CINCINNATI — The E.W. Scripps Company’s (NYSE: SSP) Scripps Washington Bureau has received a Peabody Award for its “Under the Radar” investigative series exposing problems when convicted military sex offenders return to civilian life.
Scripps will be honored at the 74th annual Peabody Awards ceremony in New York City on May 31.
“The depth and scope of this investigation was far reaching,” said Rich Boehne, chairman, president and CEO of Scripps. “Through enterprise reporting, the team started with one thread of information and wove it into a report that not only revealed a dangerous systemic problem but also spurred Congress to quickly act to reform a flawed system. Scripps is dedicated to pursuing quality journalism to create a better-informed world.”
Following an unprecedented review of more than 1,300 military court martial cases, Scripps national investigative correspondent Mark Greenblatt uncovered at least 242 convicted military rapists, child molesters, and other sex offenders who had slipped through what a member of the House Armed Services Committee called a “gaping loophole” in the system. The flaw allows sex offenders to stay off public sex offender registries when they leave the brig, freeing them to re-offend. The series of reports, which aired in November 2014, revealed:
• The military does not have the ability to add names of sex offenders to any public sex offender registry.
• State and civilian law enforcement officials are left in the dark.
• Military legal jargon often does not translate into existing civilian laws.
• The Department of Defense is exempt from a federal law that requires civilian sex offenders to register while still in confinement.
These flaws in the system have enabled convicted military sex offenders to prey again in stealth.
As a result of the Under the Radar investigation, bi-partisan legislation has been introduced in both the Senate and House intended to close a legal loophole that enables military sex offenders to evade registering with civilian law enforcement.
“This series defines the vital role investigative reporting can play in our nation,” said Ellen Weiss, Scripps Washington Bureau chief. “It not only exposed a problem of serious importance to people across the country, but it also spurred greater accountability and reform. I am enormously proud of the investigative team and grateful for the support Scripps provides for quality journalism.”
The Scripps Washington Bureau is a leading investigative storyteller for Scripps-owned media platforms. The bureau also operates DecodeDC, a podcast and multimedia outlet explaining and demystifying Washington politics, policy and people.
View the Under the Radar series at www.scripps.com/undertheradar.
The E.W. Scripps Company serves audiences and businesses through a growing portfolio of television, radio and digital media brands. Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV station owners, with 33 television stations in 24 markets and a reach of nearly one in five U.S. households. It also owns 34 radio stations in eight markets. When Scripps and the former Journal Communications merged their broadcast assets in early 2015, they also spun off their respective newspapers, creating a new public company, Journal Media Group. Scripps also runs an expanding collection of local and national digital journalism and information businesses, including mobile video news service Newsy and weather app developer WeatherSphere. Scripps also produces television shows including The List and The Now, runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and serves as the long-time steward of the nation’s largest, most successful and longest-running educational program, the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”
Carolyn Micheli, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3732, firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Miller, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3023, email@example.com