WBRZ wins Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting
BATON ROUGE – WBRZ-TV was awarded a 2017 regional Edward R. Murrow Award presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association for Investigative Reporting.
The honor was awarded for coverage of Reporter's Unlawful Arrest, that features WBRZ's Chief Investigative Reporter Chris Nakamoto getting detained by police while checking on a submitted public records request at the Town of White Castle's City Hall.
The public records request was related to a story by The Investigative Unit about how much White Castle Mayor Jermarr Williams was being paid, as an elected official's salary is public information. After being given a summons for an alleged violation of statute 14:63, a criminal trespassing charge, Nakamoto was released and continued to work on his television report about the public records request.
The records obtained following Nakamoto's arrest showed Mayor Jermarr Williams did a lot of traveling last year at the taxpayers' expense. According to public records of mileage reimbursements, Williams received $7,833.17 from March of 2015 until December of 2015 for traveling 14,274 miles. Williams claimed it was all for city business.
WBRZ was chosen for the award against small market television stations in RTDNA's Region 9 which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, that will be judged in May.