This evening, the Society of Professional Journalists — Northern California chapter will honor Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston with this year's James Madison Freedom of Information "Journalist Award,"
recognizing the reporters' work covering the Oakland Police Department sexual-exploitation scandal
The SPJ's James Madison FOI award celebrates exceptional work in journalism that advances the public's access to government information.
In recognition of BondGraham and Winston, the SPJ committee wrote:
BondGraham and Winston overcame numerous obstacles to publish one of the biggest stories of 2016, an East Bay Express expose of the Oakland Police Department’s sexual exploitation of a minor and related misconduct, which made national headlines. BondGraham and Winston used public records, social media research and persistence to illustrate how OPD brass ignored the abuse. The journalists also weathered a leak investigation into the possible sources of their reporting, and scrupulously protected the privacy of the victim even when other outlets published her name.
BondGraham and Winston also won an SPJ Excellence in Journalism award
last year for their reporting on the OPD series.
Other recipients this year include fellow weekly journalist Thadeus Greenson, of the North Coast Journal
, and also reporters with KQED
and The Sacramento Bee
The James Madison awards also recognize whistleblowers, students, public officials, legal counsel, citizens, and nonprofits. Learn more at SPJNorcal.org