'Louisiana Purchased' probe wins IRE Award - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

'Louisiana Purchased' probe wins IRE Award

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

One of the nation's most highly esteemed journalism groups has awarded FOX 8 News and NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune for their "Louisiana Purchased" investigation.

Investigative Reporters & Editors announced its 2014 awards for investigative journalism Friday, naming FOX 8 and NOLA.com winners of the IRE Award for broadcast/video in the small market category.

"'Louisiana Purchased' – a comprehensive investigation into the big business of the state's campaign financing -- exposed illegal activities, questionable practices and toothless ethics enforcement," write the judges in their award comments. "The reporting team uncovered volumes of data from campaign finance records that show direct influence peddling going on across the state. In the wake of the series, state lawmakers passed five campaign finance reform laws, 10 politicians returned money to taxpayers, state and federal authorities launched investigations, and politicians returned more than $300,000 in illegal contributions."

Named in the announcement are FOX 8 chief investigative reporter Lee Zurik, investigative producer Tom Wright, investigative photographer Jon Turnipseed, news director Mikel Schaefer, assistant news director Greg Phillips, art director E.Q. Vance, as well as NOLA.com's Manuel Torres, Heather Nolan, Lauren McGaughy, Dmitriy Pritykin, Ted Jackson, Dan Swenson and Tim Morris.

FOX 8 and NOLA.com were finalists for a multiplatform award for "Louisiana Purchased." Lee Zurik's investigative special "Holding Officials Accountable" also placed as a finalist for the broadcast award.

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