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Inside the IRE Awards: Deadly Delays

By Hannah Schmidt

This week on IRE Radio we’ll be taking you inside the 2013 IRE Awards with audio from some of the reporters, editors and producers who worked on prize-winning stories. View the complete list of winners here.

Deadly Delays

"Deadly Delays" exposed processing delays that put newborn lives at risk. Ellen Gabler is the reporter and assistant editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigative team. Hear how the team fought for and analyzed data that helped change the screening process in multiple states.

Gabler described the screening process and its importance to a newborn's health. The team found thousands of hospitals are sending blood samples late causing children to die, become sick or seriously disabled.


Gabler explained how she requested data from multiple screening centers across the United States. She called and fought multiple centers for information. Gabler also said it's okay for reporters to be a bit bossy.

Gabler stressed that reporters need to check their data. She felt it was unacceptable to blame the sender if the data was wrong. Gabler also encouraged reporters to share their findings with people who sent the data. It could spur change.  


“Tell a story. Don’t be boring,” Gabler said. She explained the importance of looking at the data and thinking about how to tell the best story with it.


Want to see more? Check out the entire "Deadly Delays" project and Gabler's post on IRE’s Transparency Watch blog about her fight for the newborn screening data.
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