

    Often Consumers’ Last Hope, WCAU Responds

    Date Posted: 11/22/2016

    NBC owned-and-operated WCAU-TV and Telemundo’s WWSI Philadelphia encourage viewers to share their consumer complaints with the NBC10 Responds and Telemundo62 Responde. The stations lost the consumer investigative units last year to address claims when viewers feel they have run out of options.

    WJZY Exposes Dealership Selling Salvage Cars

    Date Posted: 11/2/2016

    Fox owned-and-operated WJZY-TV Charlotte exposed a car dealership for knowingly selling salvaged and flooded cars, some with the titles doctored as “clean” despite having serious damage. The dealer’s listing with the Better Business Bureau is an ‘F’. After the report aired, a North Carolina Department of Transportation inspector opened up an active investigation into Auto City.

    WJXT Investigation Leads to Senate Investigation

    Date Posted: 11/1/2016

    Graham Media Group’s WJXT-TV Jacksonville, Fla., aired an investigation into Housing and Urban Development (HUD) shortcomings, resulting in a U.S. Senate committee demanding answers. WJXT exposed deplorable living conditions at some HUD facilities in a series of investigative reports about Jacksonville housing complexes, including Eureka Gardens.

    KXAS-TV Discovers School Bus Scandal

    Date Posted: 10/31/2016

    NBC-owned KXAS Dallas conducted an investigation into Dallas County Schools bus drivers that led to 13 drivers being fired and 229 suspended. Records obtained by KXAS found more than 480 traffic citations have been issued to school bus drivers since Jan. 1, 2014 for violations such as running red lights. In some cases, bus drivers were caught on camera running past other buses that had their stop arms extended for loading or unloading students. Dallas County Schools had never punished the drivers involved. Instead, the district spent $80,000 of taxpayers’ money to pay the fines.

    WREG-TV Exposes Government Scam

    Date Posted: 7/14/2016

    Tribune’s CBS affiliate WREG-TV Memphis aired “Scam Alert: Government Grant Scam Picks Up Across Mid-South.” The station discovered more than 1,300 reports of people receiving calls claiming they were eligible for a free government grant.

    KNBC-TV Investigates Illegal Valet Services

    Date Posted: 7/14/2016

    NBC’s owned-and-operated KNBC-TV Los Angeles investigated valet services that were parking cars at meters, loading zones and emergency lanes instead of rented space lots. The investigation also found that many of the valet companies did not have the required permits to park cars, and some individual valets hadn’t undergone the required background checks to see if they have criminal records and clean driving records.

    KUNM News Wins National Award For Investigative Reporting

    Date Posted: 7/14/2016

    University of New Mexico’s KUNM News Radio investigated a dry cleaning chemical spill that occurred in Albuquerque. The investigation revealed that state officials had not studied health effects the spill had on the local community. Ultimately, the company responsible for the spill submitted a cleanup proposal to the state. In St. Louis, Missouri, the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. awarded KUNM First Place for Enterprise/Investigative reporting for the Poisoned Earth coverage at the PRNDI Awards Banquet.

    WFTV Investigates Hidden License Plates

    Date Posted: 7/14/2016

    Cox Media’s ABC affiliate WFTV Orlando investigated new ways drivers are hiding license plates from traffic cameras. Each year, thousands of dollars in fines are lost to drivers who hide their plates.

    KOVR-TV Investigates Recycling Center Closings

    Date Posted: 7/14/2016

    CBS owned-and-operated KOVR-TV Sacramento investigated why grocery store recycling centers were vanishing from the local area. The investigation found that plastic and aluminum prices are falling and with state subsidies not covering the shortfall, more recyclers may close.

    WUSA Journalists Find Missing Baby

    Date Posted: 7/13/2016

    TEGNA’S CBS affiliate WUSA Washington, D.C. Reporter Andrea McCarren and Photojournalist Dave Satchell helped find a missing baby after an Amber Alert was issued for 6-week-old Liz Khatun on July 13. Fairfax County Police said Liz’s mother Flora Khatun fled a family services office in Annandale, Virginia after being informed Child Protective Services would take her daughter. After speaking to several of Khatun’s neighbors, McCarren and Satchel met one person said he thought he knew where Khatun was with her baby. The man was afraid of going to police himself, so McCarren made the call to authorities before she and Satchell drove to the address. Once they arrived, they saw the van and the tags matched. McCarren and Satchell watched as agents emerged from an apartment with the missing baby. "We’ve never had an experience like this," McCarren said.

    WAVE-TV Spurs Construction on Stalled Road Project

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Raycom Media’s NBC affiliate WAVE-TV Louisville investigated a stalled $14.5 million road construction project. Area residents were frustrated by a five-mile stretch of road clogged with orange barrels and other safety concerns. The station discovered the project was held up to a water company not submitting paperwork on time. Soon after, the problem was rectified and construction began.

    WFPL-FM Louisville Investigates Wrongful Jail Sentence

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Louisville Public Media’s WFPL-FM Louisville won a 2016 Society of Professional Journalism Award for “Kentucky Man Banished to Florida Sues Police, Alleges Harrowing Ordeal.” Local police had been ordered by a judge to transport Adam Horine, who has a history of mental illness, to a state hospital for treatment. After Horine landed in Florida, the police chief and one of his officers were indicted.

    WSOC-TV Exposes Home-Owner and DMV Scams

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSOC-TV Charlotte aired “Action 9 investigates scammers renting out homes they don’t own.” Con artists in Charlotte are renting homes that they do not own, leaving renters homeless and out of thousands of dollars. By the time renters figure out what happened, the scammers are long gone. Some of these scammers even have keys to the homes, making them more convincing. Charlene Sherrill said that when she responded to an ad for a north Charlotte home on Craigslist, the scammer met her at the home three times. He even had a key and showed her inside. She gave him the required six months’ rent up front: $7,000. Sherrill, who has four children and one on the way, said her family moved in and even decorated the place. Twelve days later, the real owner and police knocked on the door and told them they had to leave.

    WSOC also aired “9 Investigates DMV making millions selling personal information.” The Department of Motor Vehicle is making millions selling your personal information, and it’s perfectly legal. WSOC questioned the Department of Transportation to find out if your private data, including your license number, could end up in the wrong hands. 9 Investigates the companies across the country paying big money for your sensitive information.

