Rolling Stone magazine won one of journalism’s most prestigious awards for an article that prompted US President Barack Obama to fire his military commander in Afghanistan. The Associated Press (AP) also won a 2010 George Polk award for its coverage of the Gulf oil spill, and the Washington Post won for its investigation on the growth of national security agencies.
Michael Hastings won the Polk Award for magazine reporting for his story that recounted how General Stanley -McChrystal and his staff made scornful comments about Obama administration officials. Obama removed the four-star general from his command in June, saying McChrystal’s comments undermined civilian control of the military.
“We were as surprised as everyone else how swift and immediate the reaction was,” Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates said.
The article “really helped put the war back on the map.”
AP’s staff won a Polk award for environmental reporting for its “colossal effort” covering the worst oil spill in US history, said Long Island University, which oversees the awards and was announcing the winners yesterday.
AP was the first news organization to report the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that caused the 780 million liter spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
AP’s investigative reporters revealed gaps in the oversight of 27,000 abandoned Gulf wells.
“It not only held people accountable for the initial disaster, but also widened the lens to many more problems that are lurking just under the waters of the Gulf,” said Kathleen Carroll, AP’s executive editor and senior vice president.
The 2010 awards were marked by several collaborative projects among media, said John Darnton, curator for the awards.
“This kind of cooperation across electronic and print and broadcast is something that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of,” Darnton said. “It’s a way to kind of maximize the power and impact of a piece.”