Best TV News Reporter (2014)

Michele Gillen

No one goes willingly to the ninth floor of the Miami-Dade jail. In a decaying, overheated building full of criminals of every stripe passing the hours until their day in court, the ninth floor is different. That's where the mentally ill, the disturbed, and the destitute who desperately need psychiatric attention (which they'll probably never get) are sent to suffer away from the public eye. They're put there so residents can ignore them. That's why it's called "the forgotten floor," a place most Miamians would be happy to pretend doesn't exist. Not Michele Gillen. Last summer, she spent days on the ninth floor hearing firsthand the stories of the men and women trapped in Miami-Dade County's labyrinthine mental health limbo. Her investigative piece, aptly titled "The Forgotten Floor," is exactly the kind of boundary-pushing broadcast journalism that has made Gillen among the most decorated reporters in Miami history. Gillen first made her mark on the national stage while reporting for Dateline, Exposé, and NBC Nightly News — where one in-depth piece sparked new federal legislation on mammography equipment — before moving on to local work in Los Angeles and finally Miami's CBS 4. Gillen has earned a closetful of prizes, including Emmys, Green Eyeshades, and an Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting. Today, she's still at the frontline of Miami's investigative corps, using her cameras to shine a light on the darkest places in Dade County.


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