PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A Local 10 News team earned runner-up honors for South Florida’s best public service reporting for exposing the shill candidate scheme in November’s election that led to two arrests.
Reporter Glenna Milberg, photographer/editor Mario Alonso and executive producer Natalie De Varona will be recognized for that work at the Esserman-Knight Journalism Awards on May 13.
The Knight Foundation highlighted their selection, writing: “Last fall, incumbent State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez lost his senate seat by just 34 votes. When Milberg probed further, she ultimately uncovered that someone planted a shill candidate who shared Rodriguez’s last name to siphon off votes, a pattern she also found in another Florida senate district. Milberg tracked down the ‘shill’ candidate Alex Rodriguez, revealing he actually lives two counties away in Palm Beach. The story continues as both Alex Rodriguez and the man accused of masterminding his run, a former Republican state senator, have been arrested for campaign finance violations.”
Local 10 reporter Christina Vazquez was also named a finalist for her coverage of COVID-19 contact tracing. Two days after Vazquez pressed Gov. Ron DeSantis at a news conference about the need for more contact tracers in South Florida, Miami-Dade County and the state signed a $14 million agreement to hire 250 more of them.
And Local 10 anchor/reporter Louis Aguirre was also a finalist for his coverage of efforts to save Biscayne Bay after a massive fish kill in August.
The Miami Herald took the top honor in the contest for separate coverage of immigration and COVID-19 on cruise ships.
What an honor from @knightfdn & Esserman family, so committed to elevating #journalism in S. #Florida 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaWPLG) April 28, 2021
Big congrats to all the #EssermanKnightAwards winners & especially my amazing co-conspirators👇🏼👇🏼 @WPLGLocal10
⏩ https://t.co/8bLP7lHEvc pic.twitter.com/X0EOje4cDn
Thank you for your kind words! When learned nominated by community members my heart filled with gratitude. What an immense honor. It is so wonderful that Esserman-Knight established this award to recognize local journalists. Congrats to my outstanding colleagues and the winners! https://t.co/ZLZCaNXss8— Christina Vazquez (@CBoomerVazquez) April 28, 2021