ABC6’s Jim Hummel wins reporting honors

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PROVIDENCE – Jim Hummel, chief reporter at WLNE-TV/ABC6 in Providence, has been honored by the Radio and Television News Directors Association with the 2007 New England Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting, the station said.

Hummel was selected for a two-part You Paid For It series, “Steak and Lobster,” that spurred spending probes by federal investigators, the R.I. Ethics Commission and the R.I. Department of Education.

The first report showed that the North Kingstown School Department had used federal special education grant money to pay for an administrative retreat last summer, complete with steak, lobster and alcoholic beverages. The second reported that the department’s director of special education had been charging the town for his travel expenses to two private consulting jobs.

The News Directors Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Hummel’s award is the station’s second in as many years.

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Last year, WLNE reporter Tom Langford won the same award for his series “No Prescription Needed,” showing dangerous prescription medications could be purchased over the Internet, even by children, via hundreds of illicit Web sites.

WLNE-TV www.abc6.comis the ABC affiliate serving Providence and New Bedford as Channel 6 and digital channel 49. It is owned by Freedom Broadcasting, a division of Freedom Communications Inc. of California (a href=”http://www.freedom.com”>www.freedom.com, which this month agreed to sell the station to Delaware-based Global Broadcasting LLC.

The Radio and Television News Directors Association will announce the national winners in June. Information on the RTNDA and the Murrow Awards is available at www.rtnda.org.