    KRIS-TV Investigates State Highway Standards

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Cordillera Communications NBC affiliate KRIS-TV Corpus Christi, Tx. investigated a report from the Government Accountability Office that suggested state transportation departments and highway safety device manufacturers aren’t doing enough to ensure what lines the nation’s highways is properly vetted, tested and then, kept track of, once installed. Learn more about the investigation here.

    WFTX-TV Investigates Beach Water Quality

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    E.W. Scripp’s Fox affiliate WFTX-TV Fort Myers, Fla. investigated beach water quality after bacteria and potentially toxic algae began plaguing local waterways. The problem, likely sparked by Lake Okeechobee water releases, is gaining national attention, but the solutions to the problems remain in short supply.

    WFTV Investigates Area School’s Background Check Process

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WFTV Orlando investigated area school’s background check process after a high school coach was arrested on a drug charge. The coach failed to disclose his criminal history years ago on his employment application, and was recently accused of running a multistate drug ring. The district didn’t catch the issue until after the coach, Benjamin Jenkins, was allowed on the field and in classrooms after failing to disclose a misdemeanor drug arrest on his 2014 application, and no background check was performed.

    WFTV Investigates Attorney General’s Involvement In Red Light Ticket

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WFTV Orlando investigated Attorney general Pam Bondi’s involvement in a local red light camera case. A local driver, who is fighting a red light camera ticket, said he was shocked when the highest law enforcement official in the state took an interest in his case. But court documents obtained by the station show that, in part, the motivation for Bondi is money. The 9th Circuit has already ruled in previous cases that companies can’t replace cities and counties. The question: Can drivers use that as a defense to get tickets tossed? And, if they can, how much money does the state stand to lose?

    WTXF-TV Investigates Illegal Recycling Practices

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Fox Television’s owned-and-operated WTXF-TV Philadelphia investigated a recycling company accused of illegal dumping. The investigation found that Jersey Recycling Services illegally brought in nearly 380,000 cubic yards of material, which equates to more than 20,000 truckloads that raised the dumping site by 10 to 15 feet.

    WNBC’s Lynda Baquero Recovers More Than $1 Million for Viewers

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    NBC owned-and-operated WNBC New York City reporter Lynda Baquero host the “Better Get Baquero” investigative series, which has helped recover more than $1 million from scammers. “With something like this our audience can reach out to us with a specific problem and we can help them individually — at the same time we’re also passing along consumer information that can impact a larger audience,” Baquero said. The people helped include a man who had been over charged $2,400 by a student loan company, a woman was denied cancer treatment by her insurance company and a man who lost $4,000 to E-Z Pass because he did now know about a residential discount. The show also helped woman who received a $67,000 bill by her insurance company for an emergency medical helicopter transport because it had not been pre-approved in the moments before she collapsed and nearly died. A similar segment at Telemundo’s WNJU has recovered almost $1.5 million for consumers.

    KOB-TV Exposes City for Ignoring Code Violations in New Homes

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Hubbard Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate KOB-TV Albuquerque aired a story “4 Investigates: Whistleblower Says City Ignores Code Violations in New Home Construction” after a whistleblower alerted the KOB investigated the problem that potentially affects thousands of new home buyers in Albuquerque are getting ripped off. Structural engineer Brian Seylar, who worked for the city’s code enforcement department, said too many homes that are not up to code pass inspection. Subcontractors fail to account for critical pieces of wood and nails that help distribute the weight of the roof, eventually leading to cracks and leaks. Seylar was fired after he shared his concerns with his superiors at city hall.

    WYFF-TV Discovers Inmates Live Stream from Prison

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Hearst’s NBC affiliate WYFF-TV Greenville S.C. aired “South Carolina Inmates Caught on Camera Live Streaming From Inside Prison.” WYFF discovers that hundreds of inmates in South Carolina prisons are using cell phones to access social media sites online, set up accounts and interact with family, friends and the general public. WFYY’s Patrick Hussion interviewed FCC commissioner Ajit Pai for this segment.

    WSB-TV Airs Special on Electric Shock Drowning

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Cox Media Group’s CBS affiliate WSB-TV Atlanta aired a special report on electric shock drowning. When electric currents enter a body of water, they can send bolts down an individual’s body and lead to paralysis and death by drowning. This phenomenon took the life of an area high school student, which prompted the station to shed light on the little-known issue.

    KPRC-TV Investigates University Sexual Assault Claims Process

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Graham Media Group’s NBC affiliate KPRC-TV Houston investigated how Baylor University handles allegations of sexual assault after several woman came forward claiming the university failed to properly handle their claims. An Austin attorney representing Baylor informed KPRC the university would not release the records until the Texas Attorney General’s Office ruled on whether those reports were subject to open records law. Many legal experts say that the school is circumventing the law and should be required to release the records.

    WSAW Shows VA Denies a Third of Emergency Claims

    Date Posted: 7/7/2016

    Gray Television’s CBS affiliate WSAW-TV Wausau, WI aired “NewsChannel 7 Investigates | VA Denying Nearly 1 out of Every 3 Veterans’ Emergency Claims.” WSAW-TV discovered a VA executive admitted there are a large number of denied veterans’ emergency treatment claims. The VA Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Health for Community Care, Dr. Baligh Yahia, testified before a Veterans’ Affairs subcommittee in February. Yahia told members of Congress, during the 2014 budget year, approximately 30 percent of the 2.9 million emergency claims filed with the VA were denied. Of those 870,000 denied claims, Yahia said 89,000 were late. Another 98,000 were not emergencies. There were 140,000 claims denied because a VA facility was determined to have been available. In addition, 320,000 more claims were denied because the veteran was determined to have other health insurance that should have paid for the care.

    KDVR-TV Nominated for 61 Regional Emmy Awards

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Tribune Broadcasting’s FOX affiliate KDVR-TV Denver was nominated for 61 regional Emmy Awards, spanning 51 categories. Categories included Overall Station Excellence, News Excellence, Best Evening Newscast, Best Team Coverage and Best Breaking News Coverage..

