CIR wins 4 awards from Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California chapter

EMERYVILLE, Calif. – The Center for Investigative Reporting today received four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California chapter for public service, data visualization, investigative reporting and video journalism.

“CIR is honored to have received four awards from SPJ for our investigative work,” said Robert Salladay, CIR’s editorial director. “Our team works hard to continually find the stories that no one else is covering and produce them in powerful, multiplatform ways.”

CIR received the following awards (read SPJ’s full release):

Public Service Award: CIR staff members Aaron Glantz, Adithya Sambamurthy, Aaron Williams and Agustin Armendariz (now of The New York Times) were recognized for their work on an investigation of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ heavy prescriptions of opiates. SPJ said the project was “a textbook example of watchdog journalism that led to congressional hearings and lower rates of opiate prescriptions to vulnerable veterans. This story exposed a national problem with an impressive collection of data highlighted by moving stories of individuals affected by VA policies.” Find the entire package here.

Data Visualization: CIR shares the award with the San Francisco Chronicle and KQED for Subsidized Squalor, an investigation that detailed the horrible conditions for residents of the Hacienda public housing complex in Richmond, California. SPJ said the “data visualizations for this project on a decrepit public housing project encourage readers to explore details that would normally get lost in a government report.” Find the entire package here.

Investigative (print/text large division): CIR reporters Christina Jewett and Will Evans collaborated with Scott Zamost and Drew Griffin of CNN for Rehab Racket, which uncovered widespread fraud among taxpayer-funded substance abuse treatment programs in Southern California, prompting a state audit. Find the entire package here.

Video Journalism (video journalism essay): CIR’s team, including Trey Bundy, Daffodil J. Altan, Anna Vignet and Michael I Schiller, worked on producing an animated video called “The Box.” SPJ called it “a compelling take on an important issue that uses animation to tell the story of a teen who spent time in solitary confinement in New York City's Rikers Island jail.” Watch the animation here.



The Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation’s first independent, multiplatform investigative reporting organization. Devoted to holding powerful interests accountable to the public trust, CIR creatively employs cutting-edge technology and innovative storytelling to reveal injustice, spark change at all levels of society and influence public dialogue on critical issues. CIR produces high-impact reporting across print, video, TV, radio and online platforms and is the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, winner of a 2013 Emmy Award and a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012 (for local reporting) and 2013 (for public service).