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USA TODAY Wins Casey Medal for Toxic Schools Coverage

Several Gannett properties were cited in the 2009 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism, including USA TODAY, which tied with The Boston Globe in the Project/Series for large newspapers category.

USA TODAY was cited for “The Smokestack Effect: Toxic air and America’s schools,” an investigation by Blake Morrison and Brad Heath on the impact of industrial pollution on the air outside schools and its toxic effect on children.

“The project deserves top recognition for its commitment to a demanding, nationwide investigation as well as its exemplary use of database and computer-assisted reporting,” according to the press release announcing the awards.

USA TODAY tied with The Charlotte Observer, which examined the poultry industry.

The medals are are presented by the Journalism Center on Children & Families and funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Cincinnati Enquirer was named a runner-up in the Project/Series under 200,000 circulation category for ” Section 8: Subsidizing suburbia,” by Gregory Korte and Jane Prendergast.

The Cincinnati Enquirer series should be required reading for journalists on how to make a policy story come to life,” the release stated. “This examination of Section 8 housing explores not only the history and the data, but also the emotional and social impact on thousands of families in several Cincinnati neighborhoods.”

In the same category, The Honolulu Advertiser received an honorable mention for “Crossing the Line: Abuse in Hawai’i homes,” reported by Rob Perez, Kevin Dayton, Jeff Widener and Russell McCrory.

In the Multimedia category, the Detroit Free Press received a runner-up award for “The Boys of Christ Child House.” This report, produced by Brian Kaufman, Kathleen Galligan, Regina H. Boone, Kathy Kieliszewski, Robin Erb, James Thomas, Craig Porter and Nancy Andrews, examined the lives of children in a Detroit foster home.

The Casey Medals announcement said: ” An incredibly engaging presentation about the lives of children in a Detroit foster home. Thoroughly reported and well designed, the piece focuses on a world that is often removed from the public eye.” ㄀

KARE-TV NEWS, Minneapolis-St. Paul, was named runner-up in the TV Short Form category for “Swimming Lessons,” produced by Boyd Huppert and Jonathan Malat.

The announcement said:A remarkable story about teen suicide, using the example of one young athlete who seemed to have it all. It is compelling, compassionate and effective without being exploitative.”

Last Modified: June 2009