Philip Meyer Award Winners announced
January 10th, 2006 by JTJ

Philip Meyer Award Winners
Read more
about the 2005 Philip Meyer Award

National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, a joint program of
IRE and the Missouri School of Journalism; the Knight Chair in
Journalism at Arizona State University; and IRE announce the winners of
the Philip Meyer Journalism Award, a contest to recognize the best
journalism done using social science research methods.

The awards will be presented March 10 at the Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference
in Newark, N.J. The first-place winner will receive $500; second and
third will receive $300 and $200. The contest, for work published or
broadcast between October 2004 and October 2005, attracted 28 entries
from across the country in its inaugural year. The judges noted it was
extremely difficult to pick winners because so many of the entries were
very strong. Stories are available to IRE members through the IRE and
NICAR Resource Center — just contact us at 573-882-3364 or

First Place

Steve Suo, The Oregonian, for “Unnecessary Epidemic”
This series of articles over the past year show how Congress and the
Drug Enforcement Administration could have stopped the growth of meth
abuse by aggressively regulating the import of the chemicals necessary
to make it. Lead reporter Steve Suo's work included sophisticated
statistical analyses of data on hospital and treatment center
admissions, arrests, meth prices and purity, and chemical imports. (Story #21638)

Second Place

Chris Adams and Alison Young, Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau, for “Discharged and Dishonored”
This yearlong series of stories revealed how disabled veterans were
being harmed by the bureaucratic inefficiencies of the U.S. Department
of Veterans Affairs. Reporters Chris Adams and Alison Young analyzed
survey data and the VA's own database of 3.4 million claims to discover
that more than 13,700 veterans died while waiting for their claims to
be resolved, and as many as 572,000 vets may be missing out on their
rightful disability payments. (Story #22132)

Third Place

Matthew Waite and Craig Pittman, St. Petersburg Times, for “Vanishing Wetlands”
This project demonstrated that 84,000 acres of Florida wetlands have
been destroyed by development since 1990 when President George H. W.
Bush declared a national policy of no net loss of wetlands. Waite and
Pittman penetrated beyond the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers'
poorly-documented records of development permits by using
before-and-after satellite imagery and geographical information systems
software to accurately measure the loss. (Story #22127)

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