Home Awards RTDNA Announces Winner of the 2016 Al Neuharth Award for Investigative...

RTDNA Announces Winner of the 2016 Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Journalism

rtndaWASHINGTON – The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) today announced Atlanta’s WXIA-TV has been named the winner of the 2016 Gannett Foundation Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Journalism.

The award recognizes innovative work by a journalist or a staff that creatively used digital tools in the role of being a community’s watchdog. Special consideration is given to journalism that helps a community understand and address important issues.

In its investigation titled “Smart ALEC,” The station caught an elected state representative asking a corporate lobbyist for “a few thousand dollars” in a hotel bar the night before those same people met in closed committee rooms where the corporations and special interests had an equal vote on proposed legislation. Chief Investigator Brendan Keefe tracked a Georgia asbestos law to its pace of birth: a Las Vegas casino where the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, allowed corporate interests to write the ‘model legislation’ that now prevents asbestos victims from suing companies in several states. Finally the investigative team was kicked out of the public areas of the conference hotel, without explanation, by uniformed sheriff’s deputies on the ALEC payroll, even though the reporter and his family had a room at the hotel. The story has been viewed more than 30 million times online, and won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting.

The winner receives a $5,000 prize and has been invited to attend Excellence in Journalism 2016 in New Orleans, where the award will be presented in a ceremony on September 19.
RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, RTDNA works to protect the rights of electronic journalists throughout the country, promotes ethical standards in the industry, provides members with training and education and honors outstanding work in the profession through the Edward R. Murrow Awards.

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.Today, a showbiz/promotions aggregate mainly for insiders. She has written for Communications Daily, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International plus freelanced for others. Valerie donates and works closely with the Human Rights Campaign (Fed Club Council Member), GLSEN, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal and the Desert Aids Project. She is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club. Milano loves meeting people and does so in her fave getaway Palm Springs as a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and the Old Las Palmas area community member. Valerie was a veteran 17-year member, and one of the "chief organizers” of the prestigious and long running, TCA: Television Critics Association’s press tour. For years Valerie was a board member and one of the chief organizers of the association. TCA press tours are “a must” for hundreds of TV critics twice a year, in Beverly Hills and in Pasadena.