Awards and Honors


InvestigateWest has won more than 70 journalism awards and honors since we began publishing in 2010. Here is a list, starting with the most recent. (The year listed below indicates the date the award was received; typically the work was published in the previous year):

2019

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Social Issues Reporting

InvestigateWest’s Allegra Abramo with Crosscut.com won first place in the five-state Northwest Excellence in Journalism competition for social issues reporting for  “Foster kids kept by state in hotels at record rate.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Government and Politics Reporting

InvestigateWest’s Allegra Abramo with Crosscut.com won second place for government and politics reporting for “Foster kids kept by state in hotels at record rate.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Comprehensive Coverage

“Rattled: Oregon’s Concussion Discussion” — a first-of-its-kind statewide examination of high school concussions by Lee van der Voo of InvestigateWest along with John Schrag, Holly Scholz and Shasta Kearns Moore of Pamplin Media Group — placed second for comprehensive coverage.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Social Issues Reporting

Rebecca Clarren won second place in social issues reporting for “Idle oil, gas wells threaten Indian tribes while energy companies, regulators do little.”

2018

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Social Issues Reporting

Allegra Abramo won first place in the five-state Northwest Excellence in Journalism competition for “The $600-a-night foster care bed.”

Sigma Delta Chi Award from Society of Professional Journalists— Specialized Journalism Site

The Weather Channel Digital, in partnership with InvestigateWest and seven other media outlets, won first place for Specialized Journalism Site for their United States of Climate Change reporting project, which tells one climate change-related story for each state. Reporter Sally Deneen and photographer Adam Bacher in Oregon followed a scientist warning of the Pacific Northwest’s preventable era of megafires. Reporter Lisa Stiffler and photographer Paul Joseph Brown chronicled the effects of increasingly acidic waters on the oysters grown by fifth-generation Taylor Shellfish Farms in Washington. This project was also recognized by The Webby Awards as an official honoree, a distinction given to less than 15% of entries.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Health and Science Reporting

Lee van der Voo won first place in health and science reporting for her reporting on the trade in illegal seafood, “Turning the Tide.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Social Issues Reporting

Rebecca Clarren’s Indian Country reporting for InvestigateWest ran in The Nation, a large newsroom, and won first place for social issues reporting in the large-newsroom category.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Comprehensive Coverage

Reporter Lee Van der Voo, along with John Schrag and Nick Budinick of the Pamplin Media Group and independent journalist Kate Willson, won first place for comprehensive coverage for “Unequal Justice.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Longform Feature News Reporting

Lisa Stiffler won first place for longform feature news reporting for “Climate change turns Puget Sound acidic and region’s signature oysters struggle to survive.”

Bruce Baer Award for Investigative and Public Affairs Journalism, Winner

InvestigateWest’s Lee van der Voo, Pamplin Media’s John Schrag, Portland Tribune’s Nick Budnick, independent reporter Kate Willson, and Portland State University professor Mark Harmon Leymon received a Bruce Baer Award for “Unequal Justice,” an investigation of the racial disparities in Oregon’s criminal justice system.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Comprehensive Coverage

Adiel Kaplan placed second for comprehensive coverage for “As Buildings Go Up, How Many of Seattle’s Trees Will Come Down?”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Government and Politics Reporting

Rebecca Clarren won second place in government and politics reporting for “Native American students face punitive discipline, substandard curricula.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Crime and Justice Reporting

Lee Van der Voo, John Schrag, Nick Budinick and Kate Willson won second place for crime and justice reporting for “Unequal Justice.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Social Issues Reporting

Rebecca Clarren’s Indian Country reporting for InvestigateWest ran in Indian Country Today, and placed second for social issues reporting for Idle oil, gas wells threaten Indian tribes while energy companies, regulators do little.

2017

Northwest Emmy, Informational/Instructional—Feature/Segment

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure and MacGregor Campbell of Oregon Public Broadcasting won a regional Emmy for their short film, “The Waste That Remains from Arming Nuclear Weapons.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Social Issues Reporting

Allegra Abramo and Susanna Ray won first place for their piercing expose’ that laid bare the turmoil in Washington’s child-welfare system.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Comprehensive Coverage

Second place honors for Allegra Abramo and Susanna Ray for their months-long investigation into Washington’s foster-care system.

2016

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Business Reporting

Lee van der Voo and James Gordon won a first place Northwest Excellence in Journalism award in the business reporting category for “How cash sent the Portland home market spinning.”

American Society of Journalists and Authors’ “Arlene Award For Writing That Makes a Difference”

Francesca Lyman won this national award, the only one awarded annually, for her series “Profiting from Thrift.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Investigative Reporting

Francesca Lyman won a first place award in the investigative reporting category for “Profiting from Thrift.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Column

Lee van der Voo won a first place Northwest Excellence in Journalism award for her column “Redacted: The State of Transparency in Oregon.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Business Reporting

Francesca Lyman won a third place Northwest Excellence in Journalism award in the business reporting category for “Profiting from Thrift.”

