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9th Street journalists honored for Under the Radar

Student journalists at The 9th Street Journal have won the Frank Barrows Award for their series Under the Radar, which put the spotlight on Durham’s little-known boards and commissions.

The annual award honors student journalism that “exemplifies the vital role of open meetings, public records and press access in public life.” It is named after Barrows, former managing editor of the Charlotte Observer and a founding member of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition.

To report and write the 11-part series, students attended meetings of Durham’s little-known boards and commissions ranging from the Dangerous Dog Appeal Board to the Safety and Wellness Task Force. In some cases the 9th Street reporters discovered that meetings were not well-advertised to the public. In others, they had to file public records requests to get routine materials from those boards.

Brooks Fuller, director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition, presented the award to 9th Street reporters Jacqueline Cole, Nina Moske and Gabrielle Lazor at the NC News and Information Summit, which was held Friday at North Carolina Central University. He said the Barrows award recognizes the “next generation of fighters for public information.”

Fuller said the 9th Street reporters “showed in this series how public bodies truly do fly under the radar in ways that, if exploited, could do real harm to this community.”

The complete series can be found here.

Photo at top: Brooks Fuller, director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition, with 9th Street reporters Nina Moske, Jacqueline Cole, and Gabrielle Lazor. Photo by Bill Adair – The 9th Street Journal

Bill Adair