Investigative Reporters and Editors, or IRE, has given award to The Chauncey Bailey Project for its ongoing efforts to uncover the truth behind the killing of an Oakland journalist in 2007. The award named staff writers Thomas Peele and Josh Richman, along with collaborators Mary Fricker, Bob Butler and A.C. Thompson, praising their continued work in watchdog journalism. A statement from IRE said:
- Under the most difficult of circumstances, the reporters exposed deep flaws in the police investigation of the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey [pictured]. Through tenacious reporting and deep source development, (this team) uncovered a stunning videotape linking someone to the murder, yet the individual has not been charged in the case and the evidence has been seemingly overlooked or dismissed by police.
The trail continued in 2008 with reporters looking more directly into a probe of Bailey’s slaying and possible police obstruction of a local organization. The investigation was published in papers owned by the Bay Area News Group, primarily the Oakland Tribune, and aired on KTVU, a participant in the project.
Robert Rosenthal, executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting, called the award “a great tribute to the reporters who persevered on this and won the trust of innumerable sources. The project is also a testament to the value of investigative reporting and the fact that this kind of work is also a commitment of time. This is also really a tribute to the two people who really got this all going: Sandy Close from New America Media and Dori Maynard from the Maynard Institute, who had the vision to really pursue the work of Chauncey Bailey.”
Here’s a link to the Oakland Tribune’s story about the award, which includes comments from those who worked on the project.