Frontline, California Watch cited for outstanding journalism

By Theodore Fischer

"Money, Power and Wall Street," an investigative series produced by Martin Smith and Michael Kirk for Frontline, won a George Polk Award. (Photo: AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

“Money, Power and Wall Street,” an investigative series produced by Martin Smith and Michael Kirk for Frontline, won a George Polk Award. (Photo: AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The Polk Award for documentary television reporting was presented to Frontline correspondent Martin Smith and producer Michael Kirk for the four-part investigative series “Money, Power and Wall Street,” with producers Marcela Gaviria, Mike Wiser and Jim Gilmore cited for their assistance. The documentary “provided a thorough examination of the epic global financial crisis, from its origins to the present day,” said the judges. “The series also dissected and distilled down the complicated subject of the modern credit derivative market and provided a sober look inside the struggle to rescue and repair this country’s battered economy.”

The Polk Award for state reporting went to California Watch’s Ryan Gabrielson for “Broken Shield,” a series that exposed the California’s Office of Protective Services’ poor job of curbing abuse at state clinics. According to the judges, “Gabrielson detailed how investigators were slow to begin investigations, failed to collect evidence and ignored key witnesses — leading to an alarming inability to solve crimes inflicted upon some of society’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The George Polk Awards, presented annually by Long Island University, memorialize a CBS correspondent killed while covering the civil war in Greece in 1948. This year’s awards were presented April 11 in New York by Christiane Amanpour of CNN and journalist Carl Bernstein.

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