NEW YORK (WVUE) - For the fifth consecutive year WVUE FOX 8 News received one of the most notable honors in journalism, winning three National Edward R. Murrow awards.
FOX 8 News at 10PM was honored with a National Murrow in the "Newscast" category. The winning newscast, produced by Kristen Soroe Palestina, aired the day former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was convicted on federal corruption charges. WVUE's extensive coverage included Rob Masson's exclusive interview with a juror that evening. Other elements from the broadcast included:
· Former St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Peter Galvan was sentenced to two year in prison for conspiracy charges. These charges came after our award winning series of reports "Body of Evidence", which outlined the coroner's questionable practices in public and private office.
· A Lee Zurik investigation into St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta. Zurik's story focused on text messages Peralta sent to his estranged wife following her allegations that the parish president raped her in their home.
The next award is for "Louisiana Purchased" in the "Investigative Reporting" category. This multi-year joint investigation with NOLA.com|The Times Picayune peeled back the curtain on the Louisiana's complex campaign finance system. "Louisiana Purchased" launched federal and state investigations, led politicians to pay back improperly and possibly illegally spent money, and changed state law.
The winning entry focused on the results and findings of the investigation in 2014 including:
· State legislators passed five separate bills related to campaign finance reform. The bills were based on our stories.
· The FBI launched a federal grand jury investigation into findings about double dipping in connection with State Rep. Joe Harrison.
· Lawmakers reimbursed taxpayers thousands of dollars after we showed they were double dipping: paying for something out of their campaign account while also seeking reimbursement for those same expenses from taxpayers.
The investigative team includes Chief Investigative Reporter Lee Zurik, NOLA.com| The Time Picayune Enterprise Editor Manuel Torres, Investigative Producer Tom Wright, Photographer/Editor Jon Turnipseed, News Director Mikel Schaefer, and Assistant News Director Greg Phillips.
This is the second National Murrow award for "Louisiana Purchased".
The FOX 8 investigative team was honored with another award in the "News Series" category for "Holding Officials Accountable", a series focused on four Lee Zurik Investigations. The news series uncovered questionable - and in two instances illegal - spending of hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars. The series held officials accountable by asking tough questions and pushing for answers that launched federal and state investigations and led to two separate corruption charges.
This is the fourth consecutive year WVUE has won multiple National Murrow Awards and the 10th National Murrow since 2011.