    WCVB-TV Wins Regional Emmy Awards

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston won regional Emmys for breaking news coverage and investigative reporting. Chief meteorologist Harvey Leonard was honored with the Governor’s Award. Leonard has been a meteorologist in New England for more than 40 years. WCVB also picked up wins for best breaking news coverage for the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev verdict, and 5 Investigates’ Kathy Curran won for Best Investigative Reporter. WCVB was nominated for 58 Emmy Awards this year, more than any other TV station or media organization in New England, and more total nominations than the next two most highly nominated Boston stations combined.

    WFXT-TV Looks Into Police Crashes During Pursuits

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Cox Media’s Fox affiliate WFXT-TV Boston aired “FOX25 Investigates: State Police logged 900 pursuits in 5 years” on June 2. Investigative reporters Eric Rasmussen and Erin Smith found that Troopers on police pursuits have racked up 132 crashes involving cruisers and other vehicles since 2012. State Police have logged 917 total chases in the past five years. State Police said 843 of those pursuits complied with the agency’s pursuit policy, which requires cops to end the chase if the driver is only wanted for a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony and heads into densely populated neighborhoods or congested roadways.

    Local TV News Output Hits All-Time High

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    TV stations are producing more news than ever this year, with the median output of 5.5 hours a day breaking the record set in 2012 by a half hour, the latest RTDNA/Hofstra University annual survey of newsrooms found. The number of TV stations adding a newscast jumped more than 7% from last year, the survey found. Additionally, there is likely more to come, as roughly 33% of news directors said they plan to add newscasts in the coming year.

    WTHR Investigates Cancer-Causing Chemical

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Dispatch Broadcast’s NBC affiliate WTHR-TV Indianapolis broadcast “13 Investigates report ’Dangerous Exposure,’ gets results” on June 2. Investigative reporter Sandra Chapman found that a cancer-causing chemical close to some central Indiana homeowners water supply. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) says the creek is at risk of contamination from chemical solvents and petroleum flowing from one of the state’s largest voluntary cleanup sites.

    WTFX-TV Reporter Assists Viewer Receive Compensation

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Fox owned-and-operated WTFX-TV Philadelphia Investigative Reporter Jeff Cole helped a viewer get compensation after a city sanitation truck hit her parked car. At first the city denied the claim, but within an hour of Cole getting involved, the city called him and said that they would cover the resident’s repair expenses in full.

    WHAM-TV Investigation Prompts Police Action

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Newport Television’S ABC Affiliate WHAM-TV Rochester discovered boxes containing sensitive personal and medical information in a warehouse owned by Rural Metro Ambulance. A formal police investigation was promopted upon the broadcast.

    WAVY-TV Airs Special Report on Cancer Risk Among Firefighters

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    LIN Media’s CBS affiliate WAVY-TV Portsmouth aired a special report detailing how and why firefighters are two times more likely to develop conditions such as testicular cancer, myeloma and non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. Toxins, released into the air when materials burn, can seep through protective gear and touch the firefighters’ skin before subsequently entering the blood stream.

    WGLC Exposes City for Overcharging for Trash Pickup

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Meredith Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate WGLC-TV Atlanta aired “Why Are Residents in DeKalb, Co. Paying Too Much for Trash Pickup?” Investigative reporter Harry Samler discovered through a series of reports and inquiries by residents in the Atlanta-area that many residents are overpaying by hundreds, even thousands of dollars, for residential trash collection. One resident paid over $4,000 in trash collection bills because the city incorrectly designated her residence as a commercial building. After months of investigative work and dozens of cases of erroneous billing by localities for trash collection services, DeKalb county officials say they are considering administering refunds to residents who overpaid.

    KDAF-TV Investigates Renewed Gas Complaints

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Tribune’s Fox affiliate KDAF-TV Kansas City investigated renewed gas complaints from local residents. Homeowners told KDAF-TV gasoline odors became stronger inside their houses recently, after workers capped off manholes and sewers covers near the Inner City Oil station. Investigative reporter John Pepitone learned that Zill Incorporated, the property owner, has told the state it is not liable for the gas odor, but the firm previously consented to a $23,000 judgment against it in 2011 for not complying with the state’s underground storage tank law.

    WMBF Exposes Billion-Dollar Money Laundering

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Raycom Media’s NBC affiliate WMBF-TV Myrtle Beach, S.C. won a regional Emmy on June 11 for “Dirty Money,” a story that exposed a billion-dollar money laundering industry operating in South Carolina. WMBF showed that fewer than 10 percent of the 3,000 money transfer services operating in Horry and Georgetown Counties are registered with the state. Those businesses wired nearly $700 million a year to addresses operated by Hezbollah and cartels in Mexico and Columbia. Two months after WMBF aired the story, State Representative Alan Clemmons filed the South Carolina Anti-Money Laundering Act. Governor Nikki Haley signed the bill into law on June 9.

    RTDNA Announces Winners of the 2016 National Edward R. Murrow Awards

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced the winners of the 2016 National Edward R. Murrow Awards, which recognize outstanding work produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.

    "Our judges tell us the work they reviewed this year is some of the best ever," said RTDNA Chair Kathy Walker. "Our winners have clearly demonstrated how their commitment to outstanding journalism serves their communities, states and the nation."

    This year, the 45th anniversary of the awards, RTDNA is presenting 103 national Edward R. Murrow Awards in 13 categories including Newscast, Investigative Reporting, Overall Excellence and more. RTDNA received more than 4,300 entries during the 2016 awards season, setting an all-time record for the fourth year in a row.

    For the third year in a row, ABC News Radio and ABC News (television) both won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence at the network level. ABC’s radio team also won awards for Breaking News and Hard News. ABC’s television team won for Breaking News, Series, Use of Video and Website.

    In the network television division, HBO won a Murrow in the Documentary category for its Oscar-winning feature Citizenfour. ESPN took home three Murrow Awards for Investigative Reporting, Feature Reporting and Sports Reporting. CBS News won for Hard News and Writing, and NBC News won for Newscast and Continuing Coverage.

    In the network radio division, National Public Radio took home awards for Investigative Reporting, Series and Writing. This American Life won for Continuing Coverage (with WBEZ) and Documentary. CBS Radio News won for Newscast. ESPN won for Feature Reporting, and KQED and the Food & Environment Reporting Network won for Use of Sound.

