The Bucks County Courier Times in Levittown, Pennsylvania, was recently announced as the recipient of the 2017 Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation’s G. Richard Dew Award for its “Unwell Water” series.
The award is the foundation’s highest honor and is given in recognition of outstanding reporting that improves the quality of community life and furthers the public’s understanding of the role of the news media and how it relates to matters of public interest.
The paper’s “Unwell Water” series was an extensive, two-year investigative project that detailed chemicals at area military bases that were leaking into an underground aquifer and exposing residents to unsafe drinking water.
The series, led by reporters Kyle Bagenstose and Jenny Wagner, led to the closure of at least 22 public drinking fountains and sparked action by local and national politicians and advocates.
A judge wrote:
“This sprawling series took two seemingly tiny facts from two seemingly disparate spreadsheets and produced hundreds of stories over several years. All a result of old-fashioned reporting and modern data-sifting by Bagenstose and Wagner. I am in awe of the quality of the reporting, writing and editing; its evenhandedness, lack of sensationalism and fairness, along with its insistence on cutting through the resistance to find truths; the commitment of the newspaper to provide the times and resources required; and the responsiveness both of the newspaper to its community and of the community to its newspaper.”
For more information about the series, visit the Bucks County Courier Times.
For more information about the G. Richard Dew Award, visit the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation.