AUSTIN, Texas – May 12, 2017 – A “Texas Standard” investigative story examining how some juveniles are tried as adults in Texas courts won a First Amendment award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Fort Worth Professional Chapter.
Adult Crime, Adult Time: How Texas Fast-Tracked Kids to Life in Prison, reported and produced by Alain Stephens and freelance journalist Hannah McBride, won a first place First Amendment award in the investigative report category.
The two-part series focused on the experience of Miguel Navarro who – at age 15 – was tried as an adult and sentenced to 99 years in prison for murder. His guilt is not in question, but the fairness of the process could be.
"Texas Standard" producers spent eight months mining court records, interviewing attorneys and visiting Navarro at a maximum security prison to get the story right. After the story aired, State Rep. Gene Wu of Houston tweeted and shared the story with constituents citing it as evidence for the need to change Texas’ juvenile sentencing laws. Wu, a democrat from Houston, filed bills during the 85th legislative session to raise the juvenile sentencing age from 17 to 18.
Reporter Joy Diaz was a finalist in the Defending the Disadvantaged category for her work on the “Texas Standard” homeless and pregnant series.
"This is the third award for “Adult Crime, Adult Time.” In April, it won a regional Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and took first place in the Radio Investigation category from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters.
The annual Society of Professional Journalists, Fort Worth Professional Chapter, First Amendment awards recognize exceptional journalism in Texas and Oklahoma that furthers the public’s right to know how governments and businesses affect their lives, and champions the powerless and disadvantaged.
About “Texas Standard”
“Texas Standard” sets the bar for broadcast news coverage, offering crisp, expansive coverage of politics, lifestyle and culture, the environment, technology and innovation, and business and the economy — from a distinctly Texas perspective. Hosted by award-winning journalist David Brown, the hour-long daily news magazine is grounded in the best traditions of American journalism: fact-based, independent and politically neutral reporting.
“Texas Standard,” which airs in 28 markets across Texas, is a project of KUT Austin, KERA North Texas, Houston Public Media, and San Antonio’s Texas Public Radio, in collaboration with news organizations across Texas.
Contact: Erin Geisler (512) 475-8071