    The Washington Post won the Overall Excellence Award in the large online news organization division as well as awards for Writing and Continuing Coverage. The New York Times won for Breaking News, Series (Video) and Use of Video. Yahoo News won in the Documentary category, The Seattle Times won for Hard News, The Guardian (US) won a Murrow for Investigative Reporting, The Denver Post was a winner for Sports Reporting, The Detroit Free Press won for Feature Reporting, The Star Tribune from Minnesota won for Website (Video), The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel won for Website (Audio) and National Public Radio and ProPublica won for Series (Audio).

    In the Small Online News Organization division, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting took home a remarkable quintuple win by taking awards for Overall Excellence, Continuing Coverage, Feature Reporting, Documentary, and Website. In Large Market Television, WXIA-WATL-TV in Atlanta scored a triple win for Continuing Coverage, Investigative Reporting and Writing. In Small Market Television, WVUE-TV in New Orleans had a double win for Series and Use of Video. In Small Market Radio, WITF-FM in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania had a double win for for Hard News and Use of Sound. And in the Large Market Radio division, three stations had double wins: WLRN-FM in Miami, WBUR-FM in Boston and WAMU-FM in Washington, DC.

    "We present the Murrow Awards not only to recognize outstanding journalism, but to inspire radio, television and digital newsrooms across the country," said RTDNA Executive Director Mike Cavender. "Journalists can learn from each other and push each other to find new and better ways to serve their communities."

    To receive an Overall Excellence award, a news organization must exemplify the highest standards in serving its audience through quality electronic journalism.

    Overall Excellence award winners in 2016 are:
    • ABC News, New York (Network Television)
    • ABC News Radio, New York (Network Radio)
    • The Washington Post, Washington, DC (Large Online News Organization)
    • Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting (Small Online News Organization)
    • CTV Vancouver, Vancouver, AB (Large Market Television)
    • WISC-TV, Madison, WI (Small Market Television)
    • Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, MN (Large Market Radio)
    • WDEL-AM/FM, Wilmington, DE (Small Market Radio)

    The winners will be recognized at the RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City on October 10.

    KCBS-TV Exposes Deceased Voters who Cast Ballots

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    CBS-owned KCBS-TV Los Angeles sparked legislated action after showing that deceased voters cast ballots. Investigative reporter David Goldstein uncovered 265 dead voters in Southern California, of which 215 are in LA County. KCBS showed lawmakers how the station matched voting records from the Secretary of State’s office with death records from the Social Security Administration.

    WRC-TV Fights a Viewer’s $189,000 Water Bill

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    NBC-owned WRC-TV Washington, D.C. helped local resident Ricardo Torres fight a $189,000 water bill in late May. Torres’ utility company threatened to turn off his water if he didn’t pay his April bill, which included $180,918.68, plus $9,000 in late fees for 1,500 square feet. Within hours of reporter Susan Hogan contacting the utility company, they admitted it was a meter reader error and dropped the bill.

    WPIX-TV Investigation Triggers Change in NYC Homeless Crisis

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Tribune’s CW affiliate WPIX-TV New York aired an award-winning investigation that triggered change for the homeless community. WPIX aired dozens of reports on New York City’s corporate homeless hotels, showing that anyone can walk in unchecked by any security and access the floors where the homeless stay. Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks then announced security reforms during an interview on WPIX. A growing number of elected officials in New York, including U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, have criticized the corporate homeless hotels.

    WFTV Investigates Contractor Accused of Deceiving Consumers

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WFTV Orlando exposed a contractor for deceiving consumers. After viewer Bessie Hudson claimed McMurphy Fencing collected $2,000 for a new fence but did not deliver, WFTV found seven other families had the same issue. When reporter Todd Ulrich contacted McMurphy, he promised a full refund for Hudson. It never came. Ulrich found that McMurphy Fences illegally uses a different company’s address in legal documents. Thanks to WFTV, Florida’s Attorney General sued McMurphy for unfair and deceptive trade. The police later charged him with grand theft and fraud.

    WSB Investigation Leads State to Revoke Certifications

    Date Posted: 6/1/2016

    Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSB-TV Atlanta aired an investigation that resulted in three DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office employees’ losing their state certification. In 2014, investigative reporter Erica Byfield uncovered video that showed jailers forced inmate George Ward to wear a pink hat and shirt and called him names. WSB obtained thousands of pages of interviews, emails, photos and audio recordings. As a result, Georgia’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) revoked three employees’ law enforcement certifications and temporarily suspended the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to train recruits. The medical examiner changed Ward’s manner of death from "natural" to "undetermined."

    KCBS-AM Investigates Unholy Water at Archdiocese

    Date Posted: 5/26/2016

    CBS Radio’s KCBS-AM San Francisco won the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Investigative Reporting in Radio for the five-part series “Unholy Water.” Reporter Doug Sovern exposed the San Francisco Archdiocese for installing an illegal plumbing system at St. Mary’s Cathedral, which poured water on homeless people at night (despite historic droughts) to keep them from sleeping in the cathedral doorways. Sovern’s investigation resulted in action from city building officials and the Archdiocese, who transferred the Bishop to another parish and created new programs for the homeless. The LA Times, Washington Post, BBC and Al Jazeera picked up the story. “We have a sacred trust from the public, and a powerful platform with which to fulfill that trust,” Sovern told Radio Ink. “We were able to shine the spotlight on wrongdoing and get it stopped. That is always the best reward of all.”

    KNS-TV Investigates the Kansas Death Penalty

    Date Posted: 5/23/2016

    Media General’s NBC Affiliate KNS-TV Wichita aired “KSN Investigates: The Death Penalty in Kansas” on May 23. Reporter Brittany Glas found that since Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994, no one has been executed. Most of the 10 inmates on death row for murder were convicted more than 15 years ago, but no time table is set for the executions. The victims’ families are calling for the state to meet its obligations in these cases.

    WTHR Reveals State Program Allowing Contamination

    Date Posted: 5/23/2016

    Dispatch Broadcast’s NBC affiliate WTHR-TV Indianapolis aired “Dangerous Exposures: 13 News Investigates Reveals State Program Lets Contamination Spread” on May 23. Reporter Sandra Chapman examines Indiana’s voluntary program that protects companies from lawsuits if they agree to stop generating toxins and clean up what has already spread in the air and water. Some companies in the program have not filed a remediation plan in more than a decade and have not taken adequate steps to stop toxins from entering the environment.

