Winner: Tampa Bay Times. Reporters Corey Johnson, Rebecca Woolington and Eli Murray won the George Polk Award for the expose Poisoned about Gopher Resource, a local lead smelting plant where workers and the community were exposed to dangerous levels of pollution. Many newspapers won’t attempt investigations like this, but the Times continues to prioritize it.
Loser: Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Eileen Kates sued Sheriff Chris Nocco over the department’s intelligence-led policing, which targets people with criminal history that data says are likely to reoffend. Kates’ son was on parole and not living with her, but deputies continued to harass her.
– Joe Henderson, Extensive Enterprises Media