About AHCJ: General News

2007 winners named in health journalism awards Date: 03/10/08


March 10, 2008


Charles Ornstein, AHCJ vice president, 213-237-7969

Julie Appleby, USA Today, contest co-chair, 703-854-5647

Len Bruzzese, AHCJ Executive Director, 573-884-5606

Columbia, Mo. - An investigation into deaths in Georgia's psychiatric hospitals, a riveting examination of the way genetic screening tests have changed American life, and a look at the abysmal state of dental health in West Virginia are among the top winners of the latest Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

The 2007 awards, announced today by Association of Health Care Journalists, recognize the best health reporting in 10 categories covering print, broadcast and online media. In its fourth year, the contest received nearly 400 entries.

The awards will be presented at a luncheon March 29 at Health Journalism 2008 in Washington, D.C. Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards, will be the keynote speaker.

"The caliber of the winners this year is first-rate," said Charles Ornstein, contest co-chair and a reporter at the Los Angeles Times. "As many news organizations retreat from in-depth health journalism, these pieces demonstrate why this type of news is so important. The public depends on the media and this is not the time to retreat."

This year, AHCJ added two categories that recognize the best work across all media platforms. Beat reporting covers a body of work by a single author, and the limited report category highlights stand-alone articles under 1,500 words or broadcast pieces shorter than five minutes.

The awards program was established in 2004 to bring attention to top health care coverage. The association was and continues to be concerned that special-interest groups are seeking to sway media coverage by awarding large prizes for coverage of specific medical and health issues.

No health care companies or agencies fund the association's awards.

Contest entries were screened and judged by 44 fellow journalists. To maintain the integrity of the awards, board members and contest committee members are not eligible to enter the contest.

First-place winners will receive $500 plus registration and hotel accommodations at the upcoming annual conference. Winners also will speak on conference panels about their work. Those interested in attending can get further information at healthjournalism.org/hj08.

AHCJ, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. Its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. The association and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism are based at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The winners are:

Beat Reporting

Limited Report

Magazines Above 1 Million

Magazines Below 1 Million

Large Newspapers

  • First Place: "A Hidden Shame," Alan Judd, Andy Miller, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Second Place: "Golden Opportunities," Charles Duhigg, The New York Times
  • Third Place: "Six Killers," Denise Grady, Gina Kolata, The New York Times

Medium Newspapers

Small Newspapers

TV/Radio Top 20 Markets

TV/Radio Below Top 20 Markets


Winning stories are available at healthjournalism.org, and AHCJ members can view questionnaires filled out by the winners.