CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 dominated the regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, winning six honors, including best newscast and three accolades for the station’s series on how Chicago Police repeatedly raid the homes of innocent residents.
The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. CBS 2 competed against stations in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan and the honorees now compete for a national prize. No other station in the region won as many awards at CBS 2. WEWS in Cleveland won four.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Takes The Witness Stand, Describes Alleged Attack As Real And Like 'Something Out Of Looney Tunes Adventures'
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini’s series about the sloppy practices surrounding Chicago police raids, “[un]Warranted”, won for best investigation, excellence in innovation for showcasing the work on digital and best news documentary. Savini found police repeatedly obtained search warrants for the wrong homes, and traumatized innocent victims, handcuffing them and even aiming their weapons at children.
The award for excellence in innovation honored CBS 2’s in-depth showcasing of the voices of the police raid victims. The team built an interactive page that gave users the opportunity to explore each case. It weaved in stories of traumatized children and families told through one-on-one interviews, police body camera footage, deposition video and court records.
The team’s crowdsourcing efforts to find more victims, as well as the social media campaign leading up to the “[un]warranted” documentary, were also honored as part of the excellence in innovation award. By creating the hashtag #unwarrantedon2 and implementing a stationwide effort, CBS 2’s coverage surpassed an estimated reach of 500,000 people and garnered more than six million impacts on Twitter alone.
Our efforts on broadcast, digital and social led to the police department’s first sit-down interview with CBS 2 to address the issue and ultimately resulted in changes to the department’s search warrant policy.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Coldest Temperatures In Nearly 10 Months Early Tuesday
CBS 2’s won best newscast for its 5 p.m. show, which included coverage of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s investigation and dropping of charges in Jussie Smollett case and underage sex charges against singer R. Kelly. Smollett, a star of the TV series “Empire,” is accused hiring two brothers to stage a racially motivated attack against him as a publicity stunt. CBS 2 repeatedly broke details of the police investigation into Smollett. Kelly faces multiple sex assault charges with underage women over several years.
CBS 2 anchor and investigator Brad Edwards won a writing award for a composite of stories, including dogs getting a second chance via the Cook County Jail and a Vietnam veteran’s fight to fix massive errors in a city water bill. This is Edwards’ third writing win at WBBM, and his ninth award overall.MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
CBS 2 anchor Irika Sargent won the hard news category for a story about how children have easy access to guns on Chicago’s West Side. Sargent reported that Illinois has one of the highest rates of child gun possession in the nation. What some of the children told Sargent even stunned Chicago Police trying to stop gang violence.