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IRE members honored with Polk Awards

Several IRE members were named winners of the 2015 Polk Awards in Journalism by Long Island University on Sunday, Feb. 14. The awards honor special achievement in many areas of journalism, especially in enterprise and investigative work. The following IRE members were honored this year:

  • Margie Mason and Martha Mendoza were part of the Associated Press team recognized for their expose of horrific slavery and labor abuse on islands in Thailand and Indonesia. Their story, “Seafood from Slaves” won the Foreign Reporting award.

  • Ian Urbina of The New York Times also received the Foreign Reporting award for his coverage of the violence and murders that occur on the lawless high seas in his series “The Outlaw Ocean.”

  • The Washington Post investigative unit which includes several IRE members devoted one year logging every fatal officer-involved shooting in 2015. The detailed database of police shootings, “Investigation: people shot and killed by police this year” got the investigative team the National Reporting award.

  • Washington Post reporter Terrence McCoy’s coverage of the lead poisoning in one of the most underprivileged neighborhoods in Baltimore won the Regional Reporting award for “Lead poisoning is ‘toxic legacy’ that still haunts Freddie Gray’s Baltimore.”

  • John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal was recognized with the Financial Reporting award for his investigations on the questionable lab operations of a hot medical startup, Theranos, in “Testing Theranos.”

  • Michael LaForgia was one of the Tampa Bay Times journalists to win the award for Education Reporting. His series, “Failure Factories,” exposed how the Pinellas County School Board members neglected schools in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the county and turned them into some of the worst schools in Florida.

  • Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project and T. Christian Miller of ProPublica collaborated on an investigative story of a teenager who was brutally raped and assaulted. Their story, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” won the Justice Reporting award.

  • Robert Gebeloff was part of a team from The New York Times that won the Legal Reporting award for “Beware the Fine Print.” This story exposed deceitful and damaging corporal legal practices that derive consumers and employees of their ability to sue corporations.

  • A group of The New York Times journalists, including Sean D. Naylor, reported on how elite U.S. Navy SEAL teams often operated with little accountability despite accusations of battlefield abuses. Their story “SEAL Team 6: A Secret History of Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines” received the Military Reporting award.

Read press release for a complete list of winners.

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