Best of the West—Business and Financial Reporting

Lee van der Voo and James Gordon won a Best of the West first place award in the business and financial reporting category for the series “Portland Housing: How Cash Sent the Portland Home Market Spinning” and the sidebars “26 Investors Who Have Way More House Than You” and “Methodology for Our Report on Cash Buyers.”

Best of the West—Explanatory Reporting

Lee van der Voo and James Gordon won a Best of the West third place award in the explanatory coverage category for the series “Portland Housing.”

Best of the West—Business and Financial Reporting

Francesca Lyman won third place in the business and financial reporting category for her series “Profiting from Thrift.”

Best of the West—News Slideshow

Paul Joseph Brown received second place for his photographs of the Cedar River watershed, which might not outlast the Seattle area’s water demands as climate change progresses.

2015

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Comprehensive Coverage

InvestigateWest’s Allegra Abramo, Lael Henterly and Jason Alcorn won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism first place award in the comprehensive coverage category for the series “Stolen Wages.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Environment & Science Reporting

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism first place award in the environment and science reporting category for the series “Smoke and Numbers: Do Green Claims for Burning Wood Add Up?”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Investigative Reporting

InvestigateWest’s Allegra Abramo, Lael Henterly and Jason Alcorn won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism second place award in the investigative reporting category for the series “Stolen Wages.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Environment & Science Reporting

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure and Kim Drury won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism third place award in the environment and science reporting category for the series “Politics and Science of Water Quality.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Social Issues Reporting

InvestigateWest and EarthFix won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism second place award in the social issues reporting category for the series “Inside the Box.”

Washington Press Association Award—Photography

InvestigateWest’s Paul Joseph Brown won a Washington Press Association first place award in the photography, magazines and other publications category for his photographs of biomass energy production.

Washington Press Association Award—Single-Subject Series

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure and Kin Drury won a Washington Press Association first place award in the single-subject series, daily news category for their investigation into the science and politics of clean water.

Washington Press Association Award—Investigative/Watchdog

InvestigateWest’s Allegra Abramo won a Washington Press Association second place award in the investigative/watchdog, magazines and other publications category for her investigation of millions of dollars of wages stolen from Washington workers.

Washington Press Association Award—General News

Jason Alcorn won a Washington Press Association first place award in the general news, magazines and other publications category for his reporting on bridge safety.

Washington Press Association Award—Graphic Design/Infographic

InvestigateWest’s Allegra Abramo and Jason Alcorn won a Washington Press Association second place award in the graphic design/infographic, magazines and other publications category for their analysis and presentation of tens of thousands of wage theft complaints in Washington.

Washington Press Association Award—Social Issues

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure and Kim Drury, with Tony Schick and Cassandra Profita of EarthFix, won a Washington Press Association first place award in the social issues, magazines and other publications category for their reporting on portable classrooms.

Washington Press Association Award—Agriculture/Environment

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure won a Washington Press Association first place award in the agriculture/environment, magazines and other publications category for his investigation into environmental claims by the biomass energy industry.

2014

Society of Environmental Journalists—Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding In-depth Reporting, Small Market

InvestigateWest’s Olivia Henry and Kate Martin won a Society of Environmental Journalists third place award for their investigation of traffic pollution near schools and day cares in Washington.

Emmy Award Nomination for News—Environment

InvestigateWest and KING 5 were nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding News in the environment category for a three-part series on traffic pollution near schools and day cares.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Online Innovation Award

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism first place award in the online innovation category for the series “Boeing’s Lobbying Campaign.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Radio Special Report

InvestigateWest with the staff of KUOW won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism first place award in the radio news special report category for their investigation of law enforcement and missing person cases that involve dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Online Interactive Graphic or Resource

InvestigateWest’s Kate Martin and Jason Alcorn won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism second place award in the online interactive graphic or resource category for their mapping of schools and day cares exposed to toxic road pollution.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Online Best Site Specialized Subject

InvestigateWest won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism second place award for best site on a specialized subject for overall excellence in investigative journalism.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Online Gallery/Slideshow

InvestigateWest’s Mike Kane won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism third place award in the online gallery/slideshow category for his photographs of former foster youth profiled in series, “End of the Line.”

Best of the West—Project Reporting, Third Place

InvestigateWest’s Jason Alcorn with KUOW and KCTS 9 was the second place winner in the Project Reporting category for his investigation of law enforcement and missing person cases that involve dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Washington Press Association Award—General News

InvestigateWest’s Jason Alcorn won a Washington Press Association first place award in the general news, magazines and other publications category for his investigation of law enforcement and missing person cases that involve dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Washington Press Association Award—Investigative/Watchdog

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure, Olivia Henry and Jason Alcorn won a Washington Press Association first place award in the investigative/watchdog, magazines and other publications category for their reporting on Boeing’s lobbying campaign against more stringent water-quality rules.

Washington Press Association Award—Business/Technology

InvestigateWest’s Lee van der Voo won a Washington Press Association first place award in the business/technology, magazines and other publications category for her reporting on inequities in the modern fishing industry.

Washington Press Association Award—Government/Politics

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure won a Washington Press Association second place award in the government/politics, magazines and other publications category for his reporting on lobbying against more stringent water-quality rules.

Washington Press Association Award—Single-Subject Series

InvestigateWest’s Olivia Henry and Kate Martin won a Washington Press Association first place award in the single-subject series, daily news category for their investigation of traffic pollution near schools and day cares.

Investigative Reporters & Editors, Finalist

InvestigateWest’s Jason Alcorn and Robert McClure along with KUOW and KCTS 9 were named finalists for the IRE Award for multiplatform, medium size category for their investigation of law enforcement and missing person cases that involve dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

2013

Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism, Special Recognition

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure and Jason Alcorn along with EarthFix received a special recognition citation from the Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism for “Clean Water: The Next Act.”

Emmy Award Nomination for Documentary—Topical

InvestigateWest’s Carol Smith with KCTS 9’s Ethan Morris and David Ko were nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary—Topical for “Prescription for Abuse.”

Emmy Award Nomination—Health/Science – Program/Special

InvestigateWest’s Carol Smith and KCTS 9’s Ethan Morris and David Ko were nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary—Health/Science – Program/Special for “Lifesaving Drugs, Deadly Consequences.”

North American Agricultural Journalists Writing Contest Winner for Special Projects

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure and Jason Alcorn joined forces with EarthFix for a special report on how agricultural pollution affects the nation’s streams and rivers. It won the NAAJ writing contest in the special projects category.

Society of Professional Journalists New America Award

InvestigateWest’s Carol Smith and The News Tribune’s Lewis Kamb won SPJ’s New America Award for their investigation into the Northwest Detention Center and federal immigration policy.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Daily Newspapers Investigative Reporting

The staff of The News Tribune with InvestigateWest won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award in the daily newspapers, investigative category for “Center of Detention.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Online Special Report/Enterprise, Second Place

InvestigateWest with the staff of EarthFix was second for a Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award in the online special report/enterprise category for the series, “Clean Water: The Next Act.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Radio News Series

InvestigateWest with the staff of EarthFix won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award in the radio news series category for the series, “Clean Water: The Next Act.”

Best of the West— Explanatory Reporting

InvestigateWest’s Carol Smith and Stephanie Schendel and KCTS 9’s Ethan Morris placed second in the explanatory reporting category for their investigation of prescription drug abuse in Washington.

Washington Press Association Award—General News

InvestigateWest’s Carol Smith won a Washington Press Association first place award in the general news, magazines and other publications category for her investigation of prescription drug abuse in Washington.

Washington Press Association Award—Investigative/Watchdog

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure and Jason Alcorn and EarthFix’s Bonnie Stewart won a Washington Press Association first place award in the investigative/watchdog, magazines and other publications category for their investigation of Clean Water Act enforcement.

Washington Press Association Award—Agriculture/Environment

InvestigateWest’s Robert McClure with EarthFix won a Washington Press Association first place award in the agriculture/environment, magazines and other publications category for their investigation of water pollution from agriculture.

2012

Northwest Excellence in Journalism—Online Innovation

InvestigateWest’s Carol Smith and KUOW’s Jim Gates won second-place honors in the online innovation category of the Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest for their investigation of farming along Seattle’s Duwamish River.

2011

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Online Video

InvestigateWest’s Carol Smith, Rita Hibbard and Mike Kane won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award in the online video category for their reporting on homeless youth in Seattle.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Online Special Report/Enterprise

The staff of InvestigateWest won a Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award in the online special report/enterprise category for the investigative report, “Generation Homeless.”

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award—Interactive Graphic, Finalist

InvestigateWest’s Carol Smith and Brian Chin won third place in the Northwest Excellence in Journalism Awards in the online interactive graphic category a map of homeless students by school district in Washington.

Investigative Reporters & Editors Philip Meyer Award Finalist

InvestigateWest with the Center for Public Integrity and NPR won second place in IRE’s annual Philip Meyer Award for a joint project on sexual assault on campus.

Excellence in Health Care Journalism Award for Community Newspapers, Runner-up

InvestigateWest’s Carol Smith won runner-up in AHCJ’s Excellence in Health Care Journalism Awards in the community newspapers category for her investigation into the lethal dangers of exposure to chemotherapy in the workplace.

Online News Association Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism Finalist

InvestigateWest was an ONA Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism finalist in the small site category for the series, “Lifesaving Drugs, Deadly Consequences.”

2010

Bruce Baer Award for Investigative and Public Affairs Journalism, Special Recognition

InvestigateWest’s Lee van der Voo and Carol Smith received a Bruce Baer Award special recognition for “Assaulted and Abandoned,” an investigation of sexual assault on campus.