Boston Globe Team Wins 2012 AAJA-Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism

The Asian American Journalists Association, in partnership with the Gannett Foundation, proudly recognizes groundbreaking work by a journalist or a team that creatively uses digital tools in the role of being a community’s watchdog.  The 2012 winner was announced at AAJA’s Gala Awards Banquet on Aug. 3 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.


   Shirley Leung,  Assistant Managing Editor/Business News, The Boston Globe

   Tom Giratikanon, Newsroom Developer/Data Visualizer, The Boston Globe

Judges’ comments: “The newspaper exposed widespread fish mislabeling at restaurants and retail outlets in Massachusetts. The Globe documented the scope of mislabeling by taking a page out of ‘CSI’: They collected fish from 134 restaurants, grocery stores and seafood markets and hired a Canadian lab to conduct DNA testing on the samples. The analysis found that about half of the samples were sold with the wrong species name. This is ambitious community watchdog journalism that has already had an impact.

“The online presentation of ‘Fishy Business’ combined several standard digital tools — videos, animation, slide show and a searchable database of restaurants and fish outlets with correctly and incorrectly labeled fish. The series also takes advantage of responsive-design technology so that the content re-sizes dynamically to work on any device at any pixel width.”

The 2011 AAJA-Gannett watchdog winner was Sanjay Bhatt of the Seattle Times, and the inaugural winner, in 2010, was Elise Hu of the Texas Tribune. The award comes with a $5,000 prize.