Contest Entries

Prescription Drugs at the Swap Meet

Entrants: Kelley Weiss, Joe Barr and Paul Conley

Affiliation: Capital Public Radio

Radio (Local markets, network, syndicated)

Year: 2008

Place: First Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

In California it's not uncommon for people in some Latino communities to get prescription drugs at the local swap meet. KXJZ News found while misuse of these drugs could be deadly, police and health officials around the state are largely ignorant of the problem. But in Los Angeles, an innovative team of health officers and law enforcement is having some success.

Judges' comments: Using lively ambient sound and thorough, on-the-ground reporting, this revealing story took an under-reported issue - illegal prescription drugs sold at swap meets - and put it in a cultural and health policy context. The reporter handled a daunting challenge with grace, pushing through language and cultural barriers and balancing cultural sensitivity with hard-nosed, commonsense reporting. The follow-up story was a natural continuation of the issue, focusing on the difficulty of stopping illegal prescription drug sales on the local and state levels. Great writing and scene setting.

Listen to "Prescription Drugs at the Swap Meet."

See the contest questionnaire about how this story was reported.