Rape on the Night Shift, our bilingual collaborative investigation into the sexual abuse of janitors, has been named the winner of an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award in the large broadcast/video category.
The project was a collaboration among Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, The Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, KQED, FRONTLINE and Univision. Produced in both English and Spanish, the project included an hourlong television documentary, longform text stories, radio segments and a radio documentary.
Here’s what the IRE judges had to say:
Night shift janitors are being raped on the job. It is so common that the workers whisper about who to avoid while cleaning offices. Janitors warn each other about supervisors who work late so they can attack while nobody else is around. This documentary brought needed attention to this issue. The reporting team used lawsuits as a launchpad for the project that included scouring OSHA inspections, U.S. Department of Labor and law enforcement records. In all, the journalists interviewed more than 200 sources. Importantly, the story was presented in both English and Spanish online and on the air. Janitorial workers who worked out of sight, afraid to speak up, found a powerful, determined, patient and compassionate advocate.
Since the project went live, a California assemblywoman has begun working on legislation to protect workers, and the nation’s largest janitorial company has agreed to an outside review of rape allegations in California.
Finalists in the large broadcast/video category were “A Crime Against Humanity” by “60 Minutes”-CBS News, on the 2013 Sarin gas attack in Syria, and “Outbreak,” about the Ebola virus, by FRONTLINE and WGBH/PBS.
Left for Dead, another Reveal project, was a finalist in the Innovation in Investigative Journalism/large category. The series, which included a serial documentary and an app allowing users to research cold cases, investigated how America fails the missing and unidentified.
IRE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting through training and education.