Kudos to reporter Aram Roston, who won the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting for his Investigative Fund piece, How the US Funds the Taliban, published in The Nation in November 2009. Formerly the ICIJ Awards, the prizes were renamed in 2008 in honor of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was slain by militants in Pakistan in 2002; they were created specifically to honor cross-border investigative reporting.
Roston’s expose investigated how defense contractors in Afghanistan use federal funds to pay off suspected insurgents not to attack US supply convoys, and found that this payola may be a major source of funds for the Taliban. It was also a finalist for the IRE certificate in the magazine category.
In other news, Alexandra Poolos’ Investigative Fund piece, Getting out of Gitmo, which aired on PBS’ Frontline, was a finalist for the Dart Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Trauma. Her story examined the case of 22 innocent Uighurs imprisoned at Guantánamo, of whom only five had been released. The rest remained in the supermax prison.
We’ll keep you posted on any other commendations that come our way this awards season.