WVUE FOX 8 News received Wednesday one of the nation's top journalism honors by winning two National Edward R. Murrow awards.
The first winning entry was in the "News Series" category for "Louisiana Purchased", our joint investigation into the state campaign finance system with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. The collaboration, which began in mid 2013, exposed illegal activities, questionable practices and toothless ethics enforcement in Louisiana's campaign finance system.
The "Louisiana Purchased" team includes Lee Zurik, Jon Turnipseed, Tom Wright, Mikel Schaefer, Greg Phillips, EQ Vance and Wes Cook from WVUE and Manuel Torres, Lauren McGaughy, Tim Morris, Ted Jackson, Dmitriy Pritykin and Dan Swenson from NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.
"I'm extremely proud of our accomplishments," said WVUE News Director Mikel Schaefer. "I'm thrilled our partnership with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune was honored."
"We are proud of our partnership with WVUE and the public service journalism we have produced together, which is already yielding results for the citizens of Louisiana. "said Jim Amoss, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune's editor and vice president of content.
The second winner was in the "Continuing Coverage" category for "Body of Evidence", Lee Zurik's expansive series into St. Tammany Parish Coroner Peter Galvan. The over 40-part investigation uncovered millions in wasted taxpayer money all while Galvan was jet-setting around the globe on the public dime. "Body of Evidence" ended with Galvan pleading guilty in federal court.
"We are humbled to win for two separate investigations," Schaefer said. "This is further validation of the important work we are doing for our viewers in Southeast Louisiana and Mississippi."
Along with Lee Zurik, the "Body of Evidence" team includes Donny Pearce, Jon Turnipseed, Tom Wright, Mikel Schaefer, and Greg Phillips.
The Radio Television Digital News Association, which hands out the prestigious awards, made the announcement Wednesday morning. The awards ceremony is in early October in New York City.
This is the third consecutive year FOX 8 has won two national Edward R. Murrow awards, and we have been honored with seven in the past four years.
For a complete list of winners, visit http://rtdna.org.