Winner 2006

Command Mistake


IED, a military acronym for Improvised Explosive Device, sadly has entered the American vernacular during the war in Iraq. Many soldiers have suffered fatal or debilitating injuries from such weapons. WISH-TV’s Command Mistake examines the continuing difficulties faced by one such Indiana veteran. But the station’s reports also searched for ways to help prevent these injuries from occurring. Through dogged research, the Command Mistake team discovered startling evidence suggesting that a high school football helmet is usually better equipped to protect against brain injury than a soldier’s helmet. The continuing investigation then shifted to determining why protective padding was not required in all military helmets, an inquiry that took the local news team to Washington, D.C., Germany and Iraq in search of answers. Despite the international scope of this investigation, however, the key focus never left Indiana. Reports highlighted the fact that two manufacturing plants in the state produce parts of the helmet padding that could save American soldiers’ lives. For its seamless integration of international elements into a local news story, its willingness to follow an investigation wherever it led and its impact on policy change, Command Mistake receives a Peabody Award.


Executive producer/Producer/Director/Writer: Karen Hensel. Photographers: Eric Miller, David Hodge. Editor: Doug Moon. Graphic Artist: Gerry Robinos.