Weekly Watchdog 4/12/12

Award-winning work

We work hard every day to uncover the truth. That means thousands of hours digging, reporting and sifting through data to deliver compelling investigations to you.

We’ve been gratified lately to look up and find the Center’s journalism lauded by several professional organizations. This week, the Society of Professional Journalists awarded us three 2011 Sigma Delta Chi awards. The winners: the Poisoned Places air pollution investigation with NPR; Fueling Fears, a series uncovering dangerous safety problems at American oil refineries; and the Collapse of Solyndra, with ABC News.

It’s worth noting that the Center broke significant ground on the Solyndra story months before it became a household word. The coverage was also honored this week as a finalist for the Columbia University John B. Oakes Award.

Until next week,

 

 

Bill Buzenberg
Executive Director

 

 

NRA, conservatives unite on voter turnout
The National Rifle Association, a Ralph Reed-led social conservative group and other organizations have quietly begun pumping millions of dollars into voter-registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts to defeat President Barack Obama and help primarily Republican congressional candidates in November. The effort appears to be an attempt to match organized labor and liberal groups, known for their effectiveness in those areas. They come after at least a dozen states enacted GOP-backed laws tightening voter registration requirements.

 

On-call employment bad for workers
Retail watchers say big-box stores and shopping-mall stalwarts are increasingly hiring workers for on-call shifts, a trend that cuts labor costs for employers. That makes it tough for workers to plan their lives – and make enough money to survive.

 

Help Kickstart an investigation
Chronic kidney disease is killing thousands of the world's poorest laborers -- and no one knows why. Last December, reporter Sasha Chavkin worked with the Center and we published an investigation about this deadly mystery in Central America. New evidence suggests that the affliction is not a regional anomaly but an international epidemic. Sasha and an associate are working on a new investigation that will be the first to connect the outbreaks across several continents. We’ve set up a special Kickstarter campaign to raise $7,500 to fund this story. The deadline is April 22. Your support will make all the difference.

IMPACT: EPA Sued on Coal Ash
Environmental groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency in federal court last week over the EPA’s failure to regulate disposal of toxic coal ash. A 2009 Center for Public Integrity investigation revealed the havoc that coal ash has wreaked near ponds, landfills, and pits where it is dumped.

 

 

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