Denver - March 15, 2013 – The Scripps Howard Foundation announced the winners of its annual Scripps Howard Awards, honoring 7NEWS as winners and finalists of the Jack R. Howard Award in the category of Television/Cable In-Depth Local Coverage. This is the first time in history a station has been both a finalist and winner in the same category. 7NEWS was given the prestigious award for "Investigating the Fire," which uncovered governmental mistakes and communication failures during a wildfire that claimed three lives and destroyed more than 20 homes. The extensive wildfire investigation, led by 7NEWS team Marshall Zelinger, Amanda Kost, Jennie Castor, Doug Schepman and Jon Stone, prompted legislative change that will ultimately help the victims of the Lower North Fork Fire rebuild their lives and protect future fire victims.
Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online at Poynter Institute, Al Tompkins praises the 7NEWS investigation via video commentary saying, "They didn't just stop when the smoke cleared…they kept going. And, they kept seeking answers. Not just what happened, buy why and how? And how do we prevent this from happening again? It's exactly what journalists should do."
7NEWS team John Ferrugia, Arthur Kane and Jason Foster are also being honored as finalists in the same category for "A Threat Ignored: The Aurora Theater Shooting Investigation,” a series of investigative stories that uncovered information that a University of Colorado psychiatrist and members of the University Threat Assessment Team had concerns that suspect James Holmes was a threat to others but neither the team, nor the psychiatrist, took action to intervene. The exclusive series of investigative reports was sourced repeatedly by news organizations both nationally and internationally as details about what led up to the shootings emerged. This series of reports came despite a judicial gag order.
“At 7NEWS, we believe in working as hard as we can, one story at a time to make our state the best it can be for everyone. We feel it's our responsibility to make a difference and will use all of our platforms to do so," said Vice President and General Manager of 7NEWS and Azteca Colorado, Byron Grandy.
Each year, The Scripps Howard Awards honor the best work in the communications industry and journalism education. Established in 1953, the Scripps Howard Foundation’s national journalism awards competition is open to U.S. based news organizations and recognizes outstanding print, broadcast and online journalism in 15 categories. Two additional categories honor college journalism and mass communication educators for excellence in administration and teaching.
Winners will receive a total of $175,000 and trophies May 9th at a dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in Naples, Fla. Dinner co-hosts are the Scripps Howard Foundation; its corporate founder, The E.W. Scripps Company; and the Naples Daily News, a Scripps publication. New this year is a category for digital innovation and expansion of the television and cable competition to honor excellence in two categories, one for in-depth local coverage and another for in-depth national and international coverage.
“Some of the categories offered by the Scripps Howard Awards have changed the past 60 years to reflect the industry’s evolution,” said Mike Philipps, President and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “But the core values of journalism – accuracy, fairness, context, storytelling and a deep respect for the First Amendment – remain guiding principles.”
Entries in the journalism categories were judged by 51 industry experts, who assembled for two days at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. Each category was assigned a separate panel of judges and their decisions are final. For more information contact Sue Porter, Scripps Howard Foundation at 513-977-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To hear further commentary from Judge Al Tompkins, visit https://www.dropbox.com/s/mzg3nh8l9ncoshw/Al%20Tomkins%20KMGH%20TV%20comments.MOV
7NEWS is owned and operated by the E.W. Scripps Company. The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse, 133-year-old media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers and local news and information Web sites. The company's portfolio of locally focused media properties includes: 19 TV stations (10 ABC affiliates, three NBC affiliates, five Azteca America affiliates and one independent); daily and community newspapers in 13 markets, and the Washington, D.C.-based Scripps Media Center, home of the Scripps Howard News Service. For a full listing of Scripps media companies and their associated Web sites, visit http://www.Scripps.com/
Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes. With a special commitment to the regions where Scripps does business, the foundation helps build healthy communities and improve the quality of life through support of sound educational programs, strong families, vital social services, enriching arts and culture and inclusive civic affairs.
Scripps (www.scripps.com) delivers quality journalism and creates valuable marketing environments through television stations, newspapers and a growing menu of digital products and services that now includes social games. Creative and mission-driven employees "give light so the people can find their own way" at 19 television stations in major U.S. markets and at newspapers in 13 markets.