The winners of the inaugural Weiss Award for Investigative Journalism were recognized today in a ceremony at the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons at WHYY. The Center for Public Interest Journalism extends a heartfelt congratulations in their direction.
Winning stories are linked below.
From these, a panel of judges–including Temple Professor Shenid Bhayroo, New York Times investigative reporter Eric Lipton, and veteran newswoman and former editor of the Orlando Sentinel Charlotte Hall–chose one Winner and two Special Recognition prizes.
Staff – Philadelphia Inquirer – “Assault on Learning”
Awardees: Susan Snyder, Kristen Graham, Dylan Purcell, Jeff Gammage, John Sullivan, David Swanson, Ron Tarver, Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel, Frank Wiese, Rose Ciotta, Mike Leary
An immersive, multimedia investigation into violence and unsafe learning conditions in Philadelphia’s public schools, this seven-part series spurred an overhaul of the schools’ incident-reporting process and the hiring of a state-funded safe schools advocate.
Patrick Kerkstra – PlanPhilly/Inquirer – “Deluge of Deadbeats”
Patrick Kerkstra’s investigation into the City’s property-tax delinquency epidemic is a marvel of data research and comparative analysis. Citing the Inquirer/PlanPhilly report–which reveals that Philadelphia has the most tax-delinquent properties of major U.S. cities by a wide margin–members of City Council have introduced legislation modernizing the tax-collection and foreclosure processes in the City.
Jeff Cole, Gary Scurka, and Mark LaValla – “Drinking Postal Workers” – FOX 29
This hidden-camera investigation revealed several uniformed postal workers drinking heavily at a bar while on the clock, and later attempting to drive their USPS trucks back to work–at which point FOX 29 reporter Jeff Cole intervened. The report led to an investigation by the Postal Service Inspector General’s office, which confirmed the station’s findings.