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Stars and Stripes has won the National Headliner Award for public service reporting for a collection of stories published last year that held powerful institutions to account.

The judges for the National Headliner Awards, which are administered by the Press Club of Atlantic City, N.J., and rank as one of the nation’s oldest and largest annual journalism competitions, recognized Stars and Stripes’ coverage of the military’s practice of “profiling” journalists covering the Afghan war — a practice that the military halted in the wake of the newspaper’s stories.

The judges also praised Stars and Stripes’ coverage of a complex murder case in the Philippines involving an American sailor; U.S. and Philippine investigators reopened the case following the newspaper’s revelations, leading to an arrest.

And the judges took note of Stars and Stripes’ reporting about a U.S. general’s efforts to prohibit pregnancies among the troops under his command in Iraq. Army officials reversed the policy less than a week after the Stars and Stripes story was published.

“Stars and Stripes reported on three pressing issues and in each case, within a maximum of two weeks, the government had canned a program, reopened a criminal inspection, or scrapped a ban,” the judges wrote in their citation for the award. “That’s public service.”

The National Headliner judges also recognized the “Coming Home” series, by Stars and Stripes reporter Nancy Montgomery, with a third-place award in the “news series” category.

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