Two Tampa Stations Among Four Local TV Investigations Honored With duPont Awards

By Mark Joyella 

4038v2239Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism today announced 14 winners of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, including four for investigative reporting by local stations–and two were in the same market, Tampa-St. Petersburg.

ABC affiliate WFTS was honored for “Incapacitated: Florida’s Guardianship Program”, an investigation that exposed “rampant abuse and fraud” by court appointed guardians:

The reporters searched through records, spoke with family members and confronted some of the guardians with clear evidence of their misdeeds. As a result, this summer a new guardianship reform bill led to legislative changes to help protect others.


Tampa CBS affiliate WTSP received a duPont for “Short Yellows and the Red Light Fight”, an investigation that exposed how local governments “abused technology to cheat drivers:”

This yearlong investigation uncovered a problem that impacts millions of Americans; local municipalities manipulating technology to make yellow lights shorter thereby driving up the number of traffic tickets given to safe drivers

The other local stations picking up duPonts were Columbia CBS affiliate WLTX, for “DDS: When the System Fails,” an investigation into “harrowing failures” in South Carolina’s Department of Social Services; and Phoenix NBC affiliate KPNX, for “Raked Over the Coals,” a
probing, relentless investigation” into the Phoenix Fire Department’s arson squad.”