Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting’s “Fatal Flaws” wins National Award for Excellence in Healthcare Journalism

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting’s (KyCIR) Fatal Flaws project has won a first place Association for Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) Award for Excellence in Healthcare Journalism.

KyCIR placed first in the consumer journalism category. The New York Times and Bloomberg placed second and third, respectively, in this national competition.

“The AHCJ contest highlights innovative reporting on health care, offering examples for all journalists of how to help the public understand this important and complicated issues,” said Tony Leys, AHCJ contest chair and a health care reporter for the Des Moines Register.

Fatal Flaws highlighted Kentucky’s worker safety program failing to properly investigate nearly every on-the-job death for two years. It was a collaboration between KyCIR, the Ohio Valley ReSource and the Center for Public Integrity.

“Fatal Flaws is a powerful combination of legwork, data journalism and storytelling,” the AHCJ judges said. “The collaborative nature of this work demonstrates the kind of journalism good teamwork can produce. The data journalism in this series is particularly strong, but combining it with equally compelling narratives put this story over the top. The audio complemented the stories, making this important work accessible to multiple audiences. The graphic presentation attached a name and details to each incident, making each death a person, not just a statistic.”

“Our goal with every story is to speak for the vulnerable and expose systemic flaws,” KyCIR Managing Editor Kate Howard said. “Fatal Flaws brought to light significant lapses in the state’s worker safety program that are already having impact, and we are honored to see that work recognized.”

The stories were written and reported by Eleanor Klibanoff of KyCIR; Jim Morris of the Center for Public Integrity; and Jeff Young of the Ohio Valley ReSource. Alexandra Kanik assisted with data analysis, designed the web site and built the web interactives.