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 Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.