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IRE members honored with Polk Awards

Several IRE members were honored Sunday, Feb. 19, with a George Polk Award for Journalism, one of the most prestigious prizes for enterprise and investigative journalism in the world.

  • Ali Winston of the East Bay Express shared the award for Local Reporting for “Badge of Dishonor,” an extraordinary expose of human trafficking within the Oakland Police Department.
  • The Arizona Republic’s Craig Harris discovered that several government agencies in Arizona were purging their ranks of women, the elderly, and minority employees. His series, including the article “Arizona fires teacher in the midst of her breast-cancer fight,” won for State Reporting.
  • The award for Justice Reporting went to National Public Radio’s Joseph Shapiro and The Marshall Project’s Christie Thompson for “Doubling Up Prisoners In 'Solitary' Creates Deadly Consequences.” Their investigation of prisons nationwide found that inmates in “solitary” are sometimes given a cell-mate, whether or not it is safe to do so.   
  • Brian M. Rosenthal of the Houston Chronicle sent shock waves through his state with the revelation that “Texas quietly keeps tens of thousands of disabled children out of special education.” His series won the award for Education Reporting.
  • WNYC’s Robert Lewis won the Radio Reporting award for “NYPD Allows Top Cops Wide Range of Financial Interests With Little Oversight.” Lewis revealed that New York’s police department rarely checked on how its officers made money on the side, even when those jobs created conflicts of interest.
  • The award for Television Reporting was shared by IRE members, A.J. Lagoe and Steve Eckert of KARE-11 in Minneapolis. Their series “Invisible Wounds” showed how their state’s Veterans Administration had mishandled (and sometimes misdiagnosed) scores of cases.
  • Several members of IRE also worked on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ massive “Panama Papers” investigation, which received the Financial Reporting award.

The full list of winners can be read here.

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