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  • Slain California editor posthumously honoured with George Polk Award

    New York (AP): A California newspaper editor who was shot to death while investigating a Black Muslim splinter group's financial dealings was a posthumous winner of a George Polk Award, on of the top prizes in U.S. journalism.

    Chauncey W. Bailey Jr., editor of the weekly Oakland Post, in Oakland, California, was killed last August while walking to his job. Bailey had been investigating the Your Black Muslim Bakery chain. A handyman from the bakery now awaits trial in his death.

    Bailey won the annual Polk award for local journalism. Other 2007 winners included Shai Oster of The Wall Street Journal for reporting on the landslides and other environmental damage caused by China's construction of a $22 billion dam, and Joshua Micah Marshall of the political blog, for his coverage of the Bush administration's firings of federal prosecutors around the country.

    The 14 awards were announced Tuesday by Long Island University. The awards, created in 1949 to honor CBS reporter George W. Polk, who was killed while covering the Greek civil war, will be presented at an April 17 luncheon in Manhattan.

    Seven men _ including the handyman charged with shooting Bailey, 57 _ were arrested after the shooting on charges including real estate fraud and kidnapping after a raid on the bakery, which was founded as a haven for struggling urban families. The Committee to Protect Journalists said Bailey's death was the first targeted killing of a journalist in the United States since 1993.

    John McPhee, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1965 and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning ``Annals of the Former World'' about the terrain surrounding Interstate 80, received a career achievement award.

    Other winners were:

    _ Senior foreign correspondent Jim Sciutto, producer Angus Hines and cameraman/producer Tom Murphy of ``ABC World News with Charlie Gibson'' for television reporting. The team penetrated a news blackout in Myanmar to cover the government's crackdown on peaceful demonstrations against rising fuel prices.

    _ Reporters Barton Gellman and Jo Becker of The Washington Post for political reporting. The team wrote four stories describing Vice President Dick Cheney's influence over major U.S. foreign policy on torture, military tribunals and other issues.

    _ Leila Fadel, Baghdad bureau chief of California-based McClatchy Co., for foreign reporting for her coverage of Iraqi families in ethnically torn neighborhoods and the victims of a deadly car bombing.

    _ Reporter Charles Duhigg of The New York Times for medical reporting for a series on unethical practices involving billing of the elderly for long-term health care.

    _ The Chicago Tribune for consumer reporting, for a seven-month series documenting children's deaths and injuries from magnetic building sets, lead-tainted toys and defective cribs.

    _ Jeremy Scahill won the Book Award for ``Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army,'' about the North Carolina-based military services contractor.

    _ Freelance writer Joshua Kors won for magazine reporting for his two-part series in The Nation on a former U.S. Army specialist who was refused disability or medical benefits after suffering hearing loss and depression after surviving a rocket explosion in Iraq.

    _ Edward Chancellor won for financial reporting for his piece ``Ponzi Nation,'' published in Institutional Investor magazine, about the dangers subprime mortgages and lightly regulated hedge funds pose to the world economy.

    _ The Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer won for economic reporting for a yearlong series on the causes of the high rates of housing foreclosures in the community.

    _ Jerry Mitchell of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, for state reporting for reporting on how the Mississippi State Department of Health did not report several major health problems, including increases in tuberculosis and a highest-in-the-nation infant mortality rate.

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