The Lens has been honored as the best online news operation for audio investigative reporting in a four-state region by the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The Lens received the 2012 regional Edward R. Murrow first-place award for our story on the struggles of one 9th Ward homeowner, Kisa Holmes. The story documented Holmes’ struggles to rebuild her Hurricane Katrina-ravaged home after complying with her mortgage company’s suggestion to use the bulk of her insurance proceeds to pay off her loan.

Click here for a full list of winners.

The online story was a collaborative endeavor between Lens reporter Jessica Williams and G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism fellow Bob Butler, who produced the audio report based on the joint reporting. The story was also printed by our partners at The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

The regional award considers entries from radio, television and online news operations in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.

Winners in this category from other regions include The Seattle Times, The Denver Post, Star Tribune of Minneapolis,, The Texas Tribune, Detroit Free Press and The Boston Globe.

Our reporting partners at WVUE-TV also received a slew of first place awards in the small-market television category for video news series, video news documentary, video continuing coverage, video reporting of hard news, and video feature reporting for four of their pieces.

One other local television station, WWL-TV, received awards for its website, for its use of video, and for video sports reporting.

Click here to see the full list of winners.