Gannett New Jersey wins 2004 Selden Ring Award

Reporters and editors from Gannett New Jersey newspapers have won the 2004 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting for their groundbreaking series exposing a government system that allows elected officials to exploit their positions for personal gain. The $35,000 annual prize, presented by the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, recognizes the year's outstanding work in investigative journalism that led to direct results. Gannett New Jersey reporters, led by Asbury Park Press investigations editor Paul D'Ambrosio, systematically investigated the New Jersey Legislature to "help voters better understand their lawmakers' financial interests" before the Nov. 4, 2003 state election. The series documented how some legislators in New Jersey "hire their relatives, pad their pensions or hand out millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to employers, friends, and party bosses." In the citation announcing the award's winner, the judges wrote: "The seven Gannett New Jersey newspapers did nothing less than bring ethics to government in the state of New Jersey."
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