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Center kidney disease series honored by Society of Environmental Journalists

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A Center for Public Integrity examination of a rare kidney disease that has afflicted laborers and vexed researchers across continents was honored this week with a reporting prize from the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Mystery in the Fields, a 3-part series published in September, won 2nd Place in the SEJ’s Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding In-depth Reporting, Small Market. Honored were writer Sasha Chavkin, multi-media journalist Anna Barry-Jester and editor Ronnie Greene.

The Center’s series was among 21 winners chosen from 234 entries in seven categories of environmental journalism, the SEJ said in announcing the winners Wednesday.

“Reporters for the Center for Public Integrity found a mystery which for the moment remains a mystery. In a detailed piece of work spanning continents they highlight the similarity of kidney disease afflicting primarily male farm workers in India, Sri Lanka, and Central America,” judges wrote. “This work is also notable for doing an excellent job with more than a one medium. Words, photos, video, and graphics were used very well and to good effect.”