Inside Public Integrity

Published — June 19, 2018

Center for Public Integrity wins three 2018 Edward R. Murrow Awards

Society of Professional Journalists’ D.C. chapter also honors four Center projects


The Radio Television Digital News Association today honored the Center for Public Integrity with three national Edward R. Murrow Awards — among the most notable prizes awarded annually for “outstanding achievement” in broadcast and digital journalism.

Carbon Wars,” a project of the Center for Public Integrity’s environmental reporting team that illuminates the energy industry’s efforts to maintain its lucrative franchises in the wake of climate change, won in the continuing coverage category.

Excellence in Social Media went to “#CitizenSleuth,” a joint effort by the Center for Public Integrity and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. That project created a searchable, sortable and public database of hundreds of Trump administration financial disclosures that turned into multiple investigative articles, with help from numerous reader tips.

The #CitizenSleuth project also won a separate Edward R. Murrow Award in the radio network division for Excellence in Innovation.

“We’re honored to be recognized for these terrific projects,” Center for Public Integrity CEO John Dunbar said. “Carbon Wars is a seminal look at industry’s indifference to the environmental issue of our generation while #CitizenSleuth was an example of crowd-sourcing and data reporting at its finest.”

The Center for Public Integrity last won a national Edward R. Murrow Award in 2014. This year, six Center for Public Integrity entries garnered regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. These winning entries then competed against regional winners in 14 different regions for national prizes.

The Center for Public Integrity also won four Dateline Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Washington, D.C., chapter.

The awards, distributed last week at the National Press Club, honor excellence among journalists based in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Center for Public Integrity winners include:

  • Liz Essley Whyte, David Jordan, Chris Zubak-Skees and Ben Wieder of the Center for Public Integrity and Ryan J. Foley of the Associated Press, who won first prize in the online non-breaking news category for “Conflicted Interests,” which analyzed the personal financial disclosures of nearly 7,000 state lawmakers and revealed numerous examples of where their personal and governmental interests intersect.

  • The Center for Public Integrity’s environmental reporting team, which won first prize in the online series category for “Carbon Wars.” Wrote contest judges: “Amazing journalism. Important. Easy-to-read and understand.

  • Sarah Kleiner, who won first prize in the online business reporting category for her ongoing investigation into a charity and related political organization that says it supports military veterans — but primarily spends money on telemarketers and its leader’s compensation.

  • Dave Levinthal, who took first prize in the online commentary and criticism category for his series of analyses about President Donald Trump’s political finances. “Important and impactful stories worthy of being read by any American from any political affiliation. Totally honest presentation making sure all sides are represented,” contest judges wrote.

Three other Center for Public Integrity entries were named Dateline Awards finalists:

  • Patrick Malone, Peter Cary, R. Jeffrey Smith and Chris Zubak-Skees in the online investigative category for “Nuclear Negligence,” which detailed safety weaknesses at U.S. nuclear weapon sites operated by corporate contractors. “Incredible documentation of problems affecting not only the workers directly involved with nuclear materials, but the nation’s security as well. Will anything change? Hopefully, yes. But, if it doesn’t, this team should be back at work soon,” contest judges wrote.

  • Rachel Wilson, Chris Zubak-Skees, Dave Levinthal, Carrie Levine and Christina Wilkie in the online non-breaking news category for “Buying of the President: Uncovering financial secrets in the age of Trump.”

  • Susan Ferriss in the online business category for “Trump country trade-off: Tariffs could trigger U.S. job losses,” which foreshadowed what parts of the United States would lose big in an international trade war.

Other winners this year included the New York Times, NPR and CBS News, among others.


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