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WFAE wins regional Murrow Award for investigative reporting

The Radio Television Digital News Association recognized WFAE with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in the investigative reporting category.

Reporters Steve Harrison and Ann Doss Helms produced a three-part series about remote instruction and learning loss in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

The series showed that CMS had significantly more learning loss — particularly among Black, Hispanic and low-income students — than most other nearby districts in 2020-2021.

Remote learning vs. in-person instruction

Harrison and Helms combed through data on test scores and in-person class time. They found that a key difference between CMS and other nearby districts is that other districts had much more in-person instruction.

“It was controversial when we aired this story and some people said we were being unfair to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools,” said Helms. “But in the months that followed, a series of state and national studies by research groups with large staffs and budgets have found that same pattern.”

The series was part of “Rebuilding Charlotte,” a yearlong look at the challenges in recovering from the pandemic.