The Radio Television Digital News Association announced it has awarded NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXAS and the Dallas Morning News the 2015 Gannett Foundation Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Journalism. The news organizations won for "Injured Heroes, Broken Promises."
"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 NBC 5 Investigates team, led by Reporter Scott Friedman along with Producer Eva Parks and Photographer/Editor Peter Hull, was joined by Reporter David Tarrant of The Dallas Morning News.
"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, NBC 5 President and General Manager.
The award will be presented at the "Honoring a Lifetime of Excellence in Journalism" Awards presentation at the Excellence in Journalism conference on Saturday, September 19, 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 news and entertainment programming on NBC 5, COZI TV (Digital 5.2), online at NBCDFW.com and our other digital and social media platforms.