Winner 2009

Under Fire: Discrimination and Corruption in the Texas National Guard

KHOU-TV, Houston, Tex., and Belo Inc.

What began as an investigation of gender discrimination in the Texas National Guard soon expanded into something much larger: a web of bias, malfeasance, and cover-ups that rocked the entire chain of command in this organization. KHOU’s report melded two years of work into a powerful presentation that demonstrated the strength of a committed local news organization. The initiating event, a ceremony in which a female officer is humiliated with sexual innuendo by her male superiors, led to a more thorough exploration of male behavior. Reporting exposed a pattern of gender discrimination in which the careers of dedicated and decorated women were blemished or destroyed by their superiors. Reporter Mark Greenblatt also found high-ranking officers “double-dipping” from state and national agencies and revealed that state funds were used to establish private businesses. He learned as well that investigations into these matters were covered up or ignored. As a result of these reports, top level male officers in the Guard were fired, new oversight laws were put into place, and for the first time, a female officer was placed in a central command position. For relentlessly pursuing a major story and for affecting change at the highest levels, a Peabody Award goes to Under Fire: Discrimination and Corruption in the Texas National Guard.


Executive Producer: David Raziq. Producers: David Raziq, Chris Henao. Director: Robyn Hughes. Writers: David Raziq, Mark Greenblatt. Reporters: Mark Greenblatt. Videographer: Keith Tomshe.