WRAL-TV Wins Regional Murrow Awards

WRAL-TV Wins Regional Murrow Awards

The Radio-Television News Directions Association (RTNDA) announced the winners of the regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for Excellence in electronic journalism and WRAL-TV made the list twice. WRAL-TV’s Five On Your Side team won in the Investigative Reporting category for their story on “Flood Cars.” WRAL OnLine won the award for best Web Site in the first year that category has ever been included.

Consumer Reporter Monica Laliberte, Producer Lori Lair and Photographer Robert Meikle share the Investigative Reporting award. The “Flood Cars” story began as an idea when the team covered Hurricane Floyd’s floods. Laliberte said, “We’re very excited and honored! It’s our first! Those segments took an incredible amount of research to put together! It’s nice to have that effort recognized by our colleagues!”

WRAL OnLine Executive Producer Julie Moos commented on the honor, “We were thrilled to be among the first to win the best Web site award, which had 55 entries. And, we were proud to be joined in the honor by another IBS site, www.channel4000.com.”

RTNDA received over 200 more regional entries this year than last for a total of 1,966, hailing from 49 states and four countries. Only 387 awards were given in 13 categories. In early March, 22 radio and television news managers from various size markets across the country spent three days judging the entries.

Both WRAL award winners will now compete with other Regional Murrow Award winners from across the country for the national awards competition to be judged in June.

Monica Laliberte explains how “Flood Cars” came to be:
“I came up with it when we were out covering Hurricane Floyds’ floods. Seeing all those cars floating, I realized it was an incredibly opportunity to find out what really happens to “flood cars”. In those first few days, we gathered the Vehicle Identification Numbers and took video of every late model “flood car” we could find. Then we spent the next year tracking the cars through insurance records, DMV offices and computer data bases to find out where they landed. We found they went all over the country and even OUT of the country. Many ended up with so called “clean” titles which would make it almost impossible for future buyers to find out about the vehicle’s flood history. Our story was instrumental in convincing Senator John Edwards to co-sponsor federal legislation aimed at making it easier for consumers to find out about that history. Among other things, it also prompted the Attorney General’s office to post on its website the VIN numbers of more than 10,000 vehicles known to be flooded during Floyd. The A-G also took action against the dealers who knowingly sold flood cars to two families featured in our stories. Most of all, the stories greatly increased public awareness of the issue.”

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