    KXAS Investigates Dangerous Bridge Posts

    Date Posted: 5/23/2016

    NBC-owned KXAS-TV Dallas aired “NBC 5 Investigates: TxDOT Failing to Protect Drivers from Concrete Bridge Posts on Freeways” on May 23. Reporter Scott Friedman and the investigative team discovered the Texas Department of Transportation is failing to protect drivers from some concrete bridge posts that sit dangerously close to the edge of freeways. Friedman found that deaths have occurred in some spots where posts were less than five feet from the roadway with no protective barrier or guardrail installed.

    WJLA Exposes Hospital Hacking

    Date Posted: 5/19/2016

    Sinclair’s ABC affiliate WJLA-TV Washington, D.C. aired a report on May 19 showing the hacking vulnerability of hospital equipment such as MRI machines, CT scans, infant incubators and drug infusion pumps. WJLA examined why manufacturers do little to correct the issue, despite FDA advisories. Cybersecurity expert Billy Rios has a sophisticated x-ray machine that is typically used during surgery to maneuver around a sedated patient. He uses it to determine how easily a criminal could install malware or control the machine remotely via Wi-Fi, allowing them to debilitate it or deliver fatal doses of radiation.

    WSB Investigates: Georgia Inmates Remain in Prison, Despite DNA Evidence

    Date Posted: 5/18/2016

    Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSB-TV Atlanta aired “Georgia Keeps Inmates in Prisons, Despite DNA Results That Could Clear Them,” May 18. WSB examines Georgia’s justice system, after a former legislator who crafted the state’s DNA statute said innocent people remain in prison. The law allows inmates to get old evidence tested for DNA years after their conviction, but a new trial is not guaranteed.

    WSAZ-TV Charleston, W.V. Investigates E.R. Wait Times

    Date Posted: 5/17/2016

    Gray Television’s NBC affiliate WSAZ-TV Charleston, W.V. aired “WSAZ Investigates: E.R. Gridlock” on May 17. Reporter Nathan Takitch found that some patients transported by ambulance are waiting up to four hours in Kanawha County’s four emergency rooms. Due to the wait times, EMTs regularly test and treat patients in the ambulance while in the parking lot.

    WEWS-TV Investigated Breakdowns in the Cleveland 911 System

    Date Posted: 5/16/2016

    E.W. Scripps’ ABC affiliate WEWS-TV Cleveland aired an investigation on May 21, “How Serious Breakdowns in Cleveland’s 911 System Put Your Safety at Risk.” Reporter Sarah Buduson has been reporting for months on delays and failures in connecting emergency calls in Cleveland. In this new report, emergency dispatchers express their concerns. They say 911 callers are often placed “on hold,” lost, and subject to a heavy volume of system malfunctions that leave callers without timely assistance.

    WCVB Boston Investigates Young Man’s Death in State Custody

    Date Posted: 5/16/2016

    Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston aired a report on May 16, “5 Investigates: Young man dies in state custody.”– Reporter Kathy Curran showed that a man named Sam Dunn died in the back of an Essex County Sheriff’s Department transport van while it sat parked outside the Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center (MASAC) for four hours. Dunn had been in the back of the van for at least six hours since he left the jail and wasn’t breathing. The video shows correction officers scrambling to try to help. Emergency crews arrived about 13 minutes later.

    WCVB Investigates Elder Abuse

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    Hearst’s ABC affiliate WCVB-TV Boston investigated multiple elderly abuse accusations. The station’s report led to two former caregivers being charged with assault and battery on persons over 60. Learn more here.

    WSB Investigates Harassment at Nursing Homes

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSB-TV Atlanta reporter Justin Gray investigated the alarming rates of nursing home aides abusing residents by posting embarrassing pictures and videos of them online. Watch more here.

    WPLG Investigates Failed Bullying Policies

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    Berkshire Hathaway’s ABC Affiliate WPLG-TV Miami aired an investigation by reporter Bob Norman into the Broward County Public School System’s failed bullying policies. WPLG also exposed Dillard High School’s inactivity in addressing the repeated bullying and alarming physical and verbal attacks on students targeted by gangs of classmates.

    KPHO-TV Wins Murrow Award for Digging into Toxic Mine Issue

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    Meredith’s CBS affiliate KPHO-TV Phoenix won a regional Murrow award for “Abandoned Mine Pollution.” Arizona has over 100,000 abandoned mines, but no state or federal agency knows how many leak toxic metals into the environment. The KPHO team hiked six miles into the mountains to collect samples from uranium, lead, silver and copper mines. “Viewers rely on them to speak for those who have no voice for seeking justice and exposing wrongdoing when it is happening,” said General Manager Ed Munson.

    WTXF Investigates Priest’s Relationship with Former Secretary

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    Fox owned-and-operated WTXF-TV Philadelphia investigated the relationship between an area priest and his former secretary. After receiving a tip from a parishioner, the station discovered that Father Joel Arciga-Camarillo was spending almost all of his time away from the church, including complete evenings, at the home of his former colleague. The report led to the Diocese of Camden to open its own investigation. Father Arciga-Camarillo was eventually reassigned.

    WFXT-TV Investigates Mental Health Services

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    Cox Media Group’s Fox affiliate WFXT-TV Boston aired, on May 12, “Fox25 Investigates: Massachusetts Gets an ’F’ in Mental Health Services.” Massachusetts is one of only four states that does not have laws addressing outpatient mental health services, leading one advocacy group to give the state an “F.” WFTX included the story of a mentally ill man who recently went on a stabbing spree, killing two and injuring five. Advocates say he should not have left the hospital without support in place. In other states, judges can order outpatient mental health treatment for patients who are a danger to themselves and others.

    WSOC-TV Inspires Legislation Against Anti-Depression Drug

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSOC-TV Charlotte aired a story that inspired Senator Tom McGinnis to file legislation against the herb Kratom. WSOC talked to Lauren Eden, whose son John killed himself in May 2015. John’s Kratom usage sky rocketed after he took it to treat depression. Supporters say that Kratom, which is advertised on billboards, treats diabetes, pain, depression and addiction. The FDA says it poses a public health risk with the potential for abuse. North Carolina would be the sixth state to ban it.

