Bill Heard Investigation Receives National Journalism Awards - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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Bill Heard Investigation Receives National Journalism Awards

Bryan Staples, Jennifer Kraus, Phil Williams, Kevin Wisniewski Bryan Staples, Jennifer Kraus, Phil Williams, Kevin Wisniewski

(Story created: 6/19/07)

Two respected journalism groups have honored the "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" team with national awards for an investigation into an auto dealership's questionable practices.

The Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) gave its highest honor, a national Edward R. Murrow Award, for the best investigative reporting by a large-market television station.

In addition, the National Press Club recognized that same investigation with its Consumer Journalism Award.

Both awards were given for NewsChannel 5's investigation of Bill Heard Chevrolet, led by consumer investigator Jennifer Kraus.

Photojournalist Bryan Staples and producer Kevin Wisniewski joined in the investigation.  The project was supervised by chief investigative reporter Phil Williams.

"This investigation was a chance to expose a real problem affecting our viewers," Kraus said. 

"Knowing that we're making a difference in our community is rewarding in itself.  To receive recognition from such respected organizations, on top of that, is truly an honor."

NewsChannel 5's investigation documented questionable sales and financing practices inside the Nashville-area dealership, which is part of a company that bills itself as the World's Largest Chevy Dealer.  It led to a state investigation of the company's practices.

The NewsChannel 5 investigation has also been honored with a National Headliner Award for business and consumer reporting.

News director Mike Cutler noted that the honors are one of many national awards that have recognized how the "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" team makes a difference in the community.

"Year after year, this team has dedicated itself to exposing injustice and the abuse of power," Cutler said.

"Whether it's a car dealer, a multi-national corporation, or the most powerful lawmakers, ‘NewsChannel 5 Investigates' has never shied from its uncompromising dedication to the field of journalism. 

"NewsChannel 5 is proud that RTNDA and the National Press Club have recognized their work with these awards."  

Since 1971, RTNDA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards, named after the legendary CBS newsman.

Murrow's pursuit of excellence in journalism embodies the spirit of the awards that carry his name. Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow made a standard for the broadcast news profession.

The National Press Club's Consumer Journalism Award recognizes excellence in reporting on consumer topics.

Past winners include PBS' Frontline, Dateline NBC and ABC News.

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