AP wins Shadid Award for story on American in Iran

March 18, 2014
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An FBI poster showing a composite image of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, right, of how he would look like now after five years in captivity, and an image, center, taken from the video, released by his kidnappers, and a picture before he was kidnapped, left, displayed during a news conference in Washington, on March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A team from The Associated Press has won the 2014 Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics for a story that revealed the CIA ties of an American who vanished in Iran.

Reporters Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, and editor Ted Bridis, won for their report in December on the disappearance of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who went missing while working in Iran in 2007.

The award was announced Tuesday by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Journalism Ethics. It is named for Anthony Shadid, a graduate and former Associated Press reporter who died in 2012 while reporting in Syria for The New York Times.

The center will present the award May 2 at its annual conference in Madison.

The AP team first confirmed Levinson's ties to the CIA in 2010, but agreed three times to delay publishing the story because the U.S. government said it was pursuing promising leads to bring Levinson home.

Jack Mitchell, a professor emeritus at the school and the chairman of the award selection committee, said AP was honored for its responsibility in holding the story until it was confident its release wouldn't harm Levinson or national security.

"Our committee was blown away by the quality of the entries in the 2014 competition," Mitchell said. "They would restore the faith of the most hardened cynic in the high purposes of journalism,"

Apuzzo now works for the Times, while Goldman now works for The Washington Post.

The journalism center named four finalists:

— ProPublica and reporter Michael Grabell for reporting on the plight of temporary workers in American companies.

— Stephanie Mencimer for her story in the Washington Monthly on the truthfulness of defense contractor Kellogg, Brown & Root when it denied that employees in Iraq had gang-raped a female employee.

— Minnesota Public Radio for examining child abuse by priests in the St. Paul diocese.

— USA Today for its examination of "mass killings" in the United States.

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Online:

University of Wisconsin Center for Journalism Ethics: http://ethics.journalism.wisc.edu/

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