McLEAN, VA – TEGNA (NYSE: TGNA) Media’s KARE 11 in Minneapolis has been honored with a prestigious George Polk Award for television reporting for its investigative series Invisible Wounds. Numerous KARE investigations disclosed that the Veterans Administration in Minnesota used unqualified doctors and inappropriate medical tests on veterans with traumatic brain injuries. KARE is the only television broadcaster to win a George Polk Award this year.
“Congratulations to reporter A.J. Lagoe, producer Steve Eckert, photojournalist Gary Knox and the entire team at KARE on their outstanding and compelling investigation,” said Dave Lougee, president, TEGNA Media. “Their reporting is a testament to the power of local news and the positive impact we have on our communities. While a lot has been said recently about the role of the media, this award shows that what we do matters. We are an advocate for those who are often without a voice and quality reporting can lead to meaningful change.”
A year-long investigation by KARE showed that the Department of Veterans Affairs used unqualified medical personnel to do examinations and deny benefits for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) at the Minneapolis VA Medical center. KARE examined hundreds of cases from 2010 to 2014 and found veterans were examined by a doctor not qualified to diagnose TBI according to the VA’s own policies.
After KARE’s reporting, a federal investigation was opened to determine whether similar issues were found at other VA facilities across the country. Nearly 25,000 veterans nationwide received improper examines for TBI. Congress held a hearing on the issue in July 2016. The VA is now ensuring that qualified doctors are examining veterans for TBI every time. VA officials also disclosed half of the Minnesota veterans who were originally denied TBI benefits have now been told, after re-examination, that they did suffer a traumatic brain injury. Re-testing is now underway for former service members nationwide.
The George Polk Awards, established in 1949 by Long Island University, honor special achievement in journalism. Winners are chosen from newspapers, magazines, television, radio and online news organizations. The awards place a premium on investigative and enterprising reporting that gains attention and achieves results.
TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) is comprised of a dynamic portfolio of media and digital businesses that provide content that matters and brands that deliver. TEGNA offers highly relevant, useful and smart content, when and how people need it, to make the best decisions possible. TEGNA Media includes 46 television stations and is the largest independent station group of major network affiliates in the top 25 markets, reaching approximately one-third of all television households nationwide. TEGNA Digital is comprised of Cars.com, the leading online destination for automotive consumers, CareerBuilder, a global leader in human capital solutions, and G/O Digital, a customized local digital marketing company. For more information, visit www.TEGNA.com.
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