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Two more prize-winning reports

Earlier this week, I posted the link to the winning entry in the investigative category for the Association of Health Care Journalists.

If you haven't had a chance to read Shattered Trustyet, please do so.

Now here are links to the two pieces that tied for second place:

Counterfeit Drugs, by a team at CBS 60 Minutes.

Decoding Prime, by California Watch.


(posted earlier)

If you're a reporter covering health issues, there is no experience more humbling than serving as a judge for the annual contest sponsored by the Association of Health Care Journalists. I had that opportunity again this year, and I have never seen such impressive work.

I lucked out, being assigned to judge winners among the 11 finalists in the category of investigative work by large organizations, including major newspapers and TV networks. The other judge for that category was Wanda Garner Cash, associate director of the University of Texas School of Journalism.

She and I don't know one another, but we apparently think alike. Separately we chose the same three stories as winners:

First place: Shattered Trust, by Raquel Rutledge and Rick Barrett of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Tie for second place:
--Counterfeit Drugs, by a CBS 60 Minutes team: Sam Hornblower, Kyra Darn­ton, and Sanjay Gupta, M.D.
--Decoding Prime, by Christina Jewett, Lance Williams, and Stephen K. Doig of California Watch.

This week and next, I will focus on one of the winning entries from this category or another and encourage you to read it. I hope you will gain an appreciation for the work that goes into reporting and an understanding of why you should support journalism, through subscriptions and donations.  

I'd like you to read  "Shattered Trust,"  which Wanda and I judged as the first-place winner.  It tells the chilling story of how a company that manufactured "sterile" wipes for use in hospitals and in homes across the nation allowed them to become contaminated with bacteria and failed to recall them quickly enough.

It amounted to homicide by corporation, through fatal negligence.
It also implicates the Food and Drug Administration, which knew the company had problems for a decade but never cracked down.

To win this category, the reporters combined exhaustive reporting with writing that moved me to tears.

Here's the set-up for the story, which starts with the harrowing tale of 2-year-old Harrison Kothari:

Harry clutches his dad's shirt in desperation.
"Da, Da," he says.
Then his eyes roll back in his head and he has a seizure...
That same day, some 1,200 miles away, three investigators and a consumer safety officer with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are dispatched to a pharmaceutical company on the edge of a suburban office park ...

Powerful writing, based on solid reporting.

Remember, support your local journalists!

--Health News Florida is an independent online publication dedicated to public-service journalism. Contact Editor Carol Gentry at 727-410-3266 or by e-mail.

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.