KWCH 12 Eyewitness News continues its tradition of journalistic excellence by winning its fourth National Edward R. Murrow Award for its investigative reporting of officers moving to other departments after being fired or quitting under questionable circumstances.
“It’s an honor to be awarded by our peers for doing what we do every single day: report the most accurate and in-depth news, weather, and sports across all platforms,” KWCH 12 News Director Brian Gregory said. “Eyewitness News has and will always be committed to getting answers and shining a light on the issues that impact every Kansan.”
The Investigative Reporting award is given to the station that demonstrates outstanding journalistic enterprise on an important issue. After learning of instances of officers who had been fired immediately being hired by other police departments, the Fact Finder 12 team spent months of investigating the practice.
“The focus of Badge to Badge was to hold our community leaders accountable to complete thorough background checks on the men and women they want to hire to protect our communities,” Gregory said. “I feel our investigation made those in power think twice, and perhaps dig deeper before hiring someone with a questionable background.”
KWCH 12 was also awarded a regional Murrow Award in the Newscast category for the February 25, 2016, 10:00 p.m. newscast featuring coverage of the Excel shooting in Hesston. When reports of an active shooter came in from a small Kansas town, Eyewitness News was one of the first on the scene. While the event garnered national coverage, what set the Eyewitness News teams coverage apart was the perspective provided by Kansas natives Michael Schwanke, Roger Cornish, and Melissa Scheffler. Scheffler, who grew up near Hesston, was able to lend perspective to the shooting and help to quickly identify locations.
The Murrow Awards are named after pioneering television news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow and recognize the pursuit of excellence in journalism. Eyewitness News has won 15 regional and three national Murrow Awards since 2003.
The Radio Television Digital News Association judges the Edward R. Murrow Awards. RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization of electronic news professionals, dedicated to setting standards for newsgathering and reporting. The awards ceremony will be in October in New York City.