KING 5 has won a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award for its work on “Hanford’s Dirty Secrets,” a series that exposed revelations about nuclear-waste leaks and mismanagement at the Hanford nuclear reservation.
The KING 5 investigative team of reporter Susannah Frame, photojournalist Steve Douglas and executive Russ Walker received the award, considered the most prestigious and selective prize in electronic media, for the series.
“Hanford’s Dirty Secrets” was produced as part of a 10-month investigation that looked at the mismanagement and cover-up at the 586-square-mile nuclear reservation, which is considered the country’s most contaminated site.
“It was a big project and a big story that needed to be covered and dug into,” KING 5 Executive News Director Mark Ginther said. “It needed to be brought to the attention of the public.”
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The series, which began in April 2013, exposed how the government contractor in charge of the underground tanks at Hanford had ignored scientific evidence that cancer-causing materials were escaping for nearly a year, according to KING 5.
The series led to officials calling for investigations, the resignation of the investigated company’s president and the formation of a safety committee, KING 5 wrote.
Other Peabody recipients included WBZ-TV and WBZ NewsRadio for coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings; Nashville station WTVF-TV’s reports about Tennessee officials’ involvement in questionable business deals; and an investigation of Louisiana political contributions by New Orleans station WVUE-TV, The Times Picayune and NOLA.com.