NBC4 Los Angeles received an Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award for “Contaminated Water,” an undercover investigation that revealed high levels of lead in the drinking water at Los Angeles area elementary schools. The annual awards given by IRE, an organization made up of investigative reporters and editors from around the world, recognized outstanding watchdog journalism that exposes local and global corruption.
“Contaminated Water,” which remains an on-going undercover investigation from NBC4 Reporter Joel Grover and Producer Matt Goldberg, took the highest honor in the organization’s Top 20 Television Market Category. The judges had this to say about the investigation: “Joel Grover and Matt Goldberg embarked on an exhaustive investigation after getting a tip from a parent that students were told not to drink from a Los Angeles elementary school’s water fountain because it contained lead. To see if the problem was widespread, the journalists tested the water at numerous LA schools and found lead levels higher than the EPA standard. The reporters also went undercover for days to capture janitors falsifying records saying they had flushed fountains daily to protect children from lead exposure. This explosive 8-month investigation set off a firestorm and held school officials accountable for breaking promises time and time again."
Joel Grover was the investigative reporter on “Contaminated Water.” Matt Goldberg served as the producer, while Jose Hernandez, Dave Fernandez and Scott Meadows were credited as cameramen on the piece. James Hourani is the editor.