At this week's prestigious George Polk Awards for journalism, three out of the twelve prizes went to journalists who had exposed the mistreatment of or unnecessary risk to Americans fighting in Iraq.
-- The George Polk Award for military reporting went to Hartford Courant reporters Lisa Chedekel and Matthew Kauffman for a four-part exposé, “Mentally Unfit, Forced to Fight,” that "detailed the high rate of suicide among American troops and the lackluster mental health screening and treatment offered by the military."
-- The George Polk Award for medical reporting went to Robert Little, a national correspondent for the Baltimore Sun. His three-part series, “Dangerous Remedy,” investigated the use of an experimental, blood-coagulating drug, Recombinant Activated Factor VII, in more than 1,000 soldiers. The drug has been linked to lethal blood clots.
-- The George Polk Award for network television reporting went to NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers and producer Adam Ciralsky. They won for exposing "a secret effort by the United States Army to scuttle a promising technology designed to protect soldiers from rocket-propelled grenades, or RPGs."
Will Bunch over at Attytood has excerpts from the stories and his own commentary to put it all into perspective.