Jim Avila becomes senior law and justice correspondent, will continue on 20/20, Primetime and other platforms.
Journalist Jim Avila has been named senior law and justice correspondent for ABC News, it was announced today by David Westin, president of ABC News. In this new position, Avila will take a lead role in the coverage of trials and justice issues by ABC’s Law and Justice Unit. He will continue to be a correspondent for 20/20, will contribute to Primetime and will also report for all other ABC News platforms.
“Jim is a dynamic investigative reporter and a terrific colleague,” said Westin. “He is one of the best in the business today.”
Since joining ABC News in 2004, he was the lead trial reporter for all ABC News programs covering the Michael Jackson trial. He has led several newsmagazine investigations on wrongful conviction, including a girl who recanted a story that she was raped by her two cousins after her mother admitted to concocting the account. Other recent reports include an in-depth investigation into unequal justice in the court system in Texas, tracing two men from different sides of the tracks who received two very different sentences from the same Texas judge. Avila also recently investigated con artists selling fake jewelry online, preying on innocent consumers.
Additionally, Avila has contributed to network-wide special reports on the bird flu, health care in America and Hurricane Katrina.
Prior to ABC News, he was a national correspondent for the NBC Nightly News. He covered a range of domestic issues including the Sept. 11 attacks and the D.C. sniper shootings, and also reported from Afghanistan and Iraq. During his time at NBC, he covered high-profile events including the shooting tragedies in Littleton, Colorado, Jonesboro, Arkansas and Paducah, Kentucky. In 1997 he won a national Emmy for his coverage of the fire and flood that destroyed Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Prior to NBC, Avila was the investigative reporter for KNBC Los Angeles from 1994 to 1996, where he was the principal reporter on the O.J. Simpson criminal trial and helped the station earn the 1995 Golden Mike Award and a 1996 Emmy Award. He has also held on-air positions at WBBM Chicago, WLS Chicago and KPIX San Francisco.
Avila is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including four Edward R. Murrow Awards, a national Emmy and the Mongerson Prize for Investigative Reporting on the News by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.