AHCJ member Michael Berens and Ken Armstrong, reporters at The Seattle Times, received the 2012 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting for a three-part series called “Methadone and the Politics of Pain.”
The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism awards the $35,000 prize every year for investigative coverage.
Judges congratulated Berens and Armstrong for their “thorough and groundbreaking reporting on how more than 2,000 people in Washington state have fatally overdosed on the painkiller methadone.”
Following publication, state officials issued warnings against methadone’s use as a pain management drug and indicated for the first time that it should be used only as a last resort.
Citing high ratings for accuracy and credibility, the Boston-based Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making has given the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the foundation’s first award for Excellence in Health Journalism.
The award was for the work of the health and science team, including AHCJ member John Fauber, as rated on the Foundation-sponsored Web site healthnewsreview.org. According to the foundation’s press release, the Journal Sentinel received more top ratings than any other newspaper of a similar size. The award comes with cash and a certificate.
“We were very surprised and pleased by this recognition,” said Becky Lang, the Journal Sentinel‘s health and science editor. “In the current media environment of instant Internet coverage and reduced staffing in credible news outlets, the pressure is on for us to keep the standards high. It is even more important than ever for us to provide health stories that are meaningful, accurate, reader friendly and that delve deeper than the surface. We welcome this kind of oversight.”