Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism wins top national award for drinking water project
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism wins top national award for drinking water project.
“Failure at the Faucet” was one of 85 honorees among more than the 1,300 entries.
“This award is a testament to the stellar work of the Center’s staff and the inspiring leadership of Andy and Dee Hall, who have built the Center into one of the top investigative nonprofit newsrooms in the country,” said Brant Houston, Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and president of the Center’s board of directors.
Reporting for the series began in 2015 as part of The Confluence, an experimental news project of the Center and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
It is an example of in the UW’s vaunted Wisconsin Idea in action.
In early 2016, the Center was the first to report on the dangers posed by Wisconsin’s 176,000 lead service lines and the state’s high childhood lead poisoning rate, which rivals that of Flint, Michigan.
Throughout 2016, the Center continued its coverage of the risk of lead in state drinking water, including high levels at two state prisons.
The Center’s staff, along with UW-Madison’s J475 students, won an award for "Best Investigative Story or Series" for the "Failure at the Faucet" series, which revealed numerous threats to drinking water quality in Wisconsin, including lead, arsenic, radium, strontium, human and animal bacteria and viruses and pesticides.
UW-Madison journalism faculty: Deborah Blum and Katy Culver.
The organization is “dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty.” Last year’s SDX award winner in the same category was “Rape on the Night Shift,” by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporting Program at University of California-Berkeley, Frontline, Univision and KQED.