The Raycom Media Investigative Unit will partner with local investigative units across Raycom Media. It will be headed by investigative journalist Lee Zurik.
Raycom Launches National Investigative Unit
Raycom Media today introduced a new national investigative unit to be led by award-winning journalist Lee Zurik. This new unit, the company said, “will produce high-impact, interesting and informative investigative series of national importance with a core focus on localism.”
The Raycom Media Investigative Unit will partner with local investigative units across Raycom Media.
“We are fiercely committed to Raycom Media’s long-standing tradition of localism,” Pat LaPlatney, Raycom Media president-CEO said. “This unique partnership of a national investigative unit, partnered with local investigative units, will create projects across the Raycom Media group with broad relevance and bearing to our local stations and their viewers.”
“We are going to make a difference in our communities,” stated Zurik, director of investigations for The Raycom Media Investigative Unit. “We will be taking subjects outside of the ‘Beltway of Washington’ mentality of the national news networks and answering the viewers’ biggest concern: how does this affect me and my family here in Cleveland, Baton Rouge, Cape Girardeau or Charleston?”
Raycom said the new unit “has the resources to place a spotlight on issues that range from abuses in government spending, consumer protection, public safety, tax policy, job creation, health care, infrastructure and immigration.” Using the company’s large footprint of broadcast and digital streams and audiences, viewers will be able to access investigations in long-form documentary style or shorter segments on the platform of their choosing, the company said.
“We know Lee is the right person to head this national investigative unit,” said Raycom Media VP of News Steven Ackermann. “Lee’s work, along with his team, have brought national recognition to WVUE [New Orleans]. The team has been honored for its investigative work with eight National Murrow Awards, two Dupont Awards, and a Peabody. The Scripps Howard Foundation just recognized last fall’s series, Medical Waste. Lee has worked with Raycom Media investigative reporters on several recent projects, including a company-wide investigation into dangers created by railroad tankers and a college-by-college analysis of national reports detailing student loan debt. In addition to his important work with this new unit, Lee will continue to anchor and report for WVUE-TV.”
The Raycom Media Investigative Unit will work with an internal board of directors, consisting of journalists from across the company, including station reporters along with a station news director and a station general manager.
Raycom added: “Accountability and factual investigative journalism have never been more important. Journalism holds the powerful, whether an individual or institution, responsible to all of us. The Raycom Media Investigative Unit, partnered with our local investigative units, are critical to our audiences. They trust us every day to bring them the news and information they need to make decisions for themselves and their families.”