Polk Award Winners Announced

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(AP) Coverage of the terrorist attacks and ensuing war in Afghanistan yielded several winners of the 2001 George Polk Journalism Awards, including a British Broadcasting Corp. reporter who was inside the World Trade Center the morning of Sept. 11.

Stephen Evans, the BBC’s North American business correspondent, was in the lobby of the trade center’s south tower on Sept. 11 when the first hijacked airplane struck. He and his BBC World Service colleagues were honored Tuesday for their coverage of the subsequent events.

The New York Times received its 78th Polk award for national reporting for its series “A Nation Challenged,” which provides detailed coverage of the attacks and their aftermath.

New York Times correspondent Barry Bearak won a foreign reporting award for his coverage from Afghanistan. Bearak reported from the front lines on the struggle between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance for months before U.S. forces entered the war.

Bernard Lewis received the magazine reporting award for his New Yorker article “The Revolt of Islam,” which examined the “historical context and likely impact of Islam’s war with the West.”

The Polk career award went to Edna Buchanan, who covered Miami when it became “the center of the international drug trade and the scene of race riots.” She left The Miami Herald after nearly 20 years to start a career as a writer of mystery novels.

Joan Didion won the book award for “Political Fictions,” a compilation and amplification of eight articles she had published in The New York Review of Books in the wake of the confusion surrounding the 2000 presidential election.

The winners were announced by Long Island University, which administers the Polk awards, named in 1949 for George Polk, a CBS reporter killed while covering the Greek Civil War. The winners will be honored at a luncheon on April 11.

Other winners were:

* International reporting: Sudarsan Raghavan and Sumana Chatterjee of Knight Ridder newspapers, for “A Taste of Slavery,” a series of stories linking the world chocolate trade to modern-day slavery.

* Financial reporting: Susan Pulliam and Randall Smith of The Wall Street Journal, for a series that revealed misleading and fraudulent practices by investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston in promoting initial public stock offerings.

* Local reporting: Heidi Evans and Dave Saltonstall of the New York Daily News, for revealing and documenting allegations of financial impropriety and neglect at Hale House, the Harlem-based refuge for children born to drug-addicted or imprisoned mothers.

* Medical reporting: Duff Wilson and David Heath of The Seattle Times, for exposing questionable practices at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

* Metropolitan reporting: Bill Theobald and Bonnie Harris of The Indianapolis Star, for a six-month investigative series, “Destined to Die,” which revealed that thousands of dogs and cats were put to death annually in Indianapolis by the city and the local humane society, largely because the society failed to undertake a low-cost spay-neuter program already in place in other cities.

* Regional reporting: Jesse A. Hamilton, Stephanie Earls, Tom Roeder, and Mark Morey of the Yakima (Wash.) Herald-Republic, for “Caught by the Fire in the Canyon,” a report about a lethal forest fire in Washington state.

* Environmental reporting: Lisa Davis of the San Francisco Weekly, for a series that revealed a history of mishandled radioactive waste at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard.

To see winners from previous years, visit http://www.liu.edu/cwis/bklyn/polk/polk.html.

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