Channel 13 honored for investigations into state job statistics

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INDIANAPOLIS, March 31--WTHR-TV (Channel 13) is one of 39 national recipients of the 70th annual Peabody Awards, announced today by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The 70th annual Peabody Awards, the oldest honor in electronic media, recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals.

WTHR was honored for "Reality Check: Where are the Jobs?" 13 Investigates' on-going series exposing how state leaders inflated Indiana job statistics through a quasi-state agency shrouded in secrecy. "Reality check: Where are the jobs?" revealed empty cornfields and abandoned factories where the Indiana Economic Development Corporation claimed there were thousands of new jobs.

Despite elaborate ribbon-cutting ceremonies and hundreds of press releases from the state touting new jobs for Hoosiers, WTHR's investigation showed Indiana's job numbers did not add up and tens of thousands of promised jobs never materialized.

WTHR was one of only three local commercial television stations to be honored with Peabody Awards (other recipients included WFAA in Dallas and KSTP in Minneapolis.) HBO, NPR, and ESPN were among the list of Peabody recipients.

"This is a tremendous honor for WTHR and our Investigative team," says Keith Connors, WTHR News Director. "WTHR has a long tradition of pursuing quality journalism and to be honored with such an elite group of broadcasters is truly gratifying."

The stories were written and produced by WTHR's 13 Investigates team of Bob Segall, Cyndee Hebert, Bill Ditton and Jim Hall.

"The Peabody Awards were established with deep respect for the critical role played by electronic media in contemporary society and culture," said Horace Newcomb, Peabody Awards Director. "The annual announcement of the recipients continues in that spirit to recognize work that sets the highest standards for the media industries."

WTHR previously won Peabody Awards in 2007 for the investigative series "Cause For Alarm" (investigating faulty Indiana tornado sirens) and "Prescription Privacy" (investigation of improper disposal of personal pharmacy records.)