NEW ORLEANS — WWL-TV took home 15 first place awards across a variety of categories that included awards for investigations, photography, breaking news (both print and television), sportscast and web site.
In the modern era of news communications where print, television and digital constantly cross platforms, WWL-TV captured awards in all of those categories.
Photojournalist Derek Waldrip received the President's Photography Award for an essay on businesses dealing with the fallout from COVID lockdowns while Ricardo Lecompte received the award for Best Sportscast.
All of WWL-TV’s investigators were honored with first place awards, including: Katie Moore and Mike Perlstein for their coverage of the COVID nursing home crisis; David Hammer, who collected three first place awards in the print category in collaboration with Ramon Vargas of the Times-Picayune - those included the Bill Rainey Memorial Award for best breaking news coverage. Hammer also landed a TV first place award for Environmental Reporting; and Perlstein again for his general news coverage of a recovering addict whose work saved so many, but who was not able to save himself.
Karen Swensen took home first place in Feature Writing for her story on a Jefferson Parish firefighter’s battle to survive and the heroes who gave him that chance.
Thanh Truong and Steve Wolfram each received awards for a breaking news story and video on the heartbreaking rescue attempt at a house fire.
Wolfram also captured first place in video storytelling for his series on a cultural exchange of music between Cuba and New Orleans with Eric Paulsen.
Chris McCrory of the WWL-TV Digital Team was honored with a first place award for his live reporting on social media of the showdown between police and protesters on the Crescent City Connection during a social justice march in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
And WWLTV.com was honored as the Best News Web Site in the city for the second year in a row.
There were also numerous second and third place awards won by members of the WWL news staff.
Here is the complete list of WWL-TV first-place winners:
Best Web Site – WWL-TV Staff
Best Sportscast – Ricardo LeCompte
Best Breaking News Videography – Steve Wolfram, “Central City Fire”
Best Photo Essay – Derek Waldrip, “The Difference Between Surviving & Thriving”
Best Visual Storytelling – Steve Wolfram, “New Orleans’ Cuba Connection”
Best Use of Facebook – Chris McCrory, “Crescent City Connection Protest”
Best Breaking News Reporting – Thanh Truong, “Central City Fire”
Best General News Reporting – Mike Perlstein, “Addiction Matters”
Best Feature Reporting – Karen Swensen, “Rescue and Recovery”
Best Continuing Coverage – Katie Moore, Mike Perlstein, “Standard of Care”
Best Environmental Science Reporting – David Hammer, “Mitigation Banks Investigation”
Best Breaking News Reporting (Writing) – David Hammer (with Ramon Vargas & Sara Pagones), “Attorney for Dominatrices says group sex with priest was legal; Pearl River church’s altar is burned”
Best Investigative Reporting (Writing) – David Hammer (with Ramon Vargas), “The Monster in our Midst: How Pedophile New Orleans Clergyman Stayed Near Prey”
Bill Rainey Memorial Award – David Hammer (with Ramon Vargas & Sara Pagones)
President’s Television Photography Award – Derek Waldrip