Winner 2011

Desert Underwater


Las Vegas is the epicenter of the housing market collapse. When KLAS began its special report on this issue, 63 percent of homes in the area were worth less than what was owed on them. Half the homes on the market were listed at less than what was owed. The problems embedded in these circumstances remain complicated, confusing, sometimes criminal. In a two-week series of stories and a one-hour special, KLAS examined causes, effects and the impact of this economic crisis on institutions, individuals and the entire region. Clever and informative graphics led viewers through the tangle of mortgage purchases, sales and re-sales. Fraudulent practices were uncovered. The reports carefully explained how and why those who purchased homes out of foreclosure could find themselves without legitimate titles, facing massive financial losses, without substantial recourse. Significantly, the reports and the special also offered potential solutions and advice about how such situations could be avoided in the future. The online database created for this project continues to serve as a resource for local homeowners who may face foreclosure in the future. For clear, effective analysis and for its major contributions to a community in distress, Desert Underwater receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producers: Ron Comings, Terri Foley. Producers: George Knapp, Colleen McCarty, Ian Russell. Director: Matt Adams. Writers: George Knapp, Colleen McCarty. Reporters: George Knapp, Colleen McCarty. Videographers: Matt Adams, Kyle Zuelke, Alex Brauer Web Reporter/Producers: Steve Kanigher, Chris Way, Stephen Jackson