    KNBC Investigates Airline Fees

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    NBC-owned KNBC-TV Los Angeles investigated how some international airlines may be placing profits over the safety and well-being of their passengers. KNBC reporter Randy Mac found that a Turkish airline failed to provide a refund or work with a Los Angeles resident who wanted to re-book his flight to the Middle East and not stop in Turkey due to State Department travel warnings. In response, a Turkish Air representative told Mac that such warnings do not create a general valid grounds for re-booking or making any other travel arrangements for travelling passengers.

    WJLA-TV Investigates Link Between Soccer Fields and Cancer

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    Sinclair’s ABC Affiliate WJLA-TV, Washington, D.C., examined the potential link between crumb rubber being used on Fairfax County school athletic fields and cancer. When WJLA investigative reporter Joce Sterman approached school leaders to inquire about why the multi-million project moved forward before key health questions were answered, school representatives refused to speak with her. WJLA has since obtained many of the emails between school district staff and others, some of which raised health and safety concerns and the potential need for a Fairfax County Health Department study.

    KATU Confirms Statewide Fraud

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    Sinclair Broadcast Group’s ABC affiliate KATU-TV Portland, Ore. reporter Hillary Lake followed up on Oregon’s failed health insurance exchange Cover Oregon in 2014. The program is alleged to have wasted $304 million in taxpayer money. The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a scathing staff report about its year-long investigation of Cover Oregon on May 25. The 204-page report covers a lot of what KATU’s On Your Side Investigators uncovered more than two years ago.

    KPRC Houston Investigates City Corruption

    Date Posted: 5/12/2016

    Graham Media Group’s KPRC-TV Houston exposed a consumer scam involving a businessman with ties to Mayor Sylvester Turner. The City Council awarded Ricardo Gonzalez’s company, USA Auto Collision Center, a contract to tow vehicles involved in accidents. The city allows companies to charge $155.50 per tow, but Gonzalez charges $3,000. Gonzalez, who donated $10,000 to the Mayor’s campaign, allegedly has customers unknowingly consent to additional charges, in a scam commonly referred to as flipping.

    WLUK-TV Investigates Tax Dollars Spent on Lambeau Field

    Date Posted: 5/10/2016

    Sinclair’s Fox affiliate WLUK-TV Green Bay aired “Excess Lambeau Sales Tax” on May 10, showing that municipalities in Brown County are not spending the $17.4 million in encumbered tax dollars left over from the Lambeau Field renovation project. The excess funds are meant to support local communities, but WLUK found that only 11 of 25 local governments have spent or allocated most of the money.

    WHTM Investigates Faulty Bridges

    Date Posted: 5/10/2016

    Media General’s ABC affiliate WHTM-TV Harrisburg, Pa. aired an investigative piece on May 10 on the state’s structurally-deficient bridges. Reporter Dawn White showed that the state has the second highest number of structurally deficient bridges in the country. White combed through hundreds of pages on bridges supplied by PennDOT’s Right-To-Know officer and found that more than 500 bridges do not meet structural and legal requirements. There are 136 faulty bridges in Lancaster County alone. Watch more here.

    WSB Investigates Security Gaps on Northern Border

    Date Posted: 5/9/2016

    Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate WSB-TV Atlanta aired a report on May 9 on significant exposure along our northern border. The WSB crew traveled from the frigid Atlantic inlets and remote forests of northern Maine to the picturesque Pacific Coast, between which the border between the United States and Canada runs 4,000 porous miles. The team crossed into Quebec, Canada, from northern Vermont through a small rural checkpoint surrounded by fences and cameras. A few yards down the road, there are no fences or barriers of any kind. The only thing denoting the border is a small white marker.

    KWCH Investigates Domestic Violence

    Date Posted: 5/9/2016

    Gray Television’s CBS affiliate KWCH-TV Wichita aired an investigative report on May 9 on the local prevalence of domestic violence. Reporter Lauren Seabrook discovered that in the last year, more than 5,700 people in Sedgwick County requested protection from abusers. The court granted protection in more than 2,600 of those cases. The report survivors to reach out to a domestic violence advocate before leaving an abusive situation.

    WRAL Documentary Examines Teachers’ Pay

    Date Posted: 5/5/2016

    Capitol Broadcasting’s NBC affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired “Grading Teacher Pay,” a documentary examining the relationship of low teacher pay to educational quality, on April 26. WRAL’s website featured statistics on how teacher pay in North Carolina compares to other states, plus a history of changes in the last 15 years. The documentary shows how plummeting salaries have contributed to teacher turnover, shortages and low morale. The documentary remains available for on-demand viewing.

    TEGNA-owned WKYC Brings About Law Change

    Date Posted: 5/5/2016

    TEGNA’s NBC affiliate WKYC-TV Cleveland reporter Dawn Kendrick received a 2016 Broadcast Media Award from the Ohio Pharmacists Association for her story "See the Possible." The series on Kevin Houdeshell’s family’s fight for access to life-saving drugs led to a law change that allows pharmacists to extend emergency supplies of life-saving drugs.

    WFTV Investigates Bacteria in Lagoons

    Date Posted: 5/1/2016

    Cox Media Group’s WFTV-TV Orlando aired an investigative story on May 1 in which reporter Christopher Heath highlighted the fact that scientists from Florida Atlantic University have discovered a new link between people’s exposure to a deadly bacteria in Florida lagoons and estuaries known as Vibrio and their consumption or handling of raw and uncooked fish or shellfish.

    WGN Investigates Toxic Danger on Boeing Plane

    Date Posted: 4/28/2016

    Tribune’s CBS affiliate WGN-TV Chicago aired “WGN Investigates The Boeing Papers: How safe is the air up there?” on April 28. Reporter Mark Suppelsa and the WNG investigative team looked into a lawsuit alleging problems with toxic jet oil on a Boeing plane. Plaintiffs say that passengers’ exposure to toxins is being caused by a decades old engineering defect in which heated jet engine oil is seeping in to cabin air causing flight attendants and some passengers to become seriously ill. Despite knowing that this health risk exists, Boeing has refused to address the issue and fix the problem.

