'Wash Post' Reporters Win Top Prize for Walter Reed Stories

Article excerpt

Dana Priest and Anne Hull of The Washington Post are the 2008 winners of the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting for their coverage of poor conditions and bad management at that Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The $35,000 annual prize, presented by the School of Journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, "recognizes the year's outstanding work in investigative journalism that led to direct results," a release stated.

"Beginning in February 2007, the Post published a series of articles detailing how the once 'crown jewel of military medicine' has been transformed into 'a holding ground for physically and psychologically damaged outpatients' living in poor conditions and struggling in a 'messy bureaucratic battlefield nearly as chaotic as the real battlefields they faced overseas,'" the release added.

"The Washington Post series exposing the outrageous conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center is precisely the kind of journalism the Selden Ring award was created to honor and encourage," judges wrote in announcing the award. "The reporters wrote what they saw firsthand -- horrible, unsanitary conditions for outpatient care. They witnessed uncaring treatment, bureaucracy that ignored human needs. They told this story with great authority and power. Walter Reed, once considered the gold standard for treatment of soldiers, was revealed as badly in need of overhaul. …