A Center for Public Integrity collaboration with NPR was recognized with a Peabody award for NPR today for the series, “Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes.” The Center was the key originating partner for this investigative project and provided many of the interview contacts, as well as the data, for NPR’s coverage of this important issue.
“NPR is highly deserving of this honor,” said the Center’s Executive Director William E. Buzenberg, who was also former head of news for NPR. “We are very proud to have collaborated on this outstanding investigative package. Our partnership with NPR on the problem of campus assault created a compelling story that was seen, heard, or read by as many as 40 million people.”
The NPR series was reported by correspondent Joseph Shapiro, who worked in collaboration with the Center for Public Integrity’s lead project reporter, Kristen Lombardi. NPR’s investigative team included Susanne Reber and Robert Benincasa; the Center’s team included Gordon Witkin, David Donald, and Kristin Jones.
The Center’s 12-month investigation, Sexual Assault on Campus: A Frustrating Search for Justice, showed that students who have been the victim of sexual assaults on campus face a depressing array of barriers that often either assure their silence or leave them feeling victimized a second time. Meanwhile, students found “responsible” for alleged sexual assaults on campuses can face little or no punishment and go on to graduate, as colleges and universities ignore the problem.
The story has had a clear impact on public policy, inspiring congressional action on Capitol Hill, and leading the U.S. Department of Education to strengthen its oversight of how colleges and universities handle campus rape cases. Next week, the Education Department is set to announce new guidance on how schools should address sexual assaults that occur on campus, in accordance with federal law.