KXAN wins 5 Lone Star Emmy Awards


AUSTIN (KXAN) — KXAN won five Lone Star Emmy Awards Saturday night for employees’ work on investigative and political stories and for a special tribute to Jim Spencer.

“I’m grateful for the recognition these honors bring to some important topics – from deaths in police custody to racial profiling,” said KXAN’s Director of Investigations & Innovation Josh Hinkle. “Congrats to all.”

See below for the list of project wins and all who were honored for their work on them.

Journalistic Enterprise

When someone dies in the custody of Texas law enforcement, state law requires that agency to submit a specific report to the attorney general detailing the incident. The report is meant to promote transparency and accountability, but this KXAN investigation found hundreds of reports in recent years filed incomplete or late, leaving the public and families without answers.

  • Josh Hinkle, Director of Investigations & Innovation
  • David Barer, Senior Investigative Producer
  • Robert Sims, Producer
  • Kate Winkle, Digital Executive Producer

Investigative Report – Multiple Reports

Racial profiling laws across the state are meant to root out policing that targets people of color. Though a 20-year-old law required it, this KXAN investigation uncovered the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement failed to mandate and collect annual traffic stop data and opted not to use its enforcement authority hundreds of times in recent years when police agencies in Texas failed to report it.

  • Jody Barr, Investigative Reporter
  • David Barer, Senior Investigative Producer
  • Ben Friberg, Investigative Photographer
  • Josh Hinkle, Director of Investigations & Innovation

Public Affairs Program

This episode of State of Texas, which is KXAN’s Texas political show that airs statewide every Sunday, focused on the death of a Black Lives Matter protester. The shooting spotlighted Texas gun laws and when deadly force for self defense is justified.

It also explored the challenge police officers face when it comes to keeping protesters safe at marches and rallies, along with legislative work in progress at the time on the one year anniversary of the deadly mass shooting in El Paso.

  • Josh Hinkle, Host/Executive Producer
  • John Thomas, Political Producer


This episode of State of Texas focused on use of force in police brutality cases and the protests that erupted across the country in response to George Floyd’s death.

  • Josh Hinkle, Host/Executive Producer
  • John Thomas, Political Producer
  • Wes Rapaport, State Bureau Reporter
  • Kevin Clark, Investigative Reporter
  • Chris Nelson, Photographer
  • Julie Karam, Photographer
  • Eric Lefenfeld, Editor


The salute to Jim Spencer was produced as a tribute to the esteemed weathercaster who has been with KXAN News for 30-plus years.

  • Eric Henrikson, Producer
  • Jim Spencer, Meteorologist

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