CINCINNATI -- WXYZ, the Scripps affiliate in Detroit, has earned the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, one of the television industry’s highest honor in journalism. The honor recognizes the community-changing success of “Wayne County Confidential: Government Run Amok,” WXYZ’s years-long investigative series focused on politics in Wayne County, Mich.
Investigative journalists Heather Catallo and Ross Jones broke the story of former Wayne County Economic Development Director Turkia Mullin’s $200,000 secret severance package. Their investigations also revealed other secret severance deals, a political machine fueled with county resources and global travel for county officials funded by secret donors.
The reports by WXYZ led to an FBI investigation, a series of indictments, criminal charges, resignations, firings and stronger ethics rules.
Also honored for their work on the series were Randy Lundquist, editor, and photographers Ramon Rosario and Johnny Sartin. Ann Mullen is the executive producer of WXYZ’s investigative unit.
“We are very proud of the ongoing efforts by WXYZ to make a lasting and positive impact for the people of Detroit,” said Brian Lawlor, senior vice president of television for Scripps. “This award-winning investigation goes right to the core of our mission to enlighten, reflect and improve communities through enterprise journalism.”
The award will be presented to WXYZ Jan. 22, 2013 at Columbia University in New York City.