Cronkite Awards Announced
Lear Center honors go to best in TV political reporting; Hearst wins seventh straight station group prize
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/6/2013 9:51:32 AM
The winners of the first-ever Cronkite/Jackson award for fact-checking political ads went to CNN's Tom Foreman (national) and Gannett's KUSA Denver (local). The Jackson in the award's name is FactCheck.org founding director Brooks Jackson.
Foreman was cited for his series of "Reality Checks" that used graphics to put the information in context and emphasize the corrections. KUSA impressed the judges by with its "Truth Tests," which looked behind the ads' own flashy visuals and its combination of on-air reporting with online analysis at its 9news.com.
Cronkite winners in the local broadcast station political coverage category were Gannett's KARE-TV Minneapolis, for its coverage of the marriage equality debate, and Dispatch Broadcast's WBNS Columbus, Ohio, which got a special commendation for citizen engagement.
Scripps dominated in the broadcast station individual winners category, with reporters Marshall Zelinger of Scripps' KMGH Denver and Tom McKee of WCPO cited, respectively, for their "clarity of presentation" and "extensive field work."
In the local station group category, Hearst won its seventh consecutive award for "comprehensive and extremely well-presented coverage," and Belo won its first.
In the "local cable station" category were Belo's Northwest Cable News, Seattle, and Allbritton's NewsChannel8/Politico/WJLA trio, cited for their "in-depth and incisive reporting."
Individual award winners for national reporting were both from ABC News: Jonathan Karl for his "refreshing and original" analysis, and Martha Raddatz, with a special commendation for moderating the vice presidential debate.
BET and Univision won for national network programming, with both cited for serving their viewers "extremely well" with the kind of "solid coverage" the judges said all Americans deserve.
The Washington State Public Affairs Network won in the noncommercial category for coverage of coal and medical marijuana issues.
The awards will be presented at the National Press Club in Washington on April 19.
Most of the broadcast station winners are owned by companies that also own newspapers, and often in the same markets. Yet, the FCC still hangs on to its 40-year old rule barring newspaper/broadcast combos, even though the evidence consistently has shown that stations owned in combination with newspapers deliver the best service.
Jack Goodman - 3/7/2013 4:34:03 PM EST
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