FORT WORTH, TX – (June 24, 2015) – The Radio Television Digital News Association today announced it has awarded NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXAS three national Edward R. Murrow Awards for its investigative journalism, the most of any large market television station this year. The NBC-owned station won in the Large Market Television: Video Investigative Reporting and the Large Market Television: Video News Series categories for "Injured Heroes, Broken Promises" and in the Large Market Television: Video Continuing Coverage category for "Fire in the Attic."
"Injured Heroes, Broken Promises" was the result of a year-long investigation conducted by the NBC 5 Investigates team in partnership with The Dallas Morning News. The team uncovered hundreds of complaints from active duty U.S. Army soldiers describing mistreatment, disrespect, harassment and verbal abuse by the commanders of Army Warrior Transition Units, which were created to provide improved care for injured troops in the wake of the 2007 soldier care scandal at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Through interviews and multiple public records requests, the team’s reporting revealed how injured soldiers, particularly those with mental wounds, often suffered belittlement and were even ordered to do things that jeopardized their medical care.
As a result of the NBC 5 / The Dallas Morning News reports, which appeared on air, in print and online, significant changes were made, including the U.S. Army immediately calling for new training for commanders of the 25 Warrior Transition Units, with the goal teaching them how to better treat injured troops with dignity and respect. Additionally, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee ordered a wide-ranging investigation by the Government Accountability Office to look into whether there is systematic mistreatment at the Warrior Transition Units. Also, the U.S. House Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel held a hearing questioning Army leaders about the reports. The nation’s largest veterans’ organizations called for congressional hearings on this issue and met with Pentagon leaders demanding change.
The "Fire in the Attic" series was the result of a seven-month investigation conducted by the NBC 5 Investigates team that revealed serious safety concerns about lightning strikes and attic fires involving flexible gas lines that are used in the homes of millions of Americans. The team, led by Senior Investigative Reporter Scott Friedman, requested public records from 22 fire departments in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, one of the most lightning-prone areas in the nation.
The NBC 5 series led to national coverage of this serious issue, with the station producing a report that aired on NBC’s TODAY show. The reports also triggered local and statewide efforts to educate home inspectors about the potential dangers of these flexible gas lines and prompted the state home inspection committee to re-open a discussion about providing homeowners more specific information.
"Our team is so committed to making a positive difference in the North Texas communities we serve and it’s heartening to see them get this well-deserved recognition for the important work they do each and every day," said Tom Ehlmann, President and General Manager, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXAS.
The prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards are presented annually by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. Winning news organizations will be honored at the Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala in New York City on October 12, 2015.
About NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXAS
NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXAS is the NBC-owned television station serving the communities of North Texas with quality local news and entertainment programming on NBC 5, COZI TV (Digital 5.2) and online at NBCDFW.com.