New York, NY – December 4, 2007 – Joyce Purnick, award winning journalist, is the keynote speaker at the 2007 Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Awards Luncheon. She together with Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice will present the 2007 Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Awards at the third annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium: Changing the View of Crime in America, hosted by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice. The winners are: Gary Fields of the Wall Street Journal in the individual article category and Susan Greene and Miles Moffeit of the Denver Post in the series category.
Gary Fields of the Wall Street Journal won the 2007 Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award for his individual article, “Tilted Scales,” which examined the separate and unequal nature of justice for one million Native Americans living on reservations. Mr. Fields detailed how centuries of federal law and judicial precedent have diminished Indian tribe’s control over reservation justice.
Susan Greene and Miles Moffeit of the Denver Post won the 2007 Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award for their series, “Trashing the Truth.” In this four-part series, Greene and Moffeit examined how authorities undermine justice by discarding and destroying criminal evidence. Starting with the Colorado Springs police department, they uncovered negligent evidence destruction nationwide.
The Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Awards are given out annually by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice to print journalists in two categories — single article and series. They were established to honor journalists whose reporting inform and enhance the public’s understanding of issues related to crime in America. Each winner receives a $1,000 prize, which John Jay College of Criminal Justice presented to them in recognition of their reporting efforts.
"The Wall Street Journal and the Denver Post stories are very important pieces of journalism--highlighting issues of critical importance in criminal justice," said President Travis. ”Reporting on such issues is one of the most serious responsibilities that American journalists have, and these award recipients show that newspapers, large and small, do take it seriously."
Steve Handelman, Director of the Center on Media, Crime & Justice added, "What this shows more than anything else is that despite the economic constraints on journalism today, fantastic work is still being done by dedicated reporters and editors. Our judges had a hard time because so many of the submissions we received were top-quality."
Joyce Purnick has been a reporter, editor and columnist with The New York Times for nearly three decades. She is the first woman to serve as editor of the Metro department, the largest news department in The New York Times, wrote the twice-weekly Metro Matters column for ten years, and served on the paper’s editorial board, writing opinion essays on urban affairs.
Ms. Purnick has won several journalism awards including Mike Berger Award from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, the George Polk Award for metropolitan reporting, the Peter Kihss Award for reporting on city government, among other accolades.
The 2007 Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Awards were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including Joe Domanick, fellow and veteran police and crime writer, Institute for Justice and Journalism (USC); Ted Gest, president, Criminal Justice Journalists; Adam Liptak, legal affairs writer, The New York Times; Errol Louis, columnist, New York Daily News; and Juana Ponce de Leon, director, Independent Press Association-New York.
The award is supported in part by a grant from the Open Society Institute, a private operating and grant making foundation that aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform.
About the Center on Media, Crime and Justice
The Center’s mission is to raise the quality of media coverage on criminal justice issues around the nation by helping journalists interpret current academic research. In addition, the Center aims to establish itself as a national resource of information from an international network of recognized scholars, practitioners and NGOs.
The Center is a partnership of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York (CUNY) with the Institute for Justice and Journalism (IJJ) at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg School for Communication; Criminal Justice Journalists (CJJ), a national organization of reporters covering crime and justice; and the new CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/.