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Polk Awards Given For Criminal Justice Reporting

ProPublica won three George Polk Awards in journalism on Monday, including for its coverage of Supreme Court justices’ ethics, Now in their 75th year, the Polk Awards, named after a CBS correspondent who was murdered while covering the Greek Civil War, honors investigative reporting that “gains attention and achieves results,” says its host institution, Long Island University, reports the Washington Post. ProPublica won the national reporting award for uncovering the lavish gifts that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had secretly been receiving for decades from Texas billionaire Harlan Crow. ProPublica also revealed that Justice Samuel Alito accepted a luxury Alaskan fishing trip with business mogul and GOP donor Paul Singer — and didn’t recuse himself when Singer had cases before the court. The justices later pledged to follow a broadly-written conduct code.


“The Kids of Rutherford County,” a collaboration among WPLN, ProPublica and Serial Productions from the New York Times, about a juvenile discipline system that violated state law, won in the podcast category.

The local reporting award went to Streetsblog NYC for an investigation of fake temporary license plates. The Gazette in Colorado Springs received the state reporting award for exposing flaws in the family court system. The justice reporting award went to Brian Howey, a freelance reporter whose work unveiled deceptive tactics carried out by California police. He began his reporting while a student at the University of California at Berkeley, and the story was later published in the Los Angeles Times and turned into a podcast segment for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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