Archive for August, 2015

Dispatch, SPLC share Pulliam Award

campusinsecurityA little late — but another big honor for Region 4.

SPJ announced on July 24 that the Columbus Dispatch and the Student Press Law Center were awarded the Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award for their fight against hidden campus crime rates. The award comes with a $10,000 prize.

The Dispatch and SPLC worked together last year on an investigative series titled “Campus Insecurity,” available here.

“Most campuses are anything but secure. And worse, administrators have cloaked their campus crime rates and poor response to them in secrecy — failing to take some complaints seriously, shunting what should be criminal cases into closed-door campus judicial hearings handled by untrained faculty and students, and refusing public records about the cases or stalling when asked for them,” the authors wrote.

The series revealed flawed and unreliable crime statistics, which misrepresent crime on campuses. In some cases, campus officials failed to even report violent crimes.

The series also exposed lack of transparency on college campuses, especially related to judicial hearings involving crimes.

“Because of all of their hard work, they informed the public of a very serious issue and brought awareness to the importance of accurate crime reporting,” SPJ said in its press release, noting that Dispatch and SPLC staffers had to fight to get public records.

They will honored Sept. 20 at the President’s Installation Banquet during Excellence in Journalism 2015 in Orlando.



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