WTAE, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh, spent more than a year to uncover the secretive bid process to lure Amazon’s headquarters, giving viewers an inside view of the station’s ultimately successful court battles culminating in the revelation of an offer of $2 billion in tax incentives.
The City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County wanted to lure Amazon to build its second headquarters in western Pennsylvania. Secretly, they were prepared to offer more than $2 billion worth of tax incentives to sweeten the deal.
“If successful, the move by the city and county would have shaped the economic future of our region for decades to come,” said Charles W. Wolfertz, WTAE’s general manager. “We knew it was imperative for our neighbors to know what was promised to Amazon.”
WTAE, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh, spent more than a year skirmishing with the city and Allegheny County in an effort to uncover the secretive bid process, giving viewers an inside view of the station’s ultimately successful court battles culminating in the revelation of the $2 billion tax incentives.
For its ongoing series on Pittsburgh’s Secret Amazon Bid, WTAE was awarded the Pennsylvania Associated Press Media Editors First Amendment Award.
According to the judges, WTAE’s winning entry “exemplifies the spirit and intent of the First Amendment and demonstrates the news organization’s ability to fulfill its public service role and to overcome obstacles in gathering information.”
“It’s not the first time our station has gone to court and fought for our viewers’ right to know, and it won’t be the last,” said Jim Parsons, WTAE’s news director.
“We proudly serve Pittsburghers every day by holding true to the First Amendment.”
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