    KVOA Exposé of Wins Murrow Award

    Date Posted: 4/21/2016

    Cordillera Communications’ NBC affiliate KVOA Tucson won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting for “Lost in Translation.” The story shows the controversial pictures that one teacher used in a local school that students felt were racist and inappropriate.

    Telemundo Expands Consumer Investigations

    Date Posted: 4/18/2016

    Telemundo launched "Telemundo Responde" (Telemundo Responds) on KTAZ Phoenix and KHRR Tucson on April 18. The initiative’s consumer advocacy team answers inquiries from local residents who are victims of identity fraud or theft, received fraudulent charges or whose employers refused to pay for their work. "Telemundo Responde will give a voice to the voiceless," said investigative reporter Victor Hugo. "With the expansion of Telemundo Responde to Arizona, our communities will now have an opportunity to get real answers to the consumer problems they face every day."

    Telemundo Expands Consumer Investigations

    Date Posted: 4/18/2016

    Telemundo launched "Telemundo Responde" (Telemundo Responds) on KTAZ Phoenix and KHRR Tucson on April 18. The initiative’s consumer advocacy team answers inquiries from local residents who are victims of identity fraud or theft, received fraudulent charges or whose employers refused to pay for their work. "Telemundo Responde will give a voice to the voiceless," said investigative reporter Victor Hugo. "With the expansion of Telemundo Responde to Arizona, our communities will now have an opportunity to get real answers to the consumer problems they face every day."

    KXAN Austin Investigates Racial Profiling

    Date Posted: 4/12/2016

    Media General’s NBC affiliate KXAN-TV Austin reporter Brian Collister’s investigation, titled "Racial Profiling Whitewash,” looked into Texas state troopers traffic tickets. When Collister reviewed 16 million traffic citations issued by Texas state troopers in a five-year period, he uncovered that state troopers routinely ticketed Hispanic drivers, but reported to the state that the drivers were white to avoid accusations of racial profiling. The investigation began in response to the Sandra Bland case. Bland, a black woman, was pulled over for a routine traffic stop that ended in a violent confrontation and her arrest. Police found her hanged to death in her jail cell three days later.

    WDIV Investigates Man’s Death in Jail

    Date Posted: 4/10/2016

    Graham Media’s Group’s NBC affiliate WDIV Detroit won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuing Coverage for “It’s A Hard Thing To Watch A Man Die.” WDIV’s investigators examined 240 hours of video that showed that while David Stojcevski spent 16 days in jail for a traffic ticket, he suffered from serious drug withdrawal and lost 50 pounds before dying on the floor of his cell. The FBI is now looking into the case. “We are honored that our news team continues to make a difference, and effect positive change in our community,” said General Manager Marla Drutz.

    WHO-TV Wins Awards for Journalism Excellence

    Date Posted: 4/9/2016

    Tribune’s NBC affiliate WHO-TV Des Moines was honored April 9 by the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association with 16 awards for journalism excellence in the Medium Market-Television category. The station’s ten first place awards include investigative reporting, hard news and weather excellence. “Their hard work and dedication to excellence continues to be recognized not only by our incredible viewers but also by their peers,” said News Director Rod Peterson. “I am proud to work with them every day.”

    WDSU-TV Wins Award for Katrina Documentary

    Date Posted: 4/8/2016

    Hearst’s NBC affiliate WDSU-TV New Orleans won a national Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for “Chronicle: Children of Katrina.” The documentary looked at how Hurricane Katrina impacted five young lives 10 years after the storm. “I am always humbled by the dedication and pursuit of excellence demonstrated by our news team,” said General Manager Joel Vilmenay.

    African-American Reporter Interviews KKK Members

    Date Posted: 4/7/2016

    Raycom’s NBC affiliate WWBT Richmond, Va. aired a series of stories on hate groups after seeing KKK recruitment flyers in mailboxes. African-American reporter Chris Thomas met with the Imperial Wizard for the Rebel Brigade of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the Jefferson National Forest. Klan members wore shirts that said “Original Boys from the Hood” during the interview. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) estimates there are 32 active hate groups in Virginia.

    WNBC Promises to Address Every Call, Email

    Date Posted: 4/4/2016

    NBC-owned WNBC-TV New York City’s Consumer Investigative Center promises to answer every call and e-mail with a response in English or Spanish on WNBC and Telemundo affiliate WNJU. The center is led by consumer reporter Lynda Baquero and the investigative team. Since 2013, they have recovered more than $700,000 for consumers. "One of the most powerful benefits of local TV news is as an advocate for consumers — exposing bad business practices, scams, rip-offs, deadbeat deals and government waste and corruption," wrote TVNewsCheck reporter Paul Greeley.

    WDIV Exposes Police Brutality

    Date Posted: 3/30/2016

    Graham Media Group’s NBC affiliate WDIV Detroit received a Michigan Press Association award for the advancement of justice. “A Journey to Justice” examined the story of Floyd Dent, an African-American man who failed to stop at a stop sign. He was pulled from his car, punched in the head 16 times and arrested for assault, resisting arrest and possession of cocaine. WDIV showed that a police officer pulled a baggie of cocaine from his own pocket. As a result, arresting officer William Melendez was fired and sentenced to 13 months in prison, two other officers were suspended and the police chief resigned. A law has been proposed to track officers who resign under investigation. The county prosecutor cited WDIV’s reports for alerting her to the case.

    New York City Station Earns 13 Emmy Awards

    Date Posted: 3/24/2016

    NBC’s owned and operated WNBC New York City received 13 Emmy Awards for investigative journalism. Examples of the featured reports include “Retailers Blow Hot Air” and “Ivy League Sex Offenses”. Read more about the station and its investigative efforts in TVNewsCheck.

    CBS Evening News Anchor Scott Pelley to Receive 2016 Cronkite Award

    Date Posted: 3/5/2016

    Multiple award-winning “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley will receive Arizona State University’s 2016 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. Pelley is also a correspondent on “60 Minutes,” where he recently reported from Iraq on the front lines in the battle against ISIS; covered the Paris terrorist attacks; and uncovered critical lapses in the U.S. security clearance process. He has interviewed world leaders, including Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. He also conducted the only interview with one of the U.S. Navy SEALs who helped kill Osama bin Laden. Pelley’s prestigious awards include the George Foster Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, five Emmys and five Edward R. Murrow Awards. “No one today better represents the legacy of Walter Cronkite – and his values of accuracy, objectivity and integrity – than Scott Pelley,” said Cronkite School Dean and University Vice Provost Christopher Callahan.

    CBS News Investigation Shakes up Wounded Warrior Project

    Date Posted: 3/5/2016

    A CBS News investigation led by Chip Reid led to the board of the Wounded Warrior Project firing its CEO and the COO. CBS’s Scott Pelley broke the news on March 10. Reid’s investigation revealed that Wounded Warrior Project spent 54 - 60 percent of the donations it received on veterans’ services. Other organizations spend more than 90 percent on veterans.

    WDSU Special Tackles Saints Player’s Battle With ALS

    Date Posted: 3/2/2016

    Hearst’s NBC affiliate WDSU New Orleans aired and streamed “Steve Gleason — The Journey” on March 12. The special follows New Orleans Saint Safety Steve Gleason, famous for a blocked a punt that led to the Saints first score in New Orleans in almost two years after Hurricane Katrina. “Steve Gleason — The Journey” follows Gleason’s journey after being diagnosed with Lou Gerhrig’s Disease at the age of 34 and his on-going battle to raise funds and awareness.

    WHAG-TV Announces $1 Million Local News Expansion

    Date Posted: 3/2/2016

    Nexstar’s NBC affiliate WHAG-TV Hagerstown, MD announced a $1 million expansion of its local news, sports, weather and community programming. WHAG will add field offices, hire a dozen news personnel, develop new on-air graphics and purchase new weather technology and traffic equipment. On July 1, WHAG will add 20 hours of local news each week, bringing the total to more than 50 hours. The investment "highlights the company’s organization-wide commitment to broadcasting excellence and enhanced service to local communities," Nexstar said in a press release. Watch video.

    WBTV Investigation Leads to Guilty Plea

    Date Posted: 3/2/2016

    Raycom’s CBS affiliate WBTV Charlotte investigated payroll company Centercede Services for collecting payroll taxes for its clients, but failing to send payments to tax agencies. WBTV discovered that $2 million was diverted “to pay their own exorbitant salaries, to fund lavish expense accounts and to cover growing liabilities, including the tax liabilities of other Centercede clients." As a result of the investigation, two executives pleaded guilty to federal charges. The fraud devastated dozens of local small businesses who had to pay the taxes a second time, often with penalties and interest, on top of legal fees. "We kept getting notices that they (IRS) will garnish our money, bank account, they will seize property," said one victim.

    KPHO-TV Phoenix Reporter Finds Mexican Cartel Scout in Desert

    Date Posted: 3/1/2016

    Meredith’s CBS affiliate KPHO-TV Phoenix discovered observation posts where Mexican drug cartels watch law enforcement. While riding through the desert, investigative reporter Morgan Lowe and Detective Eddie Castro saw distinctive water bottles and trash. The next day, Lowe and his producer pretended to be hikers. After meeting a man dressed in camouflage who had a cell phone, two-way radio and police scanner, they found the observation point. Lowe risked his life to photograph supplies stashed between boulders, including solar panels for charging electronics and a cooking area.

    KFVS Investigates School Bus Safety

    Date Posted: 3/1/2016

    Raycom’s CBS affiliate KFVS-TV Cape Giradeau, MO launched an investigation called "Belts on the Bus." Even though children must legally wear seatbelts in cars, school buses do not feature seatbelts. KFVS’ story also features the parents of a child who was killed in a bus accident. Watch video.

    WSET Investigates Defective Guardrails

    Date Posted: 3/1/2016

    Sinclair’s ABC affiliate WSET-TV Lynchburg, VA uncovered failures in testing guardrails on state highways that could have left thousands of faulty guardrails on the road. The guardrails could impale drivers on impact, but Virginia is now removing them. Citing WSET’s investigation, Virginia’s senators have sought an investigation into guardrails on federal highways nationwide.

    WRAL Documentary Examines New Controversial Farms

    Date Posted: 2/16/2016

    Capitol Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate WRAL-TV Raleigh aired "Power Switch," a documentary on the explosive yet controversial growth of solar energy and wind farms, on Jan. 12. In 2014, nearly 200 companies that employ 5,600 people were involved in solar production, representing a $650 million investment. North Carolina’s first large-scale, commercial wind farm is currently under construction. The documentary is still available for on-demand viewing.

    WXYZ Detroit "Fix My School" Leads to Results

    Date Posted: 2/16/2016

    E.W. Scripps’ ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV Detroit aired a "Fix My School" investigative piece on Jan. 15. Days later, on Jan. 19, Detroit health inspectors visited the featured school. The segment showed a classroom where water had been seeping through the ceiling for three years, causing the teacher to feel ill. The room was also attached to a visibly dilapidated greenhouse that housed squirrels and rats. The only separation came from drafty windows and a door with holes in it and no doorknob.

    WYFF-TV Greenville, SC Expands Sunday Newscast

    Date Posted: 2/15/2016

    Hearst’s NBC affiliate WYFF Greenville, S.C. added a half-hour to its Sunday 11 p.m. newscast, starting February 21. “We know that local news is very important to our viewers,” said News Director Bruce Barkley. “We’ll be able to give our viewers a comprehensive look at what happened over the weekend and the in-depth local news coverage that they expect from WYFF News 4.”

    WJXT Investigates City Waste

    Date Posted: 2/4/2016

    Graham Media Group’s WJXT-TV Jacksonville, Fla. aired an investigative report on February 8 showing that the city was prepared to write off millions of dollars of municipal property found to be missing or stolen over the past several years. WJXT analyzed a list of hundreds of missing or stolen city equipment from June 2014 to July 1, 2015 that included courthouse video systems, ice machines, breathalyzers, and even bullet proof shields. The purchase prices of the items on the list totaled $1.2 million. One week after the report aired, new legislation was introduced to the council authorizing the director of finance to delete all unaccountable items from their books from 2010 to 2016.

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