Becca Knier ‘13 has just earned another Emmy for her camera work at WUSA9. Knier is an investigative videographer for the Washington D.C.-based news station and won the award for her part in filming and creating a news special that covered the protests in the capital following the death of George Floyd.
The Emmy-winning piece also led to a congressional investigation of local police who denied tear-gassing the crowds, despite the evidence that Knier and her team captured to the contrary while running through said tear gas. You can watch the piece, ‘Freedom to Assemble,’ by clicking here.
This is Knier’s second Emmy win and her eleventh nomination. “Emmy awards are given to journalists and stories that exemplify stellar journalism, writing, photography and editing,” explains Knier. “I believe our news special won because of a combination of these things. We pressed for answers as to who threw the tear gas we ran through. Police agencies denied over and over again that no one threw CS tear gas canisters into the crowd to clear the streets, but we picked up CS gas canisters.”
Knier says it wasn’t until a year later that Metropolitan Police Department admitted they were amongst those who threw the tear gas, due in no small part to WUSA9’s efforts. “When congress pressed all the police forces that showed up to corral the crowds on June 1, they used Nathan’s reporting (the on-air reporter) to question who used chemical warfare on civilians,” she explains. “Some congressional investigators even called Nathan to hear what we witnessed and where we found the tear gas canisters.”
Knier was involved in every part of creating the special, including being behind the camera on the day of the protests last June. “My role in this [piece] was as the photographer and editor for the half hour special,” she says. “I had never put together a whole half-hour special and undertaking this task was overwhelmingly rewarding. From beginning to end, I am behind the scenes.”
This year’s ceremony was held online via a livestream on YouTube, so Knier and some friends got together to watch the awards live on June 26. She says winning the prestigious award was significant to her. “The Emmy awards are special because your peers are the judges,” she explains. “Somewhere else in the country, other journalists watch your submissions and judge whether they think your work should be rewarded with an Emmy award. Plus, it’s an Emmy. Who wouldn’t want to say they’ve won an Emmy? It is an honor to be recognized by my fellow journalists.”