Magazine article Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. The IRE Journal

IRE Contest Shines with Important Work

Magazine article Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. The IRE Journal

IRE Contest Shines with Important Work

Article excerpt

Five hundred entries and countless hours of judging have resulted in the selection of this year's winners of the IRE Awards.

It is a stellar group that emerged from a particularly competitive field in newspapers and broadcast.

"I thought this year's entries were very solid," said IRE board member and contest judge Joel Kaplan. "There was some exceptional stuff."

The five judges all commented on the depth and breadth of the stories they saw and the commitment of time and energy that was required of the news organizations.

WTHR in Indianapolis gave a reporter the time to develop his database of six years of DUI (driving under the influence) arrests. The Toledo Blade spent almost two years on its beryllium project. TV stations in smaller markets managed to find the time to do investigative pieces while meeting the daily demand.

IRE board members and contest judges Mike McGraw and Roberta Baskin said they were especially impressed by the entries in the broadcast category of TV stations below the top 20 markets.

McGraw added that "the decisions in large and medium newspapers were very difficult. They were exhaustive and well-written. I thought all the finalists were well-written this year."

Kaplan also noted that this year's winners "had huge impacts:"

The Washington Post winner "Invisible Deaths" led to major changes in the care of retarded citizens in Washington, D.C.

The Times Herald-Record of Middletown, N.Y., work on sheriff deputies' time cards led to dismissals. …

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