KANSAS CITY, Mo. - 41 Action News has been named a recipient of the Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award, one of the most prestigious awards given to broadcast journalists.
The Columbia University School of Journalism selected the 41 Action News team for their breaking news coverage of last February's dramatic explosion and fire at JJ's Restaurant on the Country Club Plaza, which culminated with a one-hour primetime special.
From the moment the flames shot 100 feet into the air, the 41 Action News investigators were on the scene and asking tough questions about the events leading up to the deadly blast.
41 Action News broke every major development of the ongoing story: the lack of an approved city permit for the contractor; the official cause of the explosion; changes to the fire department's natural gas policy; and the first lawsuits filed by JJ's restaurant employees and by the family of the woman killed in the explosion.
"This could have just been a just another story about a deadly explosion, but our investigative team kept digging to uncover all the angles on what led to the tragedy. They kept asking "why" until new systems were created to try and prevent future problems. With only a dozen or so duPont awards given annually, we are thrilled to be recognized," Carrie Hofmann, KSHB-TV News Director, said.
Honored with the award are Investigators Ryan Kath and Melissa Yeager, reporter Keith King, Executive Producer Melissa Greenstein, as well as photographers Andy Pollard and Michael Butler.
In October, KSHB was also honored with a regional Emmy Award for this breaking news coverage.
To see the team's coverage and investigation, go to http://KSHB.com/PlazaFire.