Missouri Journalism Alumni Win IRE Awards

Columbia, Mo. (April 6, 2004) — Missouri School of Journalism alumni were among the winners in the 2003 Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. annual awards program.

Investigative Reporters and Editors
Investigative Reporters and Editors

The competition recognizes outstanding investigative work in 15 categories, most of them based on market or circulation size. The categories are separated into print, broadcast, online media and work that demonstrates superior use of freedom of information and open record laws.

Missouri Journalism alumni winning certificates were:

  • John Ferrugia, BJ ’75, and Kurt Silver, MA ’00, were part of a team from Denver’s KMGH-TV for “Honor and Betrayal: Scandal at the Academy,” a look at the rapes and cover ups at the U.S. Air Force Academy that helped prompt changes throughout the military.
  • Jason Grotto, MA ’01, worked with another reporter from The Miami Herald on “Crumbling Schools,” an exposé of decrepit, unsafe conditions in Miami school classroom buildings that led to the resignation of the superintendent and top building officials and state scrutiny.
  • Mei-Ling Hopgood, BJ ’94, is co-author of the Dayton Daily News for “Casualties of Peace,” a gripping examination of thousands of assaults, robberies, rapes and even murders since 1990 that turned Peace Corps volunteers into victims around the world.
  • David (Buzz) Rummel, MA ’76, is among those who created the television package credited to PBS Frontline, the New York Times Television and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for “A Dangerous Business,” a disturbing investigation into the McWane Corporation’s business philosophy that left employees exploited, maimed and killed. The investigation also exposed how ineffective OSHA policies allowed the company to defy safety regulations.

Adelante, a bilingual publication published by the School, was a finalist for a story that exposes new ways that employers and big business use to get around laws to recruit and retain illegal immigrant labor. Specifically, the story focuses on the practices of National Sales and Service LLC. What sets this story apart is how it takes a thoughtful look at the lives of the workers and their family members in Mexico, and the hardships they suffer.

The IRE Awards will be presented during the June 19 luncheon at the IRE Annual Conference in Atlanta.

IRE, a 5,000-member professional organization, is a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to training and supporting investigative journalists. It is based at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Complete listings of winning news organizations and journalists, as well as finalists, are available at www.ire.org.

Updated: April 28, 2020

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