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WFTS’ ‘The Price of Protection’ investigation wins The American Legion’s top broadcast honor

May 26, 2021 By Kari Wethington

CINCINNATI – WFTS, the Tampa-based ABC station owned by The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP), has won the top broadcast honor in The American Legion’s Fourth Estate Awards for its 2020 investigative series “The Price of Protection: Problems with Court-Ordered Guardianship.”

Over the course of seven years, the ABC Action News I-team investigation examined problems with many of Florida’s court-ordered guardians who victimize vulnerable seniors while profiting from their care. Their reporting, which culminated in the multi-episode broadcast series “The Price of Protection,” has resulted in vast changes in the system, including shakeups in state agency leadership and reforms passed by the state’s legislature to protect vulnerable seniors.

“With their commitment to holding the powerful accountable and giving voice to the voiceless, Scripps’ local television stations take their roles as part of the Fourth Estate very seriously,” said Local Media President Brian Lawlor. “The ABC Action News I-team investigation into abuses in the guardianship process is a powerful example of the vital role local journalists play in our communities across the country. We are incredibly proud of this series and the team of journalists who dedicated themselves to bringing abuses of power to light.”

The Fourth Estate Award has been presented annually by The American Legion since 1958 for outstanding achievement in the field of journalism. Nominations in 2021 were considered in three categories: broadcast, print and online media. They were selected by the organization’s Media & Communications Commission earlier this month and announced Monday, May 24.

“The American Legion has always respected the important role of a free press,” said James W. “Bill” Oxford, national commander of The American Legion, in a press release. “The American Legion would not be nearly as effective without media coverage of our positions and programs on the national and community level. The Fourth Estate Awards represent the best of the best. These award winners are being recognized for outstanding works of journalism that not only stand far above normal media reporting, but have also resulted in outcomes that have positively impacted the lives of people and issues.”

View the full list of winners at https://www.legion.org.

About Scripps
The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is a diversified media company focused on creating a better-informed world. As the nation’s fourth-largest local TV broadcaster, 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 and Court TV Mystery. 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.” 

Media contact:
Kari Wethington, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3763, Kari.wethington@scripps.com