ABC Action News/WFTS has won a prestigious National Edward R. Murrow Award for continuing coverage of unexplained fires in Kia and Hyundai vehicles.
ABC Action News/WFTS was the only Tampa Bay area television station recognized regionally and nationally this year.
The more than two-year investigation uncovered the cause of these fires and exposed how the automakers had received early warnings of the fire hazard from a worker at its corporate headquarters. The I-Team reports led Kia and Hyundai to issue recalls and prompted federal regulators to open inquiries.
The project was led by I-Team Reporter Jackie Callaway, photographer Matt McGlashen and investigative producer Erin Smith.
The RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Awards have been issued since 1971. Award recipients “demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism,” according to the organization.
“The Murrow Awards are among the most respected honors in journalism. This investigation shows the importance of quality journalism and the far-reaching impact it can have,” said general manager Nick Nicholson.
“Our news team works hard every day to deliver stories with depth, that create discussion and make a difference in the lives of our viewers,” said news director Sarah Moore. “We’re proud to be nationally recognized for this commitment to our communities.”
Earlier this year, ABC Action News also won a Regional Murrow Award in the News Series category. I-Team Reporter Katie LaGrone and photographer Matthew Apthorp received the honor for a years-long investigation into Florida’s controversial teacher exams. Their reports prompted major policy changes in the way the state’s teachers are certified.