The Society of Professional journalists has honored the Center for Public Integrity with its 2014 Sunshine Award, which recognizes news organizations for shining a light on the inner workings of government.
Judges cited the Center’s work for being at the “forefront of preserving democracy by investigating and uncovering corruption to better service interest of the public.”
Specifically mentioned were several Center projects and coverage areas:
Consider the Source identifies ‘shadowy’ political organizations after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling;
Justice Obscured examines the financial holdings and activities of the nation’s most powerful judges;
Poisoned Places looked at the EPA’s secret “watch list” of Clean Air Act violators;
Juris Imprudence found judges that admitted to conflicts of interest in the cases they ruled on;
Comerica contracts documented how a government initiative aimed at saving money hurt poor people and earned banks millions in fees.
Throwaway Kids documented how some of the poorest, most vulnerable students in the U.S. — farmworker kids — were getting expelled from schools and then shortchanged on alternative education.
Executive Director Bill Buzenberg said of the award: "The Center for Public integrity is deeply honored by this Sunshine Award recognition for our important contributions to open government. I firmly believe that our nonpartisan investigative reporting on corruption and holding governments at all level accountable to the public does indeed serve the interests of democracy".
The other honorees were the Guardian US, honored for its coverage in exposing the work of the National Security Agency; Robert Freeman, executive director for the NYS committee on Open Government; and Kathryn Foxhall, a longtime freelance reporter in Washington, D.C.
The winners will be honored at the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet at Excellence in Journalism 2014 on Sept. 6 in Nashville, Tenn.