Sun reporters, photographer win award

March 13, 1998|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Two reporters and a photographer for The Sun have won a prestigious George Polk Award for their series on the Navy's troubled ship-scrapping program.

Reporters Will Englund and Gary Cohn and photographer Perry Thorsvik won the Polk award in the environmental reporting category for stories that focused on the program's safety and environmental abuses in the United States and overseas.

The Polk Awards, among the nation's most respected and coveted in journalism, were established by Long Island University in 1949 in honor of CBS correspondent George Polk, who was killed while covering the civil war in Greece.

Winners in the 11 other categories this year included the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Kansas City Star.

The Sun series documented a legacy of poorly paid, untrained workