Chastity Pratt-Dawsey and John Bebow
Bridge Magazine has won awards from two organizations for its comprehensive coverage of the Flint water crisis.
John Bebow, president and CEO of The Center for Michigan, which publishes Bridge Magazine, and the staff of Bridge were named a winner of the Wade H. McCree Advancement of Justice Award. The award, sponsored by the Michigan Press Association, recognizes the creation and impact of an online timeline of government documents and communications pertinent to the drinking water crisis. It is a project so thorough it came to be used as a reference in official investigations about the disaster, and was later included in a book Bridge published about the crisis, “Poison on Tap.”
The award also recognized a few of the numerous articles Bridge staffers wrote about the disaster, including:
A Michigan Truth Squad that called a “foul” on Gov. Rick Snyder for his inaccurate characterization of the state’s role in the crisis.
Bridge’s coverage of the ongoing water crisis can be found here.
The McCree awards are named for the late Wade H. McCree, Jr., a groundbreaking African-American jurist who served as a Michigan Circuit Court judge, circuit, federal and U.S. Appeals judge and as a solicitor general of the United States. He was a champion of equal rights and accountable government, and was dedicated to advancing a greater understanding of the vital role of journalists in a free society.
The awards are based on the significance, impact and informative level of the work, plus an orientation toward solutions.
Bridge also won a McCree award last year, for a series of stories on sexual assaults of juvenile offenders housed in adult prisons. Other McCree Award winners this year are: Jennifer Dixon and Kristi Tanner of the Detroit Free Press for a series on workplace deaths and safety; George Hunter of The Detroit News for stories that helped win the freedom of a wrongly convicted man; and the staff of Michigan Radio for a series on so-called “juvenile lifers.”
The awards will be presented April 9.
Chastity Pratt Dawsey and the staff of Bridge also will be recognized as a winner of the Vanguard Award, presented by the Detroit chapter of the Association of Women in Communications. The award recognized the work of Dawsey and the rest of the Bridge staff for its timeline of the Flint crisis and subsequent book, as well as stories Dawsey wrote exposing the likelihood that more people died from Legionnaire’s disease during the crisis that had been publicly reported.
The Vanguard Award recognizes innovation in a communications campaign.
Also to be recognized with awards by the Association of Women in Communications will be Joanne Gerstner, co-author of the book, “Back in the Game: Why Concussion Doesn’t Have to End Your Athletic Career,” and Pat Anstett for her work as a medical reporter at the Detroit Free Press.
The awards will be presented May 18.