Sun reporters win investigative prize for Honduras series

February 18, 1996

LOS ANGELES -- Two reporters for The Sun, Ginger Thompson and Gary Cohn, have won the seventh annual Selden Ring Award for investigative journalism administered by the University of Southern California School of Journalism's Annenberg School for Communication.

Ms. Thompson and Mr. Cohn were awarded the coveted prize over 120 other nominations for their series, "Battalion 316," which told of atrocities committed by a secret Honduran intelligence unit that had been trained and equipped by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

In choosing Ms. Thompson and Mr. Cohn for the $25,000 prize, the judges cited them for "correcting the record with good old-fashioned reporting."

"In a year marked by exceptional work in the field of investigative reporting, this series is testament to the best values of American journalism their writing was gripping in its stark simplicity, letting the facts speak volumes. And they had it on the record, with names and faces," the judges said.

William K. Marimow, managing editor of The Sun, said the series was "really the epitome of what good in-depth investigative reporting ought to be. Most remarkable was that they interviewed, on the record, members of Battalion 316 to let them tell their side of the story."

The series has had a significant impact in two countries, said Jeff Price, Sun foreign editor who oversaw the project.

"The CIA is reviewing its conduct in Honduras, and the Honduran government is aggressively prosecuting the military men who were responsible for the atrocities described in the series," he said.

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