The New York Times wins 2 Polk Awards for its investigative reporting
The New York Times won two George Polk Awards for its investigative reporting that exposed the corruption and drug trafficking behind the assassination of the Haitian president and revealed extensive details about the US airstrikes in the Middle East that have killed civilians.
Long Island University, home of the Polk Awards, announced the 15 winners on Monday. John Darnton, the awards’ curator since 2009, said he received 610 submissions, the highest number ever, and they “came from far more sources of investigative reporting than ever before”.
“This speaks to the vitality and continued promise of an evolving journalistic landscape and is cause for optimism about the future of our craft,” he said in a statement.
Washington Post staff won the National Reporting Award for “The attack,” an online series that took an in-depth look at the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, showing how slow law enforcement was to respond to warnings of violence and detailing the aftermath. More than 75 journalists from The Post contributed to the series, which was based on thousands of pages of documents and hundreds of interviews, videos, photographs and audio recordings.
The Post also received a second award, for its technology reporting, which it shared with the US Guardian, as well as the nonprofit Forbidden Stories. The price was for “The Pegasus Projecta global investigation that found Israeli spyware had been used to hack into the smartphones of journalists, business leaders, politicians and human rights activists. Forbidden Stories organized a consortium of news organizations to dig into the leaked files and review hundreds of documents.
The “Wall Street Journal”Facebook filesled by reporter Jeff Horwitz won the award for economic reporting. The series, based on internal whistleblower files, showed how Facebook executives ignored the company’s internal findings about how flaws in its platforms were causing harm and were unwilling to address them. correct them.
The Foreign Reporting Award went to Maria Abi-Habib, Frances Robles and New York Times staff for reporting that uncovered a conspiracy behind the murder of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, linked to drug traffickers he was attempting to exhibit. US officials say the investigation into his death has stalled. Ms Abi-Habib interviewed more than 70 people to document the life of the president in the months leading up to his assassination and exposed corruption and insider trading in government.
Azmat Khan, a freelance writer, alongside Times reporters Dave Philipps and Eric Schmitt and newspaper staff won the military reporting award for investigations that revealed the true toll of the US air war in the Middle East and Afghanistan . The Pentagon has been forced to admit that a drone strike during the US withdrawal from Afghanistan mistakenly killed 10 civilians, including seven children. Documents uncovered by Ms Khan further showed a pattern of civilian mistakes and deaths.
The local reporting award was won by Corey G. Johnson, Rebecca Woolington, Eli Murray and the Tampa Bay Times for investigation at the Gopher Resource lead smelter in Tampa, Florida, which found workers were being exposed to unsafe conditions. Their reporting led to action by regulators and a six-figure fine for Gopher Resource.
Two Miami Herald reporters, Carol Marbin Miller and Daniel Chang, along with ProPublica, received the State Reporting Award for “Birth and betrayala series that revealed how a Florida law aimed at reducing malpractice costs for obstetricians was preventing hundreds of families from getting adequate support to care for their severely brain-damaged children. A fund supposed to provide for the needs of children has instead repeatedly refused requests while amassing $1.5 billion in assets. Its director and board of directors left following the reports, and the law was revised.
A New Yorker item by Ian Urbina, reporting with The Outlaw Ocean Project, on European Union efforts to keep migrants out, received the International Reporting Award. Mr. Urbina and his team discovered that migrants from sub-Saharan Africa were intercepted at sea by Libyans and held indefinitely in Libyan detention centers, a shadow immigration system funded by the European Union.
Adam Feuerstein, Matthew Herper and Damian Garde of Stat, a medical news site, won the medical reporting award for developer that Biogen had used a back channel campaign with the Food and Drug Administration to get its treatment for Alzheimer’s disease approved despite objections from the agency’s own scientific advisers.
The environmental reporting award went to ABC News anchor David Muir, executive producer Almin Karamehmedovic and producer Esther Castillejo for “children of climate changewhich aired on the ABC programs “World News Tonight” and “Nightline.” Dispatches from Mr. Muir from Madagascar described how climate change led to a famine affecting half a million children.
New Yorker writer Sarah Stillman won the Magazine Reporting Award for his work trace the exploitation and working conditions of migrant workers who hire disaster recovery companies to clean up the damage caused by climate disasters. She spent a year traveling to disaster areas and talking with workers and climate change experts.
Linda So, Jason Szep and Reuters staff received the Political Reporting Award for their review of intimidation and threats by supporters of Donald J. Trump against election officials and officials involved in the electoral process for the 2020 election. The Reuters Team tracked down nine people responsible for a series of threats who said they believed they had done nothing wrong. Only two expressed regret.
The local television reporting award went to Dave Biscobing of KNXV, an ABC affiliate in Phoenix, for reports which revealed that the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office falsely accused Black Lives Matter protesters of members of a criminal street gang.
The honor for national television reporting went to AC Thompson of ProPublica for his documentary “American insurgency», an examination of the rise of far-right extremism. The documentary was produced with the PBS series “Frontline” and the University of California, Berkeley’s Investigative Journalism Program.
CNN’s chief foreign correspondent, Clarissa Ward, and her team won the Foreign Television Reporting award for their coverage of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and the rapid takeover of the Taliban. Dispatches from Ms Ward showed Taliban revelers on the chaotic streets of Kabul while some women were too scared to leave their homes and many desperately tried to find a way out of the country.
The Polk Award winners, named after George Polk, a CBS News correspondent who was assassinated in 1948 while covering the Greek Civil War, will be honored at a luncheon in April.
Long Island University also announced a new award this year: the Sydney H. Schanberg Award. Named in honor of a longtime New York Times journalist, the award recognizes long-running investigative or corporate journalism that addresses conflict, corruption, military injustice, crimes of war or authoritarian government abuses. The award, funded by Mr. Schanberg’s widow, journalist Jane Freiman Schanberg, comes with a $25,000 donation.
Mr. Schanberg, who died in 2016, won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the fall of Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. His account of the life of his colleague, Dith Pran, inspired the 1984 film “The Killing Fields”.
The first recipient of the new award, announced this month, is New Yorker contributing writer Luke Mogelson for “Among the insurgentshis 12,000-word account of how the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol unfolded, as well as videos he filmed inside the Capitol with the rioters.