WNYC Wins a 2014 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Coverage of NYPD's Use of Force in Low-Level Arrests

WNYC Wins a 2014 Sigma Delta Chi Award
For Coverage of NYPD’s Use of Force in Low-Level Arrests

(New York, NY—April 24, 2015)—The Society of Professional Journalists announced today that WNYC has won a Sigma Delta Chi Award in the Public Service in Radio Journalism category for “NYPD Bruised,” WNYC’s coverage of the NYPD’s use of force in low-level arrests.

This award recognizes a radio news organization that renders public service through extensive coverage of an issue facing the community it serves. Judges selected this year’s honorees from more than 1,600 submissions.

Following the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island, Robert Lewis, WNYC’s criminal justice reporter, and Noah Veltman, a developer and reporter on WNYC’s Data News team, examined use-of-force practices of the New York Police Department.  This series of in-depth reports, “NYPD Bruised,” revealed that it is not uncommon for low-level arrests to spiral dangerously out of control, with a relatively small number of officers routinely using unnecessary force.  While the NYPD devotes tremendous resources into spotting crime trends, it neglects to turn an eye inward, allowing these officers to continue this behavior without reprimand or removal from the streets. The series also found that blacks charged with low-level crimes are far more likely to also face a resisting arrest charge than whites. Lewis and Veltman’s findings helped shape the conversation about police use of force. In New York City, their reports were cited in a New York Times editorial and by Times columnist David Brooks, among other press stories. The series was edited by David L. Lewis, WNYC’s Metro editor.

“NYPD Bruised” also won a Regional Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The full list of winners of the Sigma Delta Chi Awards is available online at http://spj.org/sdxa14.asp

From its state-of-the-art studios in New York City, WNYC is reshaping audio for a new generation of listeners with groundbreaking, innovative radio programs and podcasts including Radiolab, Freakonomics Radio, On the Media, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Death, Sex & Money and New Tech City among others. With an urban vibrancy and a global perspective, WNYC is America's most listened-to public radio station and the home to an award-winning newsroom of 65 journalists.