2005 Philip Meyer Award winners

The awards were presented March 10, 2006, at the 2006 CAR Conference in Newark, N.J.

The contest, for work published or broadcast between October 2006 and October 2007, attracted entries from across the country. Stories are available to IRE members through the IRE Resource Center. Click on a story link below or contact us at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org.

First Place

The Oregonian for “Unnecessary Epidemic,” a series of articles over the past year showing how Congress and the Drug Enforcement Administration could have stopped the growth of meth abuse by aggressively regulating the import of the chemicals necessary to make it. Lead reporter Steve Suo’s work included sophisticated statistical analyses of data on hospital and treatment center admissions, arrests, meth prices and purity, and chemical imports.

Second Place

The Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau for “Discharged and Dishonored,” a year-long series of stories that revealed how disabled veterans were being harmed by the bureaucratic inefficiencies of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Reporters Chris Adams and Alison Young analyzed survey data and the VA’s own database of 3.4 million claims to discover that more than 13,700 veterans died while waiting for their claims to be resolved, and as many as 572,000 vets may be missing out on their rightful disability payments.

Third Place

The St. Petersburg Times for “Vanishing Wetlands,” which demonstrated that 84,000 acres of Florida wetlands have been destroyed by development since 1990 when President George H. W. Bush declared a national policy of no net loss of wetlands. Reporters Matthew Waite and Craig Pittman penetrated beyond the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ poorly-documented records of development permits by using before-and-after satellite imagery and geographical information systems software to accurately measure the loss.