ATLANTA – Scripps News, the national news network owned by The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP), has received three 2023 National Headliner Awards. Headliner medallions are presented annually to outstanding writers, photographers, daily newspapers, magazines, graphic artists, radio and television stations and networks and news syndicates.
The Scripps News honors were:
Narrative podcast and best in show
Scripps News, in partnership with Stitcher, received best in show and first place in the narrative podcast category for “Unfinished: Ernie’s Secret.” The 10-episode podcast season, hosted by journalist Wesley Lowery, tells the story of the double life of Ernest C. Withers, an African-American journalist dubbed the “original civil rights photographer.” Stitcher, a podcasting business acquired by Scripps in 2016, was sold to SiriusXM in 2020.
Withers covered the civil rights movements from start to finish, capturing iconic moments like The Emmett Till murder trial and the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy riding one of the first integrated buses in Montgomery, Alabama.
After his death, it was revealed Withers was secretly a “racial informant,” helping J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI to keep tabs on the struggle for equal rights in the South.
Judges’ comments: In a category with many strong entries, “Unfinished: Ernie’s Secret” stands out. The fact of the story is simple: a prominent civil rights era photographer was also an FBI informant. But the nuances, humanity and historical context are what separated this work. It draws from a range of sources, including FBI documents, and the result is a compelling work of great journalism.
Best radio networks and syndicators documentary or public affairs
Scripps News, in partnership with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, received first place for its podcast, “Inside the Global Fight for White Power.”
The investigation reveals how the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) is linked to a terror campaign in Europe. Scripps News senior investigative correspondent Mark Greenblatt interviewed one of the groups’ leaders, who said RIM is part of a growing network of white nationalist groups that stretches around the world.
Judges’ comments: This documentary adds to a growing global conversation and sounds another alarm that neither the public, religious leaders nor counterterrorism officials can afford to ignore.
Broadcast television networks, cable networks and syndicators documentary or series of reports on the same subject
Scripps News received second place for its investigation, “The Model City: How Police Reform Failed in Breonna Taylor’s Hometown.”
In a joint investigation with Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, insiders and documents reveal the systemic barriers and choices made by city leaders and the Louisville Metro Police Department that led to its failure to meaningfully change how it policed. Reporters spent a year digging into the promises made in 2016, when the Department of Justice chose Louisville as one of 15 cities that were going to lead the rest of the nation in building a better, safer, more equitable model of policing. Thousands of pages of documents and dozens of interviews with current and former law enforcement officials, community leaders, politicians and residents show how Louisville went from a national leader in policing to the face of a national movement protesting the police.
Founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City, the National Headliner Awards program is one of the oldest and largest annual contests recognizing journalistic merit in the communications industry. View the full list of 2023 National Headliner Award winners here.
Media contact: Molly Miossi, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3713, [email protected]
About Scripps News
Scripps News (@ScrippsNews) is the nation’s only free 24/7 broadcast news network, serving viewers opinion-free national news from 16 news bureaus across the U.S. and Scripps’ Local Media national desk. Scripps News is available in more than 94% of U.S. television homes free and over the air with a digital antenna, on mobile with the Scripps News app and online at ScrippsNews.com. It is also carried on streaming platforms and services, including Samsung TV Plus, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Pluto TV, Apple TV, Sling, Vizio and Xumo. Scripps News is part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).