CNN has won two honors at the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards - one for an online-led Freedom Project special report on modern-day slavery in Mauritania and one for its coverage of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
For Mauritania, the judges said 'Slavery's Last Stronghold' upholds "the highest ideals of journalism" and recognized the covert reporting of CNN Digital reporters John D. Sutter and Edythe McNamee.
The judges noted: “They had to do their reporting on slavery covertly, often in the presence of a government-assigned minder. Their project was published online, accompanied by haunting photos and video.”
Senior international correspondent Arwa Damon and photojournalist Sarmad Qaseera won in the breaking news category. The reporting shed light on the attack which killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
Judges said: “Damon’s courageous reporting showed it appeared to be a planned attack that came after U.S. diplomats had been warned days before by Libyan officials about the deteriorating security there. The network stood firm in the face of harsh criticism from the State Department. The U.S. government’s investigation later proved CNN’s reporting to be accurate.”