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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel named 2013 Farfel Prize winner

Mar 25, 2014

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel named 2013 Farfel Prize winner

$20K award cosponsored by Scripps College, Scripps Howard Foundation

ATHENS, Ohio (March 25, 2014)—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been named the winner of the $20,000 Ursula and Gilbert Farfel Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting for its series “Deadly Delays,” which uncovered mismanagement of infant blood tests at hospitals nationwide. The prize was among more than $180,000 in Scripps Howard Awards announced Thursday by the Scripps Howard Foundation.

According to judges’ comments filed with the win, “The Journal Sentinel is to be commended for the aggressive and systematic way it built a classic investigation out of mere threads, and its tenacity in conducting a truly national investigation with broad impact. Beyond the stories of children who survived and the devastating tales of those who didn't, the database built by the team was illuminating. By expanding this work to the entire nation rather than stopping at Wisconsin's borders, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was able to produce a package that reverberates and likely will save children around the country.” 

Established in 1953, the Scripps Howard Foundation’s national journalism awards competition is open to news organizations based in the U.S. and recognizes outstanding print, broadcast and online journalism in 15 categories. Two additional categories honor college journalism and mass communication educators for excellence in administration and teaching. 

The Farfel Award, cosponsored by the Foundation and the Scripps College of Communication, was established by OHIO alumna Ursula Farfel and her husband Gilbert in 2001 with a $500,000 endowment. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the other recipients of the journalism awards will be honored at a dinner May 22 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati. 

“Even though the communications industry is undergoing profound changes, our competitions continue to attract more outstanding entrants every year,” said Mike Philipps, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “Nationwide, we see a deep commitment to the core values of journalism – accuracy, fairness, context, storytelling and a deep respect for the First Amendment. We are also seeing more collaborative work by profit and not-for-profit media organizations.” 

Entries in the journalism categories were judged by 52 industry experts, who assembled for two days at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. Each category was assigned a separate panel of judges and their decisions are final. 

Winners and finalists learned of their selection during a webcast the public can access online at www.shawards.org

Finalists for the Farfel Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting include Rong-Gong (Ron) Lin II, Doug Smith and Rosanna Xia of the Los Angeles Times for “L.A.’s Earthquake Risks,” a series that advised policy-makers and the public on how best to prepare for the next “big one;” and Karisa King of the San Antonio Express-News for “Twice Betrayed,” an examination of sexual assault in the military and the further abuse suffered by victims. 

As part of the prize, reporters from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will visit Ohio University as visiting professionals during the 2014-2015 academic year.

To learn more about the award, visit www.ohio.edu/scrippscollege/farfelprize

- from staff reports