Legion Honors Veterans Home Investigation - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Legion Honors Veterans Home Investigation

(Story created: 4/4/07)

The American Legion has selected the "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" team for its Fourth Estate Award for a series that uncovered life-threatening neglect of veterans at two Tennessee State Veterans Homes.

One of the major criteria for selecting the winner of The American Legion's Fourth Estate Award is the demonstrated impact of the reporting.

Investigative reporter Jennifer Kraus' series of reports led to a state investigation, the attention of the Tennessee legislature, and intervention by the governor that resulted in the implementation of new practices at both homes.

"Your reports directly led to the correction of life-threatening violations that likely saved the lives of veterans under their care," said Paul A. Morin, national commander of The American Legion. "Journalism doesn't get any better than that."

Kraus was joined in the effort by photojournalist Bryan Staples and producer Kevin Wisniewski.

"When those who have served and sacrificed for our country are neglected, we all have a duty and responsibility to ensure that these veterans get the care they not only require, but deserve," Kraus said.

"For the News Channel 5 Investigates Team, this was more than just reporting a news story. And by exposing the problems we found, the resulting changes will hopefully protect those who have given so much to protect us all."

News director Mike Cutler noted that the entire "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" team works hard to make a difference in this community.

"Their investigation of this state's veterans homes uncovered serious abuses," Cutler added.

"Our veterans deserve better. I am hopeful that the work by NewsChannel 5 will bring about real change. NewsChannel 5 will not stop until those veterans homes deliver the best quality of care for our veterans."

Previous winners of the Fourth Estate Award include WFOR-TV in Miami, United Press International, The Dayton Daily News, Dateline NBC, Fortune magazine, ABC News and The Detroit News.

"This year's nominations were extremely competitive, thoroughly researched and well produced," said Robert L. Morrill, chairman of The American Legion's Public Relations Commission. "But the NewsChannel 5 team's series was exceptional."

Kraus will accept the Fourth Estate Award in Reno, Nev., on Aug. 30, during the 89th National Convention of The American Legion.

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