FOX 8 honored with National Murrow Award for Overall Excellence

WVUE/Fox 8 is proud to announce that we have been honored by the Radio Television Digital News Association with the 2013 National Edward R. Murrow for Overall Excellence.

The award recognizes the station's body of work for 2012 including coverage of Hurricane Isaac, investigations, breaking news, newscasts and sports.

Fox 8 News is one of only two stations in the country to be recognized for Overall Excellence. Fox 8 News won in the small market category while KYW-TV in Philadelphia was honored in the large market category. It's the highest staff award for journalism in the country.

Fox 8 news also won a second National Edward R. Murrow award in the "Best Documentary" category for John Snell's "Disappearing Defenses" documentary. Snell shares the award with Photographer Paul Rodgers.

"Disappearing Defenses" was a continuing series of reports, exploring potential solutions and the obstacles to turning back the tide and saving Louisiana's coast. The reports ranged from general stories focused on the complex engineering and funding issues to a series of stories highlighting the loss of two small islands, which nearly vanished during the course of the year.

With this year's awards, Fox 8 News has now been honored with five National Edward R. Murrow awards in the past three years. The Edward R. Murrow Awards recognize the very best work in television, radio and online journalism.

The national honors come after Fox 8 News won 8 regional Murrow awards earlier this year. Those awards included Overall Excellence, Continuing Coverage for work during Hurricane Isaac, Investigative, Best Feature, Best Documentary, Hard News, Use of Video and Writing.

Below are the regional awards:

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 regional awards in two categories. In the News Documentary category, he won for "Disappearing Defenses", as well as 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."

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."

Fox 8 News will accept this year's honors at an awards ceremony in New York on October 14.