The George Polk Awards, which place a premium on investigative and enterprising reporting that gains attention and achieves results, annually honor special achievement in journalism and focus on the “intrepid, bold, and influential work of the reporters themselves.”
For “Politically Charged,” a series of 60 reports and an hourlong investigative special, KNXV reporter Dave Biscobing and the ABC15 Investigators spent a year probing the mass-arrest of more than 100 demonstrators and the attempts by the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Attorney’s office to distort facts to grand juries to obtain felony charges against them.
The team’s reporting led to the dismissal of every felony protest arrest in the county – 39 in total. Locally, officers and prosecutors have been reassigned – some are under criminal investigation – high-level county attorney’s office officials resigned, the police chief was suspended, and multiple class-action lawsuits have been filed. “Politically Charged” has also triggered a U.S. Department of Justice pattern-or-practice investigation to examine the history of policing policies in Phoenix. Further, when the city of Phoenix tried to subpoena KNXV’s raw materials for its police misconduct stories, the newsroom fought back and won in federal court.
“It is rare that local TV newsrooms receive a George Polk Award, which speaks to the caliber and importance of the reporting from Dave and our ABC15 Investigators,” said KNXV Vice President and General Manager Anita Helt. “‘Politically Charged’ has led to significant change in our community that would not have happened if not for this reporting. I’m immensely proud of the passion the team brings to their work and their unrelenting follow up on behalf of the people whose lives would have been shattered if not for this team’s dedicated storytelling and pursuit of truth.”
“Politically Charged” also was recently honored with a 2022 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award along with KNXV’s “Full Disclosure” series, which exposed widespread and systemic problems with Arizona’s so-called “Brady” lists of police officers with documented behavioral problems.
Media contact: Michael Perry, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-259-4718, Michael.Perry@scripps.com
The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is a diversified media company focused on creating a better-informed world. As one of the nation’s largest local TV broadcasters, Scripps serves communities with quality, objective local journalism and operates a portfolio of 61 stations in 41 markets. The Scripps Networks reach nearly every American through the national news outlets Court TV and Newsy and popular entertainment brands ION, Bounce, Grit, Laff, Court TV Mystery, Defy TV and TrueReal. Scripps is the nation’s largest holder of broadcast spectrum. Scripps runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and is the longtime steward of 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.”