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Jewish Journal

Broadcast journalists receive Bill Stout Award

by Ryan Torok

November 1, 2012 | 11:31 am

“A lot of the work that I do is about uncovering people or institutions … that are not treating people honestly and fairly. I think those are core Jewish values,” said KNBC investigative journalist Joel Grover, who along with KCET’s Val Zavala is being awarded the Bill Stout Memorial Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.

An investigative reporter and member of Temple Israel of Hollywood, Grover is known for exposing consumer fraud and government wrongdoing. 

Zavala, vice president of news and public affairs at KCET, played a vital role in the long-running “Life & Times” newsmagazine and is the anchor of “SoCal Connected.” 

“It’s a real honor,” Zavala said of receiving the Bill Stout award.

Presented by civil rights nonprofit organization Community Advocates, the award recognizes journalists whose reporting is in the tradition of Stout, a local and national broadcast journalist who railed against the deteriorating quality of local broadcast news.

This year’s recipients “really stand out,” because they “take tough issues and complicated issues and spend time exploring them,” said David Lehrer, president of Community Advocates and a Journal columnist. Lehrer runs Community Advocates with former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, who serves as chairman of the organization, and Joe Hicks, vice president. Last year, they honored reporters Larry Mantle, Patt Morrison and Warren Olney. 

The ceremony is scheduled to take place on Nov. 15 at the Taper Auditorium at the Riordan Central Library downtown. The ceremony is open to the public and will feature a keynote address by Judy Muller, a Peabody-winning correspondent and professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. NBC4 weathercaster Fritz Coleman is slated to host. 

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, a presenter at last year’s awards ceremony, described Stout as a newsman who had seriousness, wit and fearlessness that scared politicians into trying to get on his good side.

“He was a very respected curmudgeon … an intelligent curmudgeon who made a very compelling argument from his point of a view, and people listened to him,” Yaroslavsky said. “He had great credibility on any given issue.”

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