WTOP takes home 8 SPJ-DC Dateline Awards

WTOP News took home eight Dateline Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists’ D.C. chapter Tuesday night.

“Local newsrooms and the journalists that work in those newsrooms play an incredibly important role in the communities they serve,” said Julia Ziegler, WTOP’s Director of News & Programming. “We take our mission of keeping the DC area informed very seriously and we are honored that work has been recognized with eight Dateline Awards, including the prestigious Robert D.G. Lewis Watchdog Award. I am so proud of the work our journalists have been able to produce.”

Leading the winners is Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore, who received the Robert D.G. Lewis Watchdog Award for their investigation of D.C.’s Department of Forensic Sciences. Per the chapter, the award recognizes “journalism aimed at protecting the public from abuses by those who would betray the public trust.”

The two won an award in Investigative Journalism as well for their coverage of that department.

“It was a complete surprise and honestly a little emotional to accept the award in front of our peers at the National Press Club,” Cloherty said. “Jack and I have worked so hard to get every side of this story and to tell what is a document-heavy investigation in as narrative a way as possible. It means a lot that our fellow journalists in D.C. see the value of our work and the change it has made in holding the Department of Forensic Sciences accountable to the people it serves.”

“When we first began digging into court filings, we had no idea of the complicated twists and turns this story would take us — or the tremendous impact the revelations from our reporting would have on the criminal justice system in the District,” Moore said. “We’re grateful to everyone whose assistance made our reporting possible.”

Cloherty also won in the Non-Breaking News category for her “Policing Through Change” series.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez won a Photojournalism award for his work chronicling the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

WTOP Traffic Reporter Dave Dildine won a Feature Photography award for his work shooting the remnants of Hurricane Ida when severe weather passed over the region last summer.

General Manager and Senior Vice President Joel Oxley was honored in the Editorial/Opinion Writing category, for his piece “Enough is Enough.”

“I am beyond proud to be a part of WTOP,” Oxley said. “I strongly felt that my commentary was warranted. No one should have to go through what our reporter, JJ Green, was subjected to. I hope that my speaking up helps to prevent this kind of behavior in the future.”

In addition, WTOP won a Breaking News award for its coverage of Jan. 6, and WTOP.com was honored for best website.

A full list of winners can be found on SPJ DC’s website.

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