Our First Annual Top Ten List
In what we hope becomes an annual tradition, the Post Investigations blog names the top newspaper investigations of 2007:
The Top Ten(alphabetically by newspaper name)
1. Charlotte Observer, staff
"Sold a Nightmare"
The project examined the root causes of the Charlotte area's high rate of housing foreclosures, focusing on a 10-year-old subdivision where lenders have foreclosed on about a fifth of its 406 homes. Major awards: George Polk Award for economic reporting; finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
2. Chicago Tribune, staff
The articles exposed flaws in the Consumer Product Safety Commission's regulation of toys, car seats and cribs, leading to recalls of hazardous products and congressional action.
Major awards: Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting; Roy Howard Award for Public Service; George Polk Award for Consumer Reporting; finalist for Selden Ring Award.
3. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, David Umhoefer
Abuse of county pension funds
Stories on the skirting of tax laws to pad pensions of county employees, prompting change and possible prosecution of key figures. Major awards: Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting;
4. National Journal, Edward T. Pound
Investigation of HUD Secretary Alphono Jackson
Broke the story of possible malfeasance by HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, who had lined up a $485,000 contract at the HUD-controlled Housing Authority of New Orleans for a golfing buddy and social friend from Hilton Head Island, S.C. Jackson eventually resigned.
5. The New York Times, Walt Bogdanich and Jake Hooker
"A Toxic Pipeline"
The articles traced the origin of toxic ingredients in medicine and other everyday products imported from China, leading to crackdowns by American and Chinese officials. Major awards: Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting; Scripps Howard Farfel Prize for Investigative Reporting; Investigative Reporters and Editors' Medal; finalist for the Goldsmith and Selden Ring awards.
6. Palm Beach Post, Tom Dubocq
"Palm Beach County's Culture of Corruption"
A two-year investigation exposed Palm Beach County's worst corruption scandal in nearly a century, prompting federal investigations and leading two county commissioners, a prominent lobbyist and a governor's appointee to plead guilty to corruption charges. Major awards: Finalist for Goldsmith Award.
7. The Salt Lake City Tribune, Loretta Tofani
"American Imports, Chinese Deaths"
Tofani, a freelance reporter, visited more than 25 factories in China and observed first-hand how workers routinely risk their health and sometimes their lives making products for export to the United States and other countries. Major awards: Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative reporting; Investigative Reporters and Editors' Medal; finalist for the Goldsmith Award and for the Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism.
8. The Seattle Times, staff
"Victory and Ruins"
The Times revisited the University of Washington's legendary Rose Bowl -winning football team of 2000, finding that the school and athletic officials, as well as the city's major institutions, tolerated a pattern of criminal conduct and hooliganism by the players.
9. The Washington Post, Dana Priest and Anne Hull
"Walter Reed and Beyond"
The articles exposed mistreatment of wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital, creating a public outcry and leading to reforms of the military's medical system. Major awards: Pulitzer Prize for Public Service; Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting; Worth Bingham Award; Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service; Investigative Reporters and Editors' Medal; finalist for the Goldsmith Award and for the Farfel Prize.
10. The Washington Post, Bart Gellman and Jo Becker
"Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency"
How the most powerful vice president in history has influenced national policies on terrorism, homeland security, the economy, the environment and the Supreme Court. Major awards: Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting; Goldsmith Award for Investigative Reporting; George Polk Award for Political Reporting.
Read on for Honorable Mentions....
Dallas Morning News, Brooks Egerton and Reese Dunklin: "Unequal Justice: Murderers on Probation."
Denver Post, staff: "Trashing the Truth," destruction of DNA archives in criminal cases.
High Country News, Colorado, Ray Ring: deaths in the oil and gas fields.
Los Angeles Times, Alan C. Miller and Myron Levin: "Danger in Tow," an investigation of U-Haul.
Newsday, staff: "Investigating the Gap," an investigation of hazards on Long Island Railroad platforms.
New York Times, Charles Duhigg: "Golden Opportunities," a series on how business and investors have profited from the growing aging population.
Orlando Sentinel, Vicki McClure and Mary Shanklin: "Charter Schools: Missing the Grade."
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Sally Kestin, Peter Franceschina and John Maines: "Fast Fortune, Big Spending," the Seminole tribe.
The Washington Post, James Grimaldi and Jacqueline Trescott: Troubles at the Smithsonian.
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