11 News Defenders Honored at 30th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards

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by Rebecca Cantu / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 27, 2009 at 11:48 AM

HOUSTON—On Monday, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) presented KHOU-TV with an award for Outstanding Regional News Story – Investigative Reporting at the 30th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards in New York City. 

Channel 11 was one of only two local stations in the nation to receive an award at the event and the only local station to be awarded in the investigative category.

“It is an honor to be recognized on such an esteemed stage for our team’s outstanding investigative journalism,” said Susan McEldoon, KHOU President and General Manager.  “This award exemplifies the diligence of our reporting that is at the heart of Channel 11’s commitment to the community.”

The story, Hiding Homicide, centered on a more than seven-month investigation by the 11 News Defenders –Reporter Mark Greenblatt, Executive Producer David Raziq and Photojournalist Keith Tomshe – that exposed the Houston Police Department undercounting homicides that occurred in the city of Houston. 

Their reports found obvious homicides labeled as “suicide” or simply “dead” as a way of excluding them from being counted.  Although the tactic made the city look less dangerous to possible investors, it also misinformed local citizens. Worse, the Defenders found that once each crime had been mislabeled, it stopped any sort of ongoing police investigation, often leaving the crimes unsolved and any surviving relatives without closure.

“This is a perfect example of the kind of in-depth investigative reporting that is the hallmark of the 11 News Defenders,” said Keith Connors, KHOU Executive News Director. “They hold the powerful accountable and uncover stories others don’t want the public to know.  We’re humbled to have their hard work acknowledged by the Television Academy with this prestigious award.”

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