KCTV5's investigative team wins Murrow Award for water woes - KCTV5

KCTV5's investigative team wins Murrow Award for water department coverage

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On Thursday, KCTV5's investigative team won a Region 5 Edward R. Murrow Award for news series.

The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism, including television, radio and online news organizations.

KCTV5 investigative reporter Eric Chaloux led the coverage into the Kansas City Water Department.

General Manager Darrin McDonald and news director Blaise Labbe said the stories were wonderful storytelling that made a difference for Kansas City taxpayers.

"Starting in July of 2012, Eric uncovered $13 million worth of delinquent accounts due to the KCMO water department, including Kansas City's pro sports teams," Labbe said.

Chaloux followed this up by exploring how the city spent more than $350,000 to improve the beleaguered department's image while customer complaints fell on deaf ears. In his third installment, Chaloux exposed how the department's efforts to collect on inactive accounts targeted properties with no water access, non-existent buildings and vacant lots.

"This series is a great example of journalism at its best," Labbe said.

Chaloux said this an amazing honor for a journalist to receive.

"This series shows how we can act as a watchdog for residents and help their voices be heard by government," Chaloux said. "With a record number of entries this year, it really shows the quality journalism that our investigative unit produces every day."

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