Almost 14 years ago, Sandra Chapman, a disciple in the Indianapolis Church of Christ , was hired as an investigative reporter for Eyewitness News 13 in Indianapolis. She has spearheaded numerous investigations and garnered a long list of awards in the time since. Her work has had a significant impact on the state of Indiana. Recently she was honored with a Peabody Award for an investigative piece from 2016.
The Peabody Award , according to their site, “recognizes distinguished and meritorious public service by American radio and television stations” as well as other media. Sandra’s piece, titled “Dangerous Exposure”, concerned a program that gave companies immunity from prosecution in exchange for cleaning up chemical spills and toxins that could contaminate ground water. Sandra and her team established that, due to lax enforcement, the cleanup was not happening and, unknown to the largely poor communities affected, they were exposed to potentially cancer-causing toxins in their groundwater. There had been no repercussions for the offending companies after 10 years of inaction. As a result of her investigation, there is now a cleanup plan in place, and wells are being tested.
This is just one of many important investigations Sandra has conducted, and only the most prominent of the many awards she has received. Another great example was the Carol Jenkins murder, a cold case from 1968 which she explored in depth. Her reporting led to a tip, which led to an arrest. Sandra reports that the girl’s father called her a “God-send” after waiting 33 years to find out what happened to his daughter. Sandra wrote a book, The Girl in the Yellow Scarf , based on her reporting on the case.
Sandra shares that, as a disciple “I approach my job believing that God has important work for me to do. I believe that God puts me into those situations so that prayers can be answered.” She has had to wade through tons of pages of documents, reports and surveys, crossing the country and working for months on end before an investigation is aired.
Sandra attended the Peabody Award ceremony in New York City on May 20, 2017. Although there were many stars in attendance, none shone brighter than Sandra.