By: E&P Staff
The Philadelphia Inquirer investigative reporter Craig R. McCoy was awarded the third annual I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence.
“I didn’t even know I’d been nominated,” McCoy told Inquirer Staff Writer Robert Moran, who noted the medal is awarded in honor of the journalist McCoy read as the teenage son of a political science professor who subscribed to I.F. Stone’s Weekly.
The 58-year-old reporter’s work was cited by federal prosecutors in a case that put former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo behind bars. With the Inquirer since 1982, McCoy was part of a reporting team that in the late 1990s showed Philadelphia’s police had been downgrading crimes to improve crime statistics.
Moran wrote that the team’s reporting “led to a review of downgraded reports of sex crimes, to the conviction of 33 men on sexual-assault charges, and to a revamping of the department’s Special Victims Unit.
More recent reports on city courts’ low conviction rates and large numbers of fugitives have led to continuing reforms, according to the Inquirer, where Editor and Pulitzer Prize winner Bill Marimow said McCoy’s work “really epitomizes the best in public-service journalism.”
The Nieman Foundation at Harvard University awards the medal to a journalist “whose work captures the spirit, integrity, and courage” of Stone (a Philadelphia native and one-time Inquirer reporter). The foundation’s three-person committee chooses a winner from recommendations by a one-year panel of anonymous journalists.