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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2009 Polk Award Winners

Long Island University announced its 13 George Polk Awards for 2009. A number of the recipients appear to have used FOIA and state open records laws in their reporting, including:
  • The Bloomberg News team of Mark Pittman, Bob Ivry, Alison Fitzgerald and Craig Torres for their work to open the Federal Reserve Board's books on the bailout;
  • Raquel Rutledge of The Journal Sentinel for investigating the fraud, waste, and criminal activity tied to the $350 million Wisconsin child-care system;
  • George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer of The News-Democrat for an investigative series exposing cruel conditions in an Illinois "supermax" prison;
  • A "60 Minutes" team of Steve Kroft and Leslie Cockburn for a segment detailing Wall Street's influence in speculative oil transactions;
  • Kathy Chu of USA Today for a series showing how banks and credit-card issuers used unscrupulous practices and fees to gauge billions from customers;
  • Charlie Reed, Kevin Baron and Leo Shane III of the independent military newspaper Stars and Strips for exposing the Pentagon's secret use of a PR company to steer reporters to "positive" coverage of the war in Afghanistan;
  • David Grann of The New Yorker for an investigative report challenging the evidence against Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 after being convicted of setting a fire that killed his three young daughters;
  • Abraham Lustgarten of ProPublica for investigating the potentially carcinogenic effects of hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas drilling process.
For more about the Polk Award winners, click here.

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