Reuters reporter Kate Kelland was honoured at the Foreign Press Association Media Awards this week for her story “Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence” (here). Kelland’s investigation, which examined the links between a common weedkiller and cancer, won the Science Story of the Year award at the ceremony in London on Monday. It revealed that, while the World Health Organization’s cancer agency says RoundUp is “probably carcinogenic,” the scientist leading that review knew of fresh data showing no cancer link but never mentioned it and the agency did not take it into account. The story was published in June this year.
Reuters also recently won a Kavli Science Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for its investigation into the drug-resistant “superbug” epidemic. “The Uncounted,”( here) by Ryan McNeill, Deborah J. Nelson, Yasmeen Abutaleb and team, for the first time provided the public with a shocking truth about the deadly epidemic. The CDC’s estimate of 23,000 deaths a year was, at best, “an impressionist painting,” as one official put it, of no use for effective surveillance and probably off by many thousands. The report revealed that America’s vast epidemiological infrastructure, starting at the hospital bedside and extending all the way to the CDC, isn’t actually counting and tracking “superbug” deaths and illnesses, with dire consequences for the public health. And it is happening, Reuters discovered, because state and federal public health bureaucracies are unwilling or unable to impose real-time surveillance on a healthcare industry reluctant to document a problem it helped to create.
Contest judge Warren Leary, a science writer formerly with The New York Times, said, “the Reuters investigation of the superbug problem broke new ground on a major health issue threatening the country. … Fine work.”
[Reuters Press Blog]
Heather dot Carpenter at thomsonreuters dot com