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Best Local TV Reporter Houston 2009 - Phil Archer, KPRC-TV

Phil Archer has become an institution in local news, a guy who's seemingly been around forever but hasn't lost the urge to chase down the latest story and do a great job with it. He can take complex governmental issues and make them clear enough for the average Joe to understand; he can stand in floodwaters with the best of them; he can ask the tough questions a defensive bureaucrat is trying to dodge. Story too good to check out: Local urban legend says that he has a lifetime contract with KPRC after getting shot in the butt in the long-ago Moody Park Riots. In these shaky financial times, we're sure he's damn glad for that bullet, if true.

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Phil Archer does the kind of reporting that is too rare these days, thoughtful, thorough and fair. Houston needs 50 more Phil Archers to keep our bureaucrats, businesses and barflys on the straight and narrow.