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The Center for Public Integrity’s Hard Labor series, which revealed how corporate irresponsibility and lax regulation contribute to thousands of worker deaths, injuries and illnesses in America each year, has been honored by the White House Correspondents’ Association.

The project, which was launched in the spring of 2012 and continues this year, earned the WHCA’s Edgar A. Poe Award for “excellence in news coverage of subjects and events of significant national or regional importance to the American people.” The award will be presented to Center reporters Jim Morris, Chris Hamby and Ronnie Greene at the association’s annual dinner in Washington on April 27.

Judges in the competition said the series “compellingly shows how the government has failed to keep its promise to protect workers from injury and death on the job.

“Drawing on years of data and on-the-ground reporting in eight states and Canada, the authors demonstrate how corporate corner-cutting, government inability or unwillingness to impose meaningful penalties, and bureaucratic pressure to make caseload quotas have stymied real regulation,” the judges wrote. “They tell the workers’ stories in a manner that evokes Studs Terkel, excellently weaving human interest with deep-data scrutiny and using numbers sparingly but with powerful effect.”

The Center’s work reached millions of readers, listeners and viewers through partnerships with outlets such as NPR, WBEZ, WBUR, Mother Jones,, the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette, and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

The Poe award is funded by the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Newhouse Newspapers in honor of their distinguished correspondent, who also served as a WHCA president.

Other winners in 2013:

  • Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker for “journalistic excellence in covering the presidency.”
  • Julie Pace of the Associated Press and Terry Moran of ABC for White House news coverage.

“One of our central missions continues to be holding government officials accountable,” WHCA President Ed Henry said. “I’m thrilled that all of these terrific journalists will be honored at our dinner this month.”

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