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People & Places

Best TV News Anchor (Female) 

Tiffany Burns, WOIO-TV, Channel 19

Our local airwaves are full of chirpy, dyed-blonde anchorettes who seem better suited to hosting a sorority party than covering government scandal. Following the TV maxim "If it bleeds, it leads," they wallow in the gore of local crime stories, feeling the victim's pain like a cut-rate Clinton, then segue into the latest adorable-tyke story. Tiffany Burns, the anchor for 19 Action News, is the only one who seems to actually feel the stories she's presenting. There's good reason for that: She knows what it's like to be on the other end of callous crime coverage. In May 2004, her brother, Sebastian, was convicted of helping a friend in the triple murder of his friend's father, mother, and mentally handicapped sister in Canada over a decade ago. In the belief that her brother was railroaded by the cops, Burns has waged a campaign to exonerate him, which includes airing reports on WOIO under the banner "Tiffany's Crusade." While her work has not yet changed the outcome of the case, it has separated her from all the cardboard cutouts on competing stations.

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