Scanning the list of winners from Saturday’s Southeastern Emmy awards, a few things stand out.
A TV station in Columbia SC beat WSB and WAGA in the Investigative Reporting category. WLTX produced a report in May 2008 about South Carolina prison inmates stealing the identities of Citibank card holders. The inmates sold the information from inside the prison to co-conspirators, who used the info to charge purchases to the unsuspecting card holders. WLTX’s best material came from an inmate who was part of the ring, who said of the victims: “They’re well off. They won’t miss it, after all they don’t even have to pay for it, because once they contest the purchase, they won’t be penalized for it.”
WAGA general assignment reporter Julia Harding won two Emmys. With insufficient seniority to kick her nights-and-weekends schedule, Harding won for a special report on the inability of Atlanta police to curb the smash-n-grab “blue jean bandit” crimes. Harding also won for her coverage of the March 2008 tornado in Cabbagetown.
Dagmar Midcap won WGCL’s only Emmy, for a piece called Hurricane Hunters. Midcap’s win helps cement her spot as WGCL’s franchise face. Who says your main weathercaster has to be a meteorologist?
It’s better to win an Emmy than not. But ultimately, the Emmys don’t mean much. Ask Tony Thomas, the WAGA reporter who won three of them last year, then was asked to take a pay cut (he quit instead). Thomas won another Emmy this year for his coverage of the downtown tornado.
Meanwhile — in a perfect world, Saturday’s Emmy banquet would have included several acceptance speeches like this one from Seattle.