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John Jay/H.F. Guggenheim Honorees Among 2013 George Polk Award Winners

Journalists who investigated the unregulated use of young confidential informants, failures by California's Office of Protective Services to address abuse at state clinics and the death of a man who was in Milwaukee police custody were among the 14 George Polk Award Winners announced Monday by Long Island University. Sarah Stillman of The New Yorker, whose article “The Throwaways” was runner up for this year's John Jay/H.F. Guggenheim Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Awards, won for magazine reporting. Gina Barton […]

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Report: NYPD Violated Rights of Journalists Covering Occupy Wall Street

A report released by a group of human rights lawyers found that New York police officers often violated the rights of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests and arrested at least 18 of them, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The Protest and Assembly Rights Project, the coalition of lawyers that authored the 200-age report, listed numerous incidents where reporters were obstructed, arrested or physically abused since the beginning of the Occupy movement in September. The […]

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The High Cost of Corrections in America

About one quarter of the world’s inmates are in a U.S. prison or jail, according to the Pew Center on the States, which recently released an infographic that highlights both the high costs and high rates of recidivism in the American penal system. One in 104 Americans is currently incarcerated, according to Pew, down from a high of one in 100 in 2008. Although nearly one out of every 14 state general fund dollars is spent on corrections, one out […]

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Methadone, Penn State, Policing, Judiciary Stories Win Media Awards

Criminal-justice stories were among major award winners in an annual contest by the Associated Press Media Editors association, the Associated Press reports. A Seattle Times’ investigation of the state of Washington’s practice of steering people to methadone to reduce its Medicaid costs won a public service award. The newspaper’s three-part “Methadone and the Politics of Pain” exposed how more than 2,000 people in the state between 2003 and 2011 fatally overdosed on methadone, a cheap and unpredictable painkiller that was […]

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The Case of the Poisoned Clam Chowder, the Socialite and the Yellow Press

By the time Mary Alice Livingston Fleming was accused of killing her mother, Evelina Bliss, on August 30, 1895, the details of the case had already created one of America’s original media frenzies. The alleged murder weapon: arsenic-laced clam chowder delivered unwittingly by Fleming's 10-year-old daughter, Gracie, in a tin pail. The alleged motive: access to a rich inheritance that would support Fleming's expensive lifestyle. The arrest and ensuing trial may have established the template for the kind of media […]

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Lessons of the Internet Age: Think Before Writing

As most of the media world knows by now, CNN and Fox News blundered——badly—in their rush to report the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act on Thursday. Both networks reported that the court had struck down the individual mandate portion of the law, then sheepishly retracted minutes later when it became clear the court had in fact upheld all portions of the law. The mistake will probably go down as one of the major media gaffes of […]

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Ganim Overcame Lying from Penn State Sources

“People can be good at lying,” says Sara Ganim, crime reporter for the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News. That was a major lesson of Ganim’s coverage of the Penn State sex abuse scandal that has earned the young reporter many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize awarded in April. Ganim spoke to the annual convention of Investigative Reporters & Editors, which ended Sunday in Boston. Ganim’s basic message was that the tale of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is now on […]

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Boston’s Davis to Journalists: Don’t Overemphasize Crime Stats

Running community policing programs well is more important than bringing crime statistics down, says Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis. Speaking to a national journalism convention yesterday in Boston, Davis said that while reducing crime numbers is important, “what matters is how the public feels about” police department efforts. He said, for example, that police flooding an area where drug sales are rife will produce high arrest numbers. He added, “That’s not the solution to the problem, and it can increase […]

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John Jay / H.F. Guggenheim Fellow Lion Calandra wins 2011 NFPW Award

An article on Rikers Island High School in The Crime Report was awarded first place in online writing in the 2011 National Federation of Press Women awards. The article, published July 15, 2010, explored whether America’s first high school at a correctional facility, the Austin H. MacCormick Island Academy, located at New York's Rikers Island jail, has fulfilled its promise to offer young offenders a second chance to go straight. See list of award winners here. The article, “Can a […]

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Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism

The deadline is 5 p.m. Fri., April 15 to apply for the 17th annual Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism honoring distinguished coverage in 2010 of children, youth and families. First-place winners receive $1,000; Categories include newspaper, video, magazine, audio, multimedia and photojournalism. First-place winners will also be considered for the America’s Promise Journalism Awards for Awareness, which pay $5,000. For more info, visit http://www.journalismcenter.org/content/history-and-guidelines