News Channel 11 received eight of the highest honors in our division at the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcaster Awards ceremony in Nashville. Among the first place awards WJHL won in Division Two were Best Website, Best Investigative Reporting, Best Weather Anchor and Best Reporter. In addition, the WJHL staff received 11 second place awards in various news categories and eight honorable mentions – for a total of 27 AP awards.
Kylie McGivern’s story, ”Do you know Molly? – Exploring the dangers of the club drug”, won first place in the In-Depth Hard News Story category. Kylie profiled the club drug after the death of, 19-year-old Abingdon native and University of Virginia student , Shelley Goldsmith. The young woman died hours after taking “Molly”. Area law enforcement say “Molly” or MDMA is anything but the girl next door – it’s a potentially lethal cocktail of different drugs that can include anything from cocaine, to methamphetamine and bath salts.
“The story I did on ‘Molly,’ was one where it was impossible for me not to feel an emotional connection. I really want to thank Shelley Goldsmith’s parents, Robert and Dede, and her good friend Allie Widener, for trusting me with Shelley’s story. Without their raw emotion, honesty, and desire to spread the word about the dangers of ‘Molly,’ this story would not have left the impact that it did. I’m honored and thankful the judges recognized the importance of this story, and connected with its message,” said Kylie.
News Channel 11’s investigative team, Nate Morabito and Phillip Murrell, swept the Best Investigative Reporting category with their stories on Greene County utilities, public housing salaries and the use of force among area law enforcement.
“News Channel 11 is committed to be being the primary source for breaking news and investigative reporting on Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, ” said news director Jennifer Dale. “Our goal is to deliver that information wherever the viewer looks for it — on air, online or on your phone. Our staff works daily to make sure that happens and I’m thrilled their hard work is being recognized by the Associated Press.”
“It’s an honor and a privilege to receive this AP Award for Best TV Weather Anchor in our division,” said chief meteorologist Mark Reynolds.
WJHL just celebrated its 60th year in the television business, starting our first broadcast on October 26, 1953. Anchor Josh Smith and Videographer Phillip Murrell received awards for Best Producing for our special report called “ WJHL Celebrating 60 years – in Your Corner”.
“We are very proud of the team. 18 months ago, News Channel 11 launched a new focus on hard news, investigative reporting, digital content and weather. It’s great to see the team’s hard work and dedication to the strategy being recognized in such a big way by our peers,” said general manager Dan Cates.
Last year, WJHL took home 12 AP Broadcasters Awards.
Full list of all the awards WJHL-TV won at the 2014 Tennessee Associated Press Broadcaster Awards – Division Two:
1st Place Awards – Division Two
- Best In-depth Hard News Story: Kylie McGivern “Molly”
- Best Website – WJHL Staff – WJHL.com
- Best Investigative Reporting: Nate Morabito, Phillip Murrell – Greene County Utilities
- Weather Anchor: Mark Reynolds
- Best Reporter: Chris McIntosh
- Best Producing: Josh Smith, Phillip Murrell – WJHL Celebrating 60 years – in Your Corner
- Best Enterprise: Nate Morabito – Public Housing Salaries
- Best Short Hard News: Nate Morabito – Amanda Berry
2nd Place Awards – Division Two
- Best Long Light feature: Sara Diamond – Are Your Secrets Safe?
- Best Public Affairs: Nate Morabito – Deadbeat Parents
- Best Short Light feature: Kylie McGivern – Veterans Body Identified
- Best Sports Feature: Kasey Marler – Concussions
- Best Investigative Reporting: Nate Morabito, Phillip Murrell – Public Housing Salaries
- Best Newscast: WJHL staff
- Best Producing: Yasmeen Elayan
- Best Videography: Phillip Murrell – Unsolved Murder
- Best Weather Coverage: WJHL staff – Tri-Cities Flooding
- Best Weather Anchor: Jeremy Eisenzopf
- Best Sportscaster: Kenny Hawkins
Honorable Mention – Division Two
- Journalist of the Year: Nate Morabito
- Best Videographer: Phillip Murrell
- Best Investigative Reporting: Nate Morabito, Phillip Murrell – Use of Force
- Best Spot news: WJHL Staff – Tri-Cities Flooding
- Short Hard News Story: Kylie McGivern – Black Mold
- Best Public Affairs: WJHL Celebrating 60 years – in Your Corner
- Best In-depth Hard News: Nate Morabito – Tap Water
- Best Enterprise: Nate Morabito – Greene County Utilities
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