For his work on black lung issues, Chris Hamby from the Center for Public Integrity has won the American Business Editors and Writers award for best digital investigative reporting. [Update: On March 5, 2014, the series also won the prestigious Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize from the Kennedy School at Harvard University.]
Breathless and Burdened is a must-read series that was published last fall. The series provided a well researched, clearly written picture of problems in the black lung system which keep disabled miners from receiving the benefits they deserve.
Since the series has been published, Johns Hopkins University suspended its black lung program, and the Department of Labor cited the series as part of its motivation for supporting unrepresented miners before administrative law judges (see the memo referred to in last weeks’ post).
Chris Hamby and the other reporters at the Center for Public Integrity did truly top-notch work and this award is well-deserved. Hopefully this attention will motivate similar work by other journalists and bring more attention to remaining problems in the black lung system.