USA TODAY Wins Silver In Barlett & Steele Awards For Investigative Business Journalism

MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- USA TODAY has won the Silver Award in the sixth annual Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism. USA TODAY Reporters Alison Young and Peter Eisler and a newsroom-wide team won for their "Ghost Factories" series. The award was announced today by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

Ghost Factories was the result of a 14-month investigation that revealed locations of more than 230 long-forgotten smelters and the poisonous lead they left behind. Reporters used handheld X-ray devices to collect and test 1,000 soil samples to prove there was a serious threat to children living in dozens of neighborhoods.

The judges for this year's awards were Amanda Bennett, executive editor/projects and investigations at Bloomberg News; Steve Koepp, editorial director of Time Home Entertainment Inc.; and Paul Steiger, ProPublica's founding editor-in-chief, president and CEO.

"As a result of their efforts, government officials in 14 states have reopened flawed investigations, tested soil or taken other action to clean up contaminated property," said the judges.

"We couldn't be prouder of Alison and Pete and the entire investigative team that worked on this series. USA TODAY is committed to serving its readers and this type of investigative reporting does just that," said Larry Kramer, president and publisher of USA TODAY.

Named for the renowned investigative team of Don Barlett and Jim Steele, whose numerous awards include two Pulitzer Prizes, these annual awards funded by the Reynolds Center celebrate the best in investigative business journalism. The awards will be conferred Jan. 3, 2013, during Reynolds Business Journalism Week at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix.

USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY's mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Through its unique visual storytelling, USA TODAY delivers high-quality and engaging content across print, digital, social and video platforms. An innovator of news and information, USA TODAY reflects the pulse of the nation and serves as the host of the American conversation – today, tomorrow and for decades to follow. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of nearly 1.8 million daily, and, an award-winning newspaper website launched in 1995, reach a combined 6.6 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than 15 million downloads on mobile devices. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

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