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KSHB 41 I-Team receives national IRE award for series of reports tied to Marion, Kansas newspaper raid

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Posted at 2:38 PM, Apr 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-08 16:17:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — KSHB 41 earned national recognition Friday for its ongoing coverage of the raid on the Marion Record newspaper last August.

Investigative Reporters and Editors announced (IRE) that KSHB 41’s entry “Trail of Incompetence: The unjustified raid on a Kansas newsroom” won the category for investigations triggered by breaking news.

The coverage was made possible by several KSHB 41 employees, including KSHB 41 I-Team’s Jessica McMaster, KSHB 41 I-Team producer Lisa McCormick and KSHB 41 photographers Chris Morrison, Chase Lucas and Jake Weller.

“Joan Meyer died one day after police raided her home. Two other people reported significant health problems after the raids,” McMaster said. “When authority abuses its power, people and communities get hurt. Watchdog journalism and accountability reporting are on the other side of that. We are honored IRE has recognized our team’s dedication to this story. We will continue our work in pursuit of the truth."

KSHB 41 will receive the award for their reporting at the IRE Awards luncheon in Anaheim, California on June 22, 2024.

“I am so incredibly proud of our team for their tenacity and relentless pursuit of the truth,” Matthew Waggoner, KSHB/KMCI station manager, said. “We simply could not look the other way on this story. Jessica and our team never stopped pushing for transparency and fighting for all the facts."

KSHB 41’s work - which continued as recently as last week with the filing of a lawsuit against several elected officials connected to the raid- spanned several months after the initial raid on the Marion Record, a small town newspaper outside of Wichita, Kansas.

“Shining a light on the injustices in our community is at the core of our news organization,” KSHB/KMCI general manager and Scripps regional vice president Kathleen Choal said. “These stories often take a relentless drive to uncover all of the details, but we’ll never stop pursuing the facts and uncovering the truth."

IRE is a nonprofit professional organization founded in 1975 to help train and support journalists who pursue investigative stories.