Investigations that spanned borders and oceans are among the work honored in the 2012 Investigative Reporters & Editors Awards.
An intrepid reporter from Pittsburgh followed a story to Iraq to expose the cover-up of a killing. A team of broadcast journalists withstood heated criticism from the U.S. State Department over their work in Benghazi, Libya. A team of Swedish journalists traced its government’s money to a secret weapons plant in Saudi Arabia. New York and Mexico City-based reporters working together uncovered bribery in Mexico from a company based in Arkansas, with repercussions in India. A Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S. discovered a weapons trail stretching from Mexico to Honduras to Colombia.
Lea Thompson, chair of IRE’s Contest Committee, said the winners serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of investigative journalism. “The judges were inspired and moved by gutsy, courageous and heartbreaking work – all shining a light on despicable actions and often bringing about change on issues we otherwise would not have known about,” Thompson said. “Investigative journalism is alive and well."
This year’s winners were selected from among more than 490 entries. Two organizations are multiple winners: CNN for breaking news and multimedia, and California Watch for multimedia and the Gannett Innovation Award.
The awards, given by Investigative Reporters & Editors Inc. since 1979, recognize the most outstanding watchdog journalism of the year. The contest covers 16 categories across media platforms and a range of market sizes.