Criminal Justice Reporting Wins Three Polk Awards


Publications in New Jersey, Wisconsin and Louisiana were awarded 2010 George Polk Awards for their work on criminal justice.

Amy Brittain and Mark Mueller of the Newark Star-Ledger were named winners of a 2010 George Polk Award in Journalism for “Strong at Any Cost,” their series that “revealed rampant steroid use and fraud among cops and firefighters in New Jersey.” The judges said that, “the tenacious work of the Star-Ledger tandem resulted in a wave of action from state lawmakers and the presidents of New Jersey's two largest police unions — including an investigation by the state Attorney General's Office and calls for random drug testing for steroids.”

John Diedrich and Ben Poston of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel were named winners in criminal justice reporting, for “Wiped Clean.” an investigation into violations by gun dealers, including how “more than 50 gun shop owners facing federal scrutiny wiped away years of gun sale violations simply by changing ownership on paper, such as from father to son or from husband to wife.”

In the category of television reporting, A.C. Thompson of ProPublica, Raney Aronson-Rath and Tom Jennings of PBS’ “Frontline,” and Laura Maggi and Brendan McCarthy of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, won for “Law & Disorder,” an investigation into abuses by New Orleans police following Hurricane Katrina. The judges said that, “The news project revealed that in the midst of post-Katrina chaos, law-enforcement commanders issued orders to ignore long-established rules governing use of deadly force, reporting that a police captain told a group of officers that they had the authority “by martial law to shoot looters.”

The George Polk Awards have been administered by Long Island University since 1949. They memorialize CBS correspondent George W. Polk, who was slain covering the civil war in Greece in 1948.

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