Changing Laws and Lives

FactsNotFear KTHV Marlisa Goldsmith
KING 5’s Facing Race series on racism and inequality.
WTSP newsroom
KARE 11 covers the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis.

Exposing corruption and wrongdoing, holding elected officials and those in power accountable, giving a voice to the voiceless and telling empowering stories that impact our lives is at the heart of our purpose to serve the greater good. During a year when attacks on journalists, journalism and the First Amendment became all too common, TEGNA stations and our news teams continually strove to be the most trusted sources of news in our communities and to make an impact by being agents of change in the markets we serve. Our local journalists are empowered to seek out the stories that matter most to their audience and pursue investigations that expose wrongdoing while continuing to maintain the highest ethical standards.

Major investigations in 2020 included:

WUSA exposed the use of tear gas by law enforcement on peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C. during a demonstration against racial injustice on June 1. After the protest, in the wake of public outcry at the tactics used on peaceful protesters, all federal and local law enforcement agencies denied using tear gas, but WUSA’s meticulous reporting provided incontrovertible proof that at least two different types of gas was used against peaceful demonstrators.

KARE 11 in Minneapolis and KUSA (9News) in Denver launched Prone, a year-long investigation into the continued practice of the police tactics that led to the death of George Floyd, which revealed at least 107 people have died in similar circumstances since 2010. Those deaths have resulted in more than $70 million in legal settlements. In light of the death of George Floyd, the investigation takes a close look at the practice as it also examines the two simple changes needed to help save lives.

In Atlanta, WXIA (11Alive)’s The Reveal team conducted a multi-part investigation into how Georgia’s lack of oversight has led to inmate fatalities at jails. The team investigates how Kevil Wingo died in custody at the Cobb County Detention Center after deputies and nurses repeatedly ignored his pleas for help, and how a sheriff attempted to conceal records from the public.

WUSA investigates the use of tear gas against peaceful demonstrators in Washington, D.C.
KUSA (9News) and KARE 11 found that at least 107 people have died since 2010 due to police tactics similar to those that killed George Floyd.
WXIA (11Alive) reports on the death of Kevil Wingo and attempts to conceal records from the public.

Award-Winning Journalism

In 2020, TEGNA was named Multiplatform Broadcaster of the Year by Broadcasting+Cable, a leading industry publication, for excellence across television, digital and OTT platforms. 29 TEGNA stations received a total of 88 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism, more than any other local broadcast television group, including eight awards for overall excellence, the highest honor awarded. Five stations won for excellence in innovation, which awards innovations that “enhance the quality of journalism and the audience’s understanding of news.” In addition, our commitment to transform local news in the digital age resulted in 10 awards inspired by our dedicated innovation process, and 11 awards for multimedia or excellence in social media.

 Multiplatform award
Dupont Award
Gracie award
Broadcasting award
Murrow award
Regional award

Our stations also received two 2021 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, among the highest honors given for excellence in journalism. WFAA was honored for VERIFY Road Trip: Climate Truth, which took a climate change skeptic on a journey through Texas and Alaska to meet experts and witness first-hand the effects of global warming.

KING 5 received a duPont-Columbia Award for their documentary Bob’s Choice, chronicling the final months of a 75-year-old terminally ill cancer patient who chose to end his life under Washington’s Death with Dignity Act.

WFAA’s David Schechter leads a climate change skeptic from Texas to Alaska in VERIFY Road Trip: Climate Truth.
KING 5 tells the story of a Seattle man who chose to die with dignity in Bob’s Choice.