FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2010
CONTACT: Betsy Robertson, Community Relations Manager (206) 448-5555
KING 5 Investigators Receive National Award for Exemplary Reporting
Winner of Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for Child Custody Story
Seattle, WA – A KING 5 Investigators report into Washington State’s child custody system that led to an emotional family reunion and proposed legislation has won a 2010 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism from the Journalism Center on Children & Families. Winning entries must be “masterfully reported, compelling stories on socially significant topics that demonstrated enterprise and thorough research and showed evidence of impact.”
“Back from the Brink: A grandchild comes home” examined the case of Doug and AnneMarie Stuth, the legal guardians of their granddaughter, Alexis. The investigative team exposed how the state violated the law in removing the little girl from the Stuth’s home and placing her in foster care. The award calls out the team’s exhaustive work piecing together a “slew of evidence” including internal state emails, cancelled checks and court orders. The story led to the proposal of the “Alexis Stuth Bill” to give relatives more rights in child welfare cases.
“In the past we’ve avoided child custody cases because they can be very complicated and difficult to prove. But there was something about the Stuth’s situation that stood out and seemed to get at a much bigger problem in our state – the handling of relative placement cases,” said Kellie Cheadle, KING 5’s Investigative Unit Executive Producer. “We are grateful for the opportunity and the resources we’ve been given to look into these types of issues that impact so many of our viewers.”
“Our investigative team is among the best in the nation and it’s wonderful to see their work recognized,” said KING 5 executive news director Mark Ginther. “But the true value comes when news changes lives for the better. It’s gratifying to see a family reunited.”
KING 5 will receive a framed Casey Medal and a $1,000 award at a National Press Club ceremony in Washington D.C on October 18th. This is the most recent honor in 2010 for the KING 5 Investigators. In June, the team won two Regional Emmys. In May, it received three awards from the Society of Professional Journalists of the Pacific Northwest and in April, two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.
The Casey Medal announcement came Tuesday from the Journalism Center on Children & Families (JCCF), a nonprofit affiliate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism that’s funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The purpose of the awards is to inspire and recognize exemplary reporting in children and families, especially the disadvantaged.
About Belo Corp.
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.