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Premack Award to Pioneer Press for "The Death of Patient 13"

The Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Award competition is one of Minnesota's most coveted and celebrated journalism honors. Started after the death in 1975 of Frank Premack, a reporter, city editor and assistant managing editor at the Minneapolis Tribune, the competition has recognized Minnesota media doing public affairs journalism in their community or region for more than 30 years.

The entries are judged by a panel of citizens representing the Minnesota community and public life in the arts, journalism, law, and politics.

[Please find below this post an earlier one on Carl Elliot's related piece in the Pioneer Planet.]

The University of Minnesota School of Journalism announced the winners of the Premack Award.

From the press release:

Excellence in investigative or analytical reporting about public affairs (7 county metro):

The St. Paul Pioneer Press and reporters Jeremy Olson and Paul Tosto are the winners of the investigative or analytical reporting award for their series “The Death of Subject 13” published May 18, 19 and 20, 2008.

In this piece, Olson and Tosto reported for the first time on schizophrenia patient Dan Markingson’s death and the resulting lawsuit and probes. In the process, they pulled back the curtain on the rarely viewed world of industry-funded clinical research and the financial incentives that can compromise a doctor’s decision-making.

Premack judges in this category said: “Through the eyes of one patient, this story shed considerable light on the complicated and competing interests between the development and path to market of new drugs, funding needs of the University and the integrity of medical research.

The judges are hopeful that the new ethics task force implemented at the U of M is resulting in changes in conflict of interest policies.”

Hearty congratulations to Paul Tosto and Jeremy Olson. Over the years they have demonstrated outstanding journalistic skills and the perseverance to dig out information in the public interest. These qualities are shared by colleagues at many other papers including the Strib and our beloved Daily.

The scrutiny of a free press is essential to exposing practices that need to be improved, especially at our beloved University of Minnesota. Truly realigning our priorities with those of a land grant institution needs to be done now. Let's work for a university that we can all be proud of.


Spelling error: "land grand institution" - change to "land grant institution". Wouldn't it be great if it were truly Grand?

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