"Atmos Gas Explosion"


Recipient of the BEST TELEVISION INVESTIGATIVE REPORT award in The Charles E. Green Awards (2018)

WFAA-TV, Dallas Fort Worth

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Judge’s Comments:

WFAA’s commitment to sustained and thorough coverage of an ongoing threat to life and safety in North Texas is to be commended. Each story in this multi-part series provided more evidence that one of the largest suppliers of natural gas in the state was putting profits over people. Public records requests and strong reporting are at the heart of this investigation, but each piece included the voices of citizens who often seemed baffled and sometimes angry about the company’s apparent lack of concern for the communities it serves. The station’s reporting caught the attention of at least one state lawmaker and federal authorities took over the investigation of one gas explosion that killed a local child. This is an excellent example of watchdog journalism.

Dr. Debora Rae Wenger
Assistant Dean and Professor
University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media

Judge’s Bio:

Deb Wenger, a 17-year broadcast news veteran, is an assistant dean and professor who oversees undergraduate studies in journalism at the University of Mississippi.  Prior to her academic appointments, Wenger worked as a reporter, producer and newsroom manager within multiple TV stations, including WFLA (Tampa, FL), WSOC (Charlotte, NC) and WMUR (Manchester, NH).

Wenger conducts multimedia workshops in newsrooms around the country and is a trainer for SPJ in association with its Google News Initiative program. She is also co-author of two books, Advancing the Story: Journalism in a Digital World and Managing Today’s News Media: Audience First.

What she’s learning about journalism and new media can be found at www.advancingthestory.com.  Wenger received her Ph.D. from Kingston University in London and was named as a top journalism educator by NewsPro magazine in 2017.

To view this award-winning investigative report, visit the links below:

LINK 1 to content online
LINK 2 to content online
LINK 3 to content online

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