Winner 1981

Newsfile: A Bankrupt Court

WJR Radio

A Peabody Award goes to WJR-Radio, Detroit, Michigan for Newsfile: A Bankrupt Court. Twenty-three short reports probed the working of the U.S. District Bankruptcy Court in a dogged and determined effort to uncover and broadcast examples of mismanagement in the court and improper relationships which were maintained between attorneys, court personnel and judges. The dispassionate presentation of the investigative work was devastating in its impact. Here was solid, painstaking reporting of a quality rarely seen in broadcasting. The series resulted in significant reforms in the Bankruptcy Court System in Detroit. Official action was instigated against the judge, the Chief Clerk of the Court, and some attorneys practicing before the court. Newsfile: A Bankrupt Court is an example of excellent journalism leading to beneficial reform of a public institution. Special credit goes to WJR news staff reporters Gene Fogel and Rod Hansen for their investigative research and to news director Dave White for the incisively clear writing of each segment. WJR-Radio and its news staff have earned a Peabody Award for a truly outstanding and dispassionate investigative series.