KMOV’s Craig Cheatham and Jim Thomas won the IRE Award in the small Broadcast/Video category for “War Zone: The Destruction of an All-American City,” an hourlong documentary about political corruption in East St. Louis, Ill. Cheatham’s “dogged reporting and hard-hitting questions appear to get inside the minds of hardened politicos who admit to him their wrongdoing,” the judges wrote. The CBS affiliate’s report resulted in the resignation of a police chief and pending criminal charges and investigations.
WFAA’s Brett Shipp, Billy Bryant and Jason Trahan won in the medium Broadcast/Video category for “Unfair Game,” an examination of Texas high school coaches and administrators helping students illegally transfer school districts to put together top athletic teams. Shipp “used an inventive combination of social media and dogged reporting to show how high school athletics had been transformed into a business in which the best players were lured away from their neighborhood schools and sometimes across state lines,” the judges wrote. One coach was fired as result of the ABC affiliate’s report.