FOX 8 honored with 8 Regional Edward R. Murrow awards

Ctsy. The Radio Television Digital News Association
Ctsy. The Radio Television Digital News Association

New Orleans, La. - WVUE/FOX 8 has been honored by the Radio Television Digital News Association with eight 2013 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including the prestigious Overall Excellence award. FOX 8 and its staff were recognized with more awards than any other small market station in the country.

Edward R. Murrow Awards recognize the very best work in television, radio and online journalism.

Staff awards include Overall Excellence and Continuing Coverage for work during Hurricane Isaac.

Nancy Parker received an award for "Tabitha's Wish" in the Feature Writing category. The story is about Tabitha McLindon, a south Louisiana sixth grader, who made a decision to be an organ donor just days before she unexpectedly died. Her choice helped save the lives of seven total strangers.

Lee Zurik was honored for Investigative Reporting for his work on "Dirty Deeds." Detailed in several reports, some say it may be the biggest inside job in Louisiana history: vast expanses of oil- and gas-rich land and water bottoms owned by the state but handed over to some of Louisiana's most powerful politicians. Zurik's reports sparked an investigation by the state.

John Snell won awards in two categories. In the News Documentary category, he won for "Disappearing Defenses." The continuing series of reports, explored potential solutions and the obstacles to turning back the tide and saving the coast. The reports ranged from general stories focused on the complex engineering and funding issues to a series of stories documenting the loss on two small islands, which nearly vanished during the course of the year. Snell was also honored in the Writing category.

Natasha Robin received an award for Reporting: Hard News after her gritty story about senseless violence in New Orleans. A brazen early-evening shooting at inner city birthday party left a five year old girl and a mother dead. Three others, including an eight year old boy, were also injured. The killings sparked an immediate response from the city and community. One day later, an 18-year-old man turned himself into police. In the following weeks and months, as the response to murders grew, Robin started to ask questions about the suspect's criminal history and why he was "Still on the Streets."

Finally, David McNamara was honored in the Use of Sound/Video category for his look at a unique event held at the state's maximum security prison at Angola. Convicts go inside the bullring to play one of the toughest games held at the annual radio, "Convict Poker."

A record number of entries were submitted to RTDNA this year in 13 regions across the United States. Regional winners are automatically entered in the national Edward R. Murrow Awards. Those awards will be presented in New York on October 14.