The Journalism Center on Children & Families has awarded a 2012 Casey Medal to Rita Henley Jensen (APF’94) who edited an exposé of the huge federal hunger dollars being spent on infant formula. The Casey Medals are awarded by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at University of Maryland. The citation included:
WINNER: “Infant Formula Companies Milk US Food Program,” Women’s eNews, Molly M. Ginty, Corinna Barnard (ed.) and Rita Henley Jensen (ed.)
A meticulous exposé of how industry-sponsored research, lobbying and advertising by infant formula companies have led to a federal government subsidized market for infant formula, despite global consensus on the superior health benefits of breast milk. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program distributes more than half the infant formula sold in the U.S. but the supply provided to new moms is not enough to feed their babies for a full month. As a result, impoverished mothers bear the burden of high out-of-pocket monthly expenses to feed their growing babies. Judges praised this investigation by Women’s eNews as being “in the best tradition of accountability reporting.”
A runner-up honor in the Casey awards was given to Joe Shapiro (APF’90) and a team of journalists from NPR, PBS Frontline, ProPublica and California Watch for “Post Mortem: The Child Cases.” The judges’ commendation said:
This series uncovers how a justice system that relies on tainted medical evidence and flawed conclusions from the coroner can condemn innocent people in prison for the worst of all possible crimes: the murder of a child. A grim topic explored in depth and without sensationalism, the series found that almost always, accused parents and caregivers are poor people of color, whose families are irreparably destroyed by heinous allegations and wrongful convictions. In addition, NPR found the physician who coined the term “Shaken Baby Syndrome,” who at age 95 admitted he was troubled to see his diagnosis used in murder cases.