We just got the news a few minutes ago that the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) has presented an award for in depth reporting (3rd place) to Jeff Donn of the Associated Press for his series on the safety of nuclear energy facilities. When the series first appeared in June 2011, NEI had this to say:
The coverage has factual errors, fails to cite relevant reports on safety that contradict the reporting, and raises questions about historic operating issues while ignoring more recent evidence of improved performance in areas that it examines.As it turns out, we're not the only ones who found the series wanting. Specifically, I'm referring to the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review:
[T]he AP series, while it tackles a critically important public policy issue, suffers from lapses in organization, narrative exposition, and basic material selection, what to leave in and what to leave out. Too much is left to rest on inconclusive he-said-she-said exchanges that end up more confusing than illuminating for readers.CJR's Irene M. Wielawski also concluded: "Reading it was, for me, a hugely frustrating experience." Something tells me she wasn't the only one.
POSTSCRIPT: Click here for additional material we published here on NEI Nuclear Notes, including links to other third party sources that found the AP's work less than convincing. NEI's Chief Nuclear Officer, Tony Pietrangelo, outlined his objections to the reporting in a video report that can be found here.