'Long Island Divided' series wins Edward R. Murrow Prize

Ed note: Isabel Elaine Allen designed the approach for Newsday's investigation into housing discrimination in Long Island.

Newsday has won an Edward R. Murrow Award for its Long Island Divided series, an investigation into racial discrimination in home buying on Long Island.


A documentary accompanying the November 2019 multipart investigation won in the news documentary category, large digital news organization division, the Radio Television Digital News Association announced Saturday during a virtual ceremony.


The association has given out the Edward R. Murrow Awards, recognizing excellence in electronic journalism, since 1971.


"Long Island Divided is a crucial project for our community and we are honored to see our team’s commitment to deep reporting and powerful, visual storytelling receive this recognition," said Deborah Henley, editor of Newsday.


Long Island Divided, a three-year investigative project, sent testers carrying hidden cameras to meet and record meetings with real estate agents. The investigation revealed widespread separate and unequal treatment of minority potential homebuyers and minority communities on Long Island.


The series has already won awards from other organizations including the Peabody Award and the George Polk Award for metropolitan reporting.

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The documentary was directed by Robert Cassidy and Jeffrey Basinger. It was produced by Basinger, Arthur Browne, Cassidy, Ann Choi, Doug Dutton, Keith Herbert and Olivia Winslow.


"The Long Island Divided documentary was an incredible team effort that combined all of Newsday’s platforms," said Cassidy, Newsday’s multimedia executive director. "For us to be recognized for this incredibly important reporting is deeply gratifying."


The national contest drew more than 5,000 applicants and bestowed more than 100 awards.


Originally published in Newsday.