McClatchy wins National Press Club award for Afghan series

McClatchy NewspapersJuly 11, 2011 

WASHINGTON — McClatchy’s series on the woes of U.S. contracting in Afghanistan has won the National Press Club’s award for diplomatic coverage.

The Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence will be awarded to McClatchy on Aug. 10 at the National Press Club’s annual dinner.

The series, reported by Jonathan S. Landay, Marisa Taylor, Warren P. Strobel and Dion Nissenbaum, detailed how corruption and mismanagement marred U.S. efforts to rebuild Afghanistan.

McClatchy’s reporting revealed that oversight was so flawed that companies responsible for shoddy work continued to be paid and to receive new U.S. contracts.

The series identified nearly $200 million in Army Corps of Engineers projects that have failed, face serious delays or resulted in subpar work, hindering the Obama administration’s hopes of improving the lives of Afghans and succeeding in the fight against the Taliban.

McClatchy also detailed political influence by the Afghan elite that led to the development of two major national assets in Afghanistan: a coal mine and cement factory.

Landay and Nissenbaum reported from Afghanistan. Strobel and Taylor reported from McClatchy’s Washington bureau, where more than 30 editors and reporters are based.

Other winners of the 2011 National Press Club awards include PBS, The Washington Post and The Seattle Times.

“We are proud to associate ourselves with outstanding journalism, and to remind the public why journalism matters,” National Press Club President Mark Hamrick said. “Despite tremendous technological change and continued tumult in our industry, our awards are a celebration of triumph over these challenges.”

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