The Center for Public Integrity today was honored with two 2011 EPPY awards from Editor & Publisher. The winning categories: Best Enterprise Feature on a Website and Best Investigative Website with Under 250,000 Monthly Visitors.
The feature singled out for accolades is Dangers in the Dust: Inside the Global Asbestos Trade, produced by the Center’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The multimedia series published in July 2010 and included a BBC World TV documentary, a dozen radio stories on BBC World Service and seven online stories by ICIJ.The project reached tens of millions of people in more than 150 countries, receiving coverage by some 400 news outlets, blogs and websites in at least 20 languages.
Public health activists have used the project’s key findings on the multinational asbestos lobby to argue for asbestos bans in countries such as Brazil, India, and Mexico. The project has had particular impact in top producer Canada, which exports the fiber to India, where worker and public protections are weak. An Internet campaign resulted in more than 7,000 letters being sent to Canadian officials, calling for an export ban. The Canadian Press wire service referred to the investigation as a “public-relations tsunami” for the asbestos industry. Canadians have also used the series to pressure the government of Quebec to drop a loan guarantee to reopen the province’s only remaining asbestos mine.
The Center’s iWatch News site is attracting a growing number of readers who recognize the vital role of watchdog journalism in a healthy democracy.