McLEAN, VA – TEGNA (NYSE: TGNA) Media was honored today with three Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, more than any other television broadcast group. 9NEWS won two awards while WXIA’s digital, episodic investigative team won for their series “Charlie Foxtrot.” The Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, given biennially, encourage and showcase substantive and innovative coverage that informs viewers about their electoral choices.
“I am proud of the work our stations do to hold officials accountable and inform and educate voters on the key issues impacting their community,” said Dave Lougee, president, TEGNA Media. “Local journalism plays a more important role than ever in our democracy. It is a responsibility we take very seriously and are committed to being an advocate for those we serve. Congratulations to the teams at KUSA and WXIA for their outstanding work.”
9NEWS won the Brooks Jackson Prize for fact-checking political messages for the third consecutive time. A jury convened by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania said 9NEWS set a “high standard for fact-checking on a local TV station.” The jury felt 9NEWS’ research, writing and presentation served as a model for how to help viewers cut through the political spin.
9NEWS political reporter Brandon Rittiman won his second Cronkite award for individual achievement by a local journalist (large market). The jury felt Brandon was “an advocate for real people” and gave them a voice, which “is at the core of what investigative and political journalism is all about.” The jury praised his reporting on local judicial elections. The jury said Brandon’s reports are “clear, concise, well-documented and well-delivered” and he sets the bar “extremely high” for political coverage.
WXIA won for achievement by a local station for its digital, episodic investigation “Charlie Foxtrot.” The five-part investigation examined military policy that takes away benefits and veteran status from service members suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other mental health conditions as a result of war. Shortly after the “Charlie Foxtrot” investigation ran, the Fairness for Veterans Act was signed into law. The act requires the military to consider medical evidence of PTSD or TBI in the discharge review process. Judges said the investigation was “phenomenal storytelling” and is a case study for taking a deep look at one issue, understanding its impact on people and prompting legislative action.
Walter Cronkite Award winners were announced by the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.