The National Headliner Awards have honored Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting for four projects: our radio documentaries “The mystery of Mountain Jane Doe” and “Pizzagate: A slice of fake news, in collaboration with the Investigative Fund and Rolling Stone; our online beat coverage of unsafe workplaces; and #CitizenSleuth, a crowdsourcing project with the Center for Public Integrity. The awards, announced this week, are among the oldest annual journalism contests – founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“The mystery of Mountain Jane Doe” traced the solving of two 45-year-old mysteries by connecting the family of a missing woman with a woman’s body found along a rural Kentucky roadside. The hourlong documentary explains what happened to that woman and her daughter – and reveals the strange details surrounding her disappearance and murder. It won first place in the broadcast radio networks and syndicators documentary category.
The episode followed up on an earlier piece called “Inside America’s Coldest Cases,” part of Reveal’s investigation into the underlying problem: Despite advancements in DNA and other modern investigative techniques, more than 10,000 nameless remains lie tucked away in morgues and buried in paupers graves across the U.S while separate lists contain the names of as many as 80,000 missing people. That radio documentary won best of show for radio in the National Headliner Awards last year.
With two investigations exploring deadly worker safety lapses, reporter Jennifer Gollan earned first place for online beat coverage. In February 2017, she reported that major private shipbuilders have evaded scrutiny for serious accidents – and continued to reap massive contracts, despite patchy safety records. And in December, she exposed serious lapses at Goodyear tire factories, where employees said the company prioritized speed over safety. Both investigations yielded significant impacts, including fines and new laws.
In the social media category, Reveal and CPI share first place for #CitizenSleuth. The project, launched in July, invited the public to dig into the financial disclosures of the Trump administration. The resulting stories disclosed a shadow press office for Steve Bannon, then the White House chief strategist, and a former foreign agent guiding President Donald Trump’s homeland security pick through the confirmation process.
“Pizzagate: A slice of fake news” earned third place in the radio stations documentary category. The hourlong episode, produced in collaboration with The Investigative Fund and Rolling Stone, dissected and debunked a viral hoax that rocketed across the internet in 2016, ultimately culminating with an armed confrontation at a Washington, D.C., pizzeria.