The America’s Promise Alliance gave its 2012 Journalism Award for Action to NPR for Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families, an October 2011 series reported by Laura Sullivan and produced by Amy Walters. The October 2011 series, the result of a yearlong investigation, revealed how the state of South Dakota was failing to follow laws that specify how Native children should be put in foster care. It prompted a federal investigation and a resolution from the National Congress of American Indians. The Alliance’s annual awards recognize the efforts of journalists working to raise awareness about the needs of young people and those who inspire communities to act on behalf of youth. Recipients are chosen from the winners of the 2012 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism, which are presented by the Journalism Center on Children & Families.
Pubradio won a pair of medals for reportage on youth and families. WYNC’s Radio Rookies won a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for Coming of Age in 2011, a series of reports covering youth-identity issues such as immigration status, mental-health diagnoses, the foster care system and the process of coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The award was given in the College Park, Md.–based organization’s new youth-media category. “It’s a rare treat to listen to a first-person narrative that moves you; it’s even rarer to find storytellers who are brave enough to confront their own issues and face other people who may not always tell them what they want to hear,” judges said. Among the Rookies and WNYC producers cited for the medal were Beatrice Aquino, Tim Brown-Martinez, Brianna Fugate, Michael Jacobson, Alicia Martinez, Jimmy Musa, Kaari Pitkin, Sanda Htyte, Marianne McCune, Courtney Stein, Veralyn Williams and Mike Jones.