April 9, 2012
Betsy Robertson, Community Relations Manager
SEATTLE—KING 5 News has been honored with two National Headliner Awards from the Press Club for “Public Service” and “Feature, Sports or Human Interest.”
The award for Public Service was presented to the station’s investigative team for its Their Crime, Your Dime series, which earlier this month was also awarded the prestigious Peabody Award. Reporter Chris Ingalls, executive producer Kellie Cheadle and photojournalist Steve Douglas worked on the series.
Their Crime, Your Dime documented welfare fraud that for many years caused taxpayers to lose tens of millions of dollars. Investigators discovered an extreme lack of oversight of the state and federal welfare programs by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). They found DSHS clients selling food stamps openly for cash, and merchants buying them for half price and doubling their money when the stamps were redeemed.
The series had swift and immediate impact: it prompted a new law that closed many of the loopholes that had been revealed and the state legislature approved $5 million to fund a new fraud prevention squad. In addition, three people identified in the stories were sent to federal prison.
The award for Feature, Sports or Human Interest was presented to reporter Joe Fryer, editor Matt Mrozinski and photojournalist Doug Burgess for A Family’s Courage. This story chronicled the special bond formed between a photographer and family brought together by tragic loss. When the Hill family learned the baby they were expecting could pass away shortly after he was born, they were introduced to photographer Vicki Zoller. Zoller volunteers her time and talents for “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” a nationwide network of photographers who take pictures of children who don’t survive. She helped the Hills through their difficult loss, which resulted in a strong friendship that continued when they delivered a healthy baby girl one year later.
The National Headliner Awards, established in 1934, is one of the oldest and largest annual programs recognizing journalistic merit in the communications industry.
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KING 5 is part of Belo Corp (BLC), one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies that owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly-attractive markets. Belo stations rank first or second in nearly all of their local markets. Additional information is available at www.belo.com.