NY Times, Boston Globe, AP among Polk award winners

NEW YORK -- The New York Times and The Boston Globe were double winners of the 2002 George Polk Journalism Awards, including one to a Globe reporter shot while reporting in the Middle East.

Michael Luo, a national writer for The Associated Press, won in the criminal justice reporting category for his three-part series which questioned the confessions and manslaughter convictions of three mentally retarded defendants in Butler, Ala.

The series drew national attention to the case and led to the release of two defendants; the third is in prison for an unrelated crime.

The Polk winners were announced Monday by Long Island University, which administers the awards, named for the CBS reporter killed while covering the Greek civil war. They will be presented on April 10.

Clifford J. Levy of the Times won the award for regional reporting for a yearlong series about the plight of 15,000 mentally ill adults housed in poorly supervised New York state-licensed facilities.

Health-care series

Barry Meier, Walt Bogdanich and Mary Williams Walsh of the Times won for health care reporting for a series that showed how two private companies cornered the market on the sale of drugs, medical devices and other supplies to many hospitals, inflating costs while distributing inferior products.

The Globe's Anthony Shadid, who was shot and seriously wounded while reporting from Ramallah in the West Bank, won the foreign reporting award for a 10-part series on the Middle East.

A team of Globe reporters and editors received the national reporting award for their yearlong series "Crisis in the Catholic Church," on the sexual abuse scandal.

Morley Safer of CBS received the career award. Safer, who joined the network in 1964, brought television's first critical reports of the Vietnam War into American living rooms. He has been a co-editor of "60 Minutes" since 1970.

Other winners were:

-- International reporting: Reporter Sonia Nazario and photographer Don Barletti of the Los Angeles Times for a six-part series that traced the harrowing journey of Honduran youth to the United States.

-- Environmental reporting: Debbie Salamone with Ramsey Campbell and Robert Sargent of the Orlando Sentinel for a 12-part series on risks to Florida's drinking water.

-- Financial reporting: Ellen E. Schultz and Theo Francis of The Wall Street Journal for an investigation into how some employers secretly use benefit plans such as life insurance policies to generate billions of dollars for themselves.

-- Medical reporting: Stephen Kiernan and Cadence Mertz of The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press for a series on medical malpractice in the state.

-- Magazine reporting: Arnold S. Relman and Marcia Angell of The New Republic for an article on how drug companies spend far more of their profits on advertising and lobbying than they do on research and development.

-- Local reporting: Jason Riley and R.G. Dunlop of The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., for reporting on mismanaged and delayed cases in a county judicial system.

-- Television reporting: Phil Williams and Bryan Staples of WTVF in Nashville, Tenn., for a series on potential ethics violations by then-Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist.

-- Cultural criticism: Susan Sontag for "Looking At War," an essay in the New Yorker magazine that examined the history of modern warfare through the photographer's lens and the impact of photojournalism on people's perceptions of war.

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