WASHINGTON, April 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Press Foundation has awarded the first Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health Reporting to a joint investigation of Florida's mental health hospitals.
The winner of the Mattingly award is a collaborative investigation by the Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune that exposes harrowing conditions at Florida's institutions for the mentally ill after $100 million in budget cuts. The five-part project, titled "Insane. Invisible. In Danger," reveals the dangers to mentally ill patients and workers in the hospitals, where treatment takes a back seat to controlling rampant violence.
The NPF judges said: "This investigation represents the best in journalism. It was revealing, thorough, comprehensive and deep. Every element was compelling, from surveillance videos, graphics, data, strong multimedia and top-drawing writing. The project was extraordinarily strong from start to finish." The judges also noted the unusual collaboration between competitors in Florida.
The winning team includes Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier of the Tampa Bay Times and Michael Braga of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Honorable mention goes to Gisela Telis of Arizona Public Media for a video on the lack of mental health services in rural areas, and the determination of one mother to improve the situation in her rural community after her son committed suicide.
The National Press Foundation established the new journalism award to honor excellence in mental health reporting in memory of Carolyn C. Mattingly, the Potomac, Maryland philanthropist and activist. Mattingly's family decided to establish the award in the aftermath of her tragic death in 2014. The award, sponsored by The Luv u Project, recognizes exemplary journalism that illuminates and advances the understanding of mental health issues and treatments for the illness. It carries a $10,000 prize.
The NPF judges were Frank Deford, sportswriter, author and commentator, winner of numerous awards, including NPF's W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award; Bob Meyers, president emeritus of NPF and member of the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship advisory board; and Amalie Nash, executive editor/VP of the Des Moines Register and a Pulitzer Prize jury chair.
The primary mission of the National Press Foundation is to increase journalists' knowledge of complex issues in order to improve public understanding. The nonprofit foundation recognizes and encourages excellence in journalism through its awards and training programs. A complete list NPF's journalism awards is here. More information about NPF training is on our website.
The Mattingly family established The Luv u Project, a nonprofit that focuses primarily on mental health issues and causes dear to Mrs. Mattingly. More information on The Luv u Project's work can be found here.
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SOURCE National Press Foundation