Stars and Stripes' stories on reporter profiling earn George Polk Award

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 17, 2010

Stars and Stripes has won the George Polk Award for Military Reporting for a series of stories last summer that probed the U.S. military’s practice of compiling profiles of reporters seeking to accompany American troops in Afghanistan.

The judges of the Polk contest, regarded as among the most prestigious awards in journalism, recognized Stars and Stripes reporters Charlie Reed, Kevin Baron and Leo Shane III for “a riveting group of stories on how the [military] used a public relations company to profile journalists and steer them toward positive coverage of the war in Afghanistan.”

Less than a week after the Stars and Stripes stories were published, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan cancelled the profiling program.

The Stars and Stripes award was among 13 Polk citations announced by Long Island University on Tuesday. Other winners included David Rohde, a reporter for The New York Times who was held prisoner by the Taliban for seven months, as well as reporters for CNN, CBS, USA Today and the New Yorker.

The Stars and Stripes stories that won the award can be found at legacy.stripes.com/go/profiling. A press release about all the award winners can be found here.