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MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA) today announced two stations, KARE 11 in Minneapolis and KHOU 11 in Houston, have won Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, which recognize excellence in broadcast, digital and documentary journalism. TEGNA is the only local broadcast group to receive two silver batons for investigative reporting. Both stations will be recognized in an awards ceremony hosted by some of the country’s leading broadcast journalists on January 16, 2018, at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library.
Minneapolis-based KARE was recognized for its commitment to investigative reporting for three notable pieces including:
- “Invisible Wounds: Treatment and Reform,” an investigative series that revealed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was using unqualified doctors and inadequate tests to improperly deny veterans benefits and access to promised healthcare.
- “The Insane Benefit: Minnesota’s Secret Sex Offenders,” a local investigation which revealed a legal loophole that allowed Minnesota judges and prosecutors to grant select sex offenders a special status to make their criminal record secret.
- “Double Billing the Badge,” which revealed law enforcement agencies across Minnesota were over- or double-charged for equipment on police vehicles, wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars of state taxpayer money.
Houston-based KHOU was recognized for “Transparency,” a digital-first investigation that exposed the lack of accountability and the improper use of police body cameras in the city of Houston. The four-month investigation revealed the Houston Police Department failed to release timely footage for criminal cases and declined to conduct promised video audits. In response to the documentary, the Houston police chief immediately addressed the camera technology issues and pledged to discipline any officers who fail to activate cameras when required. KHOU’s investigative team was created as part of TEGNA’s innovation process to transform local news content and investigations.
“Like many of our TEGNA stations, KARE and KHOU have produced incredibly meaningful work that impacts the lives of many. Their projects are strong examples of the positive impact of local journalism on communities and the importance of storytelling for the public interest,” said Dave Lougee, president and CEO, TEGNA. “We are committed to continuing to invest in our local stations to ensure they have the journalistic freedom to pursue investigations that make communities stronger without bias or agenda.”
As a result of KARE’s award-winning investigative reporting for “Invisible Wounds: Treatment and Reform,” VA officials publicly acknowledged there was a “systematic national problem” reaching all 50 states and compelled the federal agency to offer new traumatic brain injury evaluations to all misdiagnosed veterans nationwide.