American Legion press release:
INDIANAPOLIS (April 23, 2012) – One broadcast station, a newspaper and a war correspondent’s feature on an online news website will receive The American Legion’s Fourth Estate Award during the organization’s 94th National Convention in Indianapolis on August 30.
The Fourth Estate Award has been presented annually by The American Legion since 1958 for outstanding achievement in the field of journalism. Nominations were considered in three categories: print, broadcast, and new media (Internet).
Taking top honor in the print category for the second consecutive year was the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. A nine-month investigation and series of articles by reporter Carl Prine, an Army and Marine veteran who served in Iraq, revealed that warrior transition units were so overwhelmed that many soldiers suffering physically or mentally from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan got little or no help. They continued to suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injuries, depression and other issues related to repeated combat deployments. The probe brought about congressional hearings, the resignation of a senior defense official and actions that led to significant improvements in the units. In 2011, the Trib won the Fourth Estate Award for exposing shoddy conditions in Pennsylvania’s state-run veterans homes.
KLRT-TV News Reporter Donna Terrell took the top honor in the broadcast category in Little Rock, Ark., with her reports, “Grieving a Child.” Having recently lost her daughter, she poignantly captured the emotional trauma of a military veteran and his wife who lost their small son to brain cancer and provided valuable information about dealing with the painful process of losing a loved one.
In the Internet (new media) category, freelance war correspondent Alex Quade’s video documentary for The Daily Caller, “Horse Soldiers of 9/11,” revealed the special operations of military and CIA operatives in Afghanistan who responded after the 9/11 attacks, using horses in their behind-the- lines operations. Her report broke the story of a monument, capturing the essence of their bravery, to rise in testament to them near "Ground Zero" in New York. Vice President Joe Biden quoted Quade’s story during the statue’s official dedication ceremony.
“These outstanding journalists have gone above and beyond the works of their peers; Indeed, they have exhibited the highest commitment to excellence in the research, writing and production of masterful reports that have truly made a difference for the better in our world,” said Fang A. Wong, national commander of the 2.4 million member American Legion.
“Journalism doesn’t get any better than that,” he said. “I will be honored to present each of them with our highest recognition of journalistic distinction, The American Legion Fourth Estate Award.”
Previous winners of the award include Dateline NBC, C-SPAN, United Press International, USA TODAY, The Detroit News, Fortune Magazine, ABC News, and Life Magazine, among others.
The nation’s largest veterans organization, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and patriotic youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.