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7 Eyewitness News wins Murrow award for investigative reporting on Buffalo Diocese

Posted at 1:03 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 13:04:10-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 7 Eyewitness News has been honored with a 2020 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for its investigative series that looked into decades of sexual abuse cover-ups within the Diocese of Buffalo.

The award winning entry, "The Malone Recordings: The Tapes That Brought Down a Bishop," was the result of months of investigative reporting by I-Team Chief Investigator Charlie Specht. The multiple stories were shot and edited by photojournalists Jeff Wick, Rob Neves and Patrick Merritt.

A 22-month investigation of the diocese revealed ongoing cover-ups of sexual abuse that led to state and federal investigations, spurred changes in New York State law, gave voices to survivors of abuse, and ultimately resulted in the resignation of Bishop Richard Malone.

This marks the third consecutive regional Murrow for WKBW and Specht in the Investigative Reporting category. In 2018, 7 Eyewitness News was honored for its investigation of alleged bid-rigging and the mishandling of sexual assault allegations at Niagara County Community College. In 2019, "Fall From Grace: When Priests Prey and Bishops Betray" was honored with both a regional Murrow and the duPont-Columbia award, considered the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.

The RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious honors in broadcast and digital news. Recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of journalism decades ago.

Winners from 14 regions are automatically under consideration for a National Murrow Award, which are announced in June.

You can watch the winning entry here.