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For immediate release
April 6, 2005
Chad Campbell, 202.513.2304

NPR's Daniel Zwerdling Wins Investigative Reporters & Editors Top Award For Radio

NPR reporter Daniel Zwerdling is the recipient of the Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) award for radio for his two-part series "Abuse of Immigrant Detainees." Zwerdling shares the award with NPR colleagues Associate Producer Anne Hawke, Supervising Senior Editor Ellen Weiss and Managing Editor Bill Marimow. Zwerdling's reports air regularly on NPR's newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.

In his November 2004 story, Zwerdling explored the plight of immigrants detained in two New Jersey jails over the two-year period, 2002-2004. His investigation into U.S. prison abuse abroad led to information on similar prison abuse in the U.S. In the first piece, current and former inmates of the Passaic County jail described how guards used attack dogs to terrorize and sometimes attack them. The second installment examined how guards at the Hudson County Jail in New Jersey beat up two detainees while they were handcuffed, and while almost a dozen other guards watched. Within two days after the broadcasts, the Department of Homeland Security banned the use of dogs around detainees and officials in Hudson County announced that they would discipline at least 11 guards.

Bruce Drake, vice-president for news, said, "We've made investigative reporting one of our priorities as NPR News continues its growth as an important source of news for more and more Americans. This kind of reporting takes time and commitment, and Danny and NPR invested months in this project. He told an important story and his reporting made a difference. We're proud of that."

The annual IRE awards recognize outstanding investigative work in print, broadcast, online media and work that demonstrates superior use of freedom of information and open records laws. IRE, founded in 1975, is a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to training and supporting investigative journalists. It is based at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The IRE Awards will be presented during the June 4 luncheon at the IRE Annual Conference in Denver. The conference, scheduled for June 2-5 at the Grand Hyatt Denver, will feature many of the winners speaking about the techniques, methods and resources they used to develop their stories.

Before joining NPR in 1980, Zwerdling worked as a staff writer at The New Republic and as a freelance reporter. His work appeared in national publications such as The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Review of Books.

To listen to Zwerdling's award-winning series on dogs and detainees, please visit

About NPR
NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 23 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.