2011 Philip Meyer Award winners

These awards were presented at the 2012 CAR Conference in St. Louis, Mo.

The contest, for work published or broadcasted between October 2010 and October 2011, 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

“Murder Mysteries”, Scripps Howard News Service
Thomas Hargrove

The series resulted in what experts say is the most complete database available of unsolved murders. Hargrove developed a unique algorithm to identify the likely traces of serial murders. Police in at least eight cities have acknowledged that the clusters Hargrove found are either confirmed or likely serial cases.

Second Place

“Testing the System” 
Marisol Bello, Jack Gillum, Linda Mathews, Greg Toppo, Jodi Upton and Dennis Cauchon of USA Today; Denise Amos of the Cincinnati Enquirer; Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Peggy Walsh-Sarnecki and Kristi Tanner of the Detroit Free Press; and Anne Ryman of The Arizona Republic

Taking their analysis to a national level, the project examined the chronic problem of schools that cheat on standardized tests. The series has prompted a Department of Education investigation into the testing practices of Washington, D.C., schools and a tightening of the security around testing.

Third Place

“Tale of Three Cities: Foreclosures Don’t Always Follow the Script”
Sanjay Bhatt of The Seattle Times and Jennifer LaFleur of ProPublica 

The project challenged common stereotypes about home mortgage foreclosures by analyzing demographic and financial patterns of foreclosures in three cities.