Philip Meyer Award Winners Announced

By: Joe Strupp

Three major investigative reports that used social science research methods as key parts of their probes were named today as winners of the 2008 Philip Meyer Journalism Award, organizers announced Thursday.

The winners were:

? Scripps Howard News Service, first place, for ?Saving Babies: Exposing Sudden Infant Death.? “Reporters Thomas Hargrove, Lee Bowman and Lisa Hoffman found administrative inconsistencies in the state and local review boards that examine infant deaths.”

? Mike Casey and Rick Montgomery of The Kansas City Star, second place, for “its investigation into safety issues linked to airbag failures finding that nearly 300 people die in the U.S. each year when airbags fail to deploy.”

? Mark Fazlollah, Dylan Purcell, Melissa Dribben and Keith Herbert of The Philadelphia Inquirer, third place, for revealing “that black citizens were arrested in disproportionate numbers for minor crimes in suburban Philadelphia. Follow-up investigations found more cases of police misconduct.”

The Meyer Awards will be presented on March 20, 2009, in Indianapolis at the 2009 CAR Conference. The first-place winner will receive $500; second and third will receive $300 and $200, respectively.

The award is administered by the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (a joint program of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Missouri School of Journalism) and the Knight Chair in Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

The Meyer Award is bestowed in honor of Philip Meyer, the Knight Chair in Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Meyer is the author of ‘Precision Journalism,’ the seminal 1973 book and subsequent editions that encouraged journalists to incorporate social science methods in the pursuit of better journalism. As a reporter, he also pioneered the use of survey research for Knight Ridder newspapers while exploring the causes of race riots in the 1960s.

More information can be found here.

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