February 11, 2004 - The Crimson: Dayton Daily News is finalist for prize on Peace Corps articles

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: October 26, 2003: Dayton Daily News reports on Peace Corps Safety and Security: February 11, 2004 - The Crimson: Dayton Daily News is finalist for prize on Peace Corps articles

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-42-145.balt.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - 11:26 pm: Edit Post

Dayton Daily News is finalist for prize on Peace Corps articles

Dayton Daily News is finalist for prize on Peace Corps articles

Center Announces Finalists for Journalism Prize

Contributing Writer

The Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government last week announced this year’s finalists for the illustrious Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.

The $25,000 prize honors journalism that advocates the ethical practice of politics, just and effective governance and the well-reasoned formation of public policy.

The six entries to advance into this year’s finals come from an array of publications and broadcasting stations, both local and national.

These stories unearth examples of corruption and misconduct, especially the exploitation of government offices and needless secrecy in businesses and organizations.

The Los Angeles Times’ finalists, reporters Chuck Neubauer, Richard T. Cooper and Judy Pasternack, exposed instances of “relative lobbying” in Congress, where Senators and Representatives promoted the interests of firms who employed their children as lobbyists and consultants.

The reporters were fist tipped off when they found that “in a number of cases, there were special issues that fathers in the Senate supported for years,” according to Neubauer.

Since the publication of this series, many lawmakers have adopted more stringent limits on who is allowed to lobby them.

Another pair of finalists, Phil Williams and Bryan Staples of WTVF-TV Nashville, addressed a similar problem in Tennessee state politics.

The duo produced three documentaries and over 60 news reports challenging the ethical conduct of state officials, including accusations that the governor illegally fed contracts to his friends.

“It began as a matter of curiosity,” Williams said. “I was curious to know who was benefiting from Tennessee’s tax dollars. Unfortunately, the people who benefit most are the ones who write the laws.”

The airing of their reports, entitled “Friends in High Places,” led to federal and state criminal investigations as well as legislation on contract reform.

On a more international scale, finalists Russell Carollo and Mei-Ling Hopgood of the Dayton Daily News wrote a series entitled “Casualties of Peace” which examined safety in the Peace Corps.

A contentious 20-month investigation revealed that the number of assaults on Peace Corps volunteers, including several deaths, has doubled since 1991—a fact that the Peace Corps concealed from its current volunteers.

This excessive secrecy has kept the families of missing and deceased Peace Corps volunteers in the dark about the fates of their relatives.

“The greatest satisfaction I’ve had is to provide families with information about their loved ones,” Carollo said.

In reflecting on their criticism of the Corps, however, the reporters were careful not to impugn the Corps’ goals.

“We were not questioning the mission of Americans helping other countries—that is a noble idea. But it’s about time someone kept track of how they’re doing it,” Hopgood said.

Other finalists include David Barstow of The New York Times and Lowell Bergman of Frontline for their report on the possibility that businesses are killing their workers by disregarding safety laws, and Joe Stephens and David B. Ottaway of the Washington Post for investigating the questionable land purchases of the Nature Conservancy.

The list of finalists is rounded out by the staff of the Gannett New Jersey Newspapers for their work in exposing lawmakers who made millions by exploiting their public service jobs.

The winner of the Goldsmith Prize will be announced on March 17 at the Kennedy School of Government.

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Story Source: The Crimson

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Investigative Journalims; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Awards



By William Tarpai ( on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 3:36 am: Edit Post

I appreciate the opportunity to be able to provide input. I hope the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting goes to the Dayton Daily News.

I have been working abroad continuously since 1991, starting out as a PC Volunteer in the Dominican Republic, then becoming a UN Volunteer in Somalia, moving on to spend a little more than 5 years as a PC staff member, finishing as an APCD Admin in Bulgaria in mid-1992. I have worked continuously with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees since 1992. My current position is Head of the UNHCR office in Tuzla, Bosnia Hercegovina.

The role of the Peace Corps, considering its three founding goals, is arguably more critical today than ever. However, it is clear that our volunteers must receive appropriate orientation and training on Security Management, Threat Assessment, have good Residential Security Measures in place, as well as having coverage for Malicious Act Insurance.

By Harlan Green (lsanca1-ar10-4-60-086-192.lsanca1.dsl-verizon.net - on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 9:33 am: Edit Post

Turkey Peace Corps was also a casualty of the Peace Corps' identification with other 'goals' of the U.S. Government. There was widespread belief that we were CIA linked. In part because there has always been a blurring of the jurisdiction line. The Peace Corps was ushered out of Turkey in 1971 mainly because of anti-American feelings re the Vietnam War, which had tarred even our peaceful efforts. I think that Peace Corps Vols should be aware that our 'schizoid' foreign policy that advocates war with the right hand, and peace with the left, will put them in danger when they decide to serve in such 'hotspots' as Columbia! Harlan Green, Turkey V RPCV

By mike osborn (majoroz) (cache-mtc-aa06.proxy.aol.com - on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 4:34 pm: Edit Post

Heh! Show me a country where we were NOT assumed to be CIA. A government official in Palau swore he saw me talking, on a secret radio, to CIA HQ.

And, please expand on "...the blurring of the jurisdiction line". I have no idea what you mean.

I praise the DDN for its coverage, as PC has been criminal in its insistence that we debase ourselves in our postings. And, before you get your knickers in a twist, there is a great difference in respect of culture, which we all carry with us, and dabasement of the individual, particularly PCV females.

(And for those ladies who wish to say "we were never....", yeah -- I know your weren't, but too many are)


oz, RPCV Micro 61

By daniel (0-1pool136-28.nas12.somerville1.ma.us.da.qwest.net - on Thursday, February 19, 2004 - 7:52 am: Edit Post

William Tarpai,

I like that Malicious Act Insurance. Good One.

To the two above, our foreign policy does put us in direct aim of our enemies and Peace Corps and the hill needs to know this. That is why we are just as important as any state department official, if not more, once in service.


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