Columbia Journalism School
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  • The late New York Times reporter Meyer “Mike” Berger. The award is given to a reporter(s) for an outstanding example of in-depth, human interest reporting.
  • Illustration from the Berger Award-winning piece ‘An Unbelievable Case of Rape’. Illustration by Wesley Allsbrook
  • Illustration from the Berger Award-winning piece ‘An Unbelievable Case of Rape’. Illustration by Wesley Allsbrook
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  • The late New York Times reporter Meyer “Mike” Berger. The award is given to a reporter(s) for an outstanding example of in-depth, human interest reporting.

Berger Award

Ken Armstrong of the Marshall Project and T. Christian Miller of ProPublica are the winners of the 2016 Meyer “Mike” Berger Award for their piece “An Unbelievable Story of Rape.”

The jurors write in their citation “In an ‘Unbelievable Story of Rape,’ Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller provide a gripping account of a young woman wrongfully accused of lying about a rape. Because poorly trained detectives coerced the woman to recant, a serial rapist continued his attacks until officers at other police agencies joined forces to piece together the truth and arrest the rapist. Armstrong, who works for the Marshall Project, and Miller, who is at ProPublica, also teamed up after they each began working separately on the story. The result was a deeply reported and moving account about police officers who were dedicated to their jobs, and the survivor who was exonerated.”

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Armstrong, a staff writer at The Marshall Project, specializes in investigative reporting and narrative writing. At the Seattle Times he won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and shared in two staff Pulitzers for breaking news. At the Chicago Tribune his work helped prompt the Illinois governor to suspend executions and later empty death row. He has been the McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. In 2009 he received the John Chancellor Award, awarded at Columbia for lifetime achievement.

Miller joined ProPublica in 2008 as a senior reporter. He spent the previous 11 years reporting for the Los Angeles Times. His work included coverage of the 2000 presidential campaign and three years as a bureau chief for the Times, responsible for 10 countries in South and Central America. Earlier in his career he worked for the San Francisco Chronicle and the St. Petersburg Times.

He has received the George Polk Award for Radio Reporting, the Dart Award for Coverage of Trauma, the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors award for online reporting, two Overseas Press Club awards, a Livingston Award for Young Journalists, the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Reporting and a certificate of recognition from the Daniel Pearl awards for outstanding international investigative reporting. In addition, Miller was given a yearlong Knight Fellowship in 2011 to study at Stanford University. Miller is the author of Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq. He is currently based in Berkeley, CA.

The Berger Award, named after the late New York Times reporter Meyer “Mike” Berger, is awarded to a reporter(s) for an outstanding example of in-depth, human interest reporting.

The Berger Award is judged by Columbia Journalism School faculty. The 2016 judges are David Hajdu, Dale Maharidge, and Ruth Padawer.

Armstrong and Miller will split a $2,000 honorarium and will speak at Columbia University’s Journalism Day ceremony on Tuesday, May 17.

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