By Elizabeth Lane, RTDNA News
On Monday night at Excellence in Journalism 2016, RTDNA presented the Gannett Foundation's Al Neuhart Award for investigative Journalism to WXIA-TV's Brendan Keefe.
Each year, the award is presented to an outstanding example of investigative journalism.
In the investigation called “Smart ALEC,” Keefe and the Atlanta station's investigative team caught an elected state representative asking for a few thousand dollars from a corporate lobbyist, the night before the same people voted in secret on proposed legislation. In tracing the origins of meetings between lobbyists and legislators facilitated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Keefe tracked a Georgia asbestos law to its birthplace: a Vegas casino. It was there that ALEC members created legislation that prevented asbestos victims from suing companies in multiple states.
The story gained more than 30 million online views and also won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative journalism.
The Al Neuharth Award comes with a $5,000 prize.