Tara Mergener


Recipient of the Best Television Reporter award in The Charles E. Green Awards (2016)


Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle

Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle

Judge’s Comments:

This is a reporter who clearly has the ability to earn the trust of vulnerable people. She included an extraordinary story of a child sex abuse case stopped by her father who was also abused as a child. The accusations played out over two years in the court system and ended in a conviction on multiple counts of child sex abuse.

From covering the Iowa primary to covering the Dallas police funeral, she is the go-to reporter who WAY outperforms her Waco market size.

Al Tompkins
Senior Faculty, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies
St. Petersburg, Florida 

Judge’s Bio:

Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. His book “Aim for the Heart” is used by more than 150 universities worldwide as a journalism writing and ethics textbook. He has taught thousands of journalists in 49 states, Egypt, Canada, South Africa, Ecuador, Denmark, Iceland and beyond. In 2017, Tompkins, a licensed drone pilot, taught hundreds of journalists in Poynter’s Drone Journalism School. Tompkins has worked in and around television, radio and online news for more than 43 years and was awarded some of the industry’s highest honors including the national Emmy, The Robert F. Kennedy Award, The Japan Prize, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel, 7 National Headliners, 3 Iris awards and was part of a team that won the Peabody award.  The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded him the Governor’s Award in 2008 and both National Press Photographers Association and the Radio and Television Digital News Association awarded him for his teaching and helping to draft their national codes of ethics.

To see excerpts of Tara Mergener’s award-winning coverage, please play the clip below: 

Tara Mergener

Watch an interview with Tara Mergener of KWTX

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