Monday, February 18, 2013

A 2012 George Polk Award

The winners of the 2012 George Polk Awards -- a prestigious honor in the journalism world  -- were announced this morning. I am delighted to have received one for an investigative project into the role for-profit online education companies have played in shaping digital education policies under development here in Maine.

Other recipients included David Corn of Mother Jones who broke the story about Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments; reporters from both the New York Times and Bloomberg News for uncovering high-level corruption in China; and journalists at the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Frontline, CBS News, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and California Watch.

The winning stories ran in the Maine Sunday Telegram on Sept. 2, 2012; don't miss the sidebar!

Since the stories came out, one of the two companies in question, K12 Inc., has been in hot water in Florida, Colorado, Tennessee, and other states. Last month Maine's charter school commission rejected its application to start a full-time, taxpayer-financed charter school here in Maine, along with a rival application from Connections Learning, a division of publishing giant Pearson. The state legislature will be considering five bills that would impose a temporary or permanent ban on this type of school.

Here's the Press Herald story on the award, along with links to the pieces. It also got mentions in today's New York Times and by the Associated Press.

And thanks to the board of the George Polk Awards for this wonderful honor.


  1. Thank you for this work. And it gives one hope that investigative journalism could make a comeback.

  2. I'm really happy for you, Colin. You are a terrific journalist/writer. When the MST/PPP brought you on-board, I subscribed to the paper (at least the Sunday one) for the first time in years.

    When I heard WCSH-6 mention that a Maine journalist was up for a Polk, I immediately thought of you and your work.

    Maine is fortunate to have you focusing your investigative eye on matters of interest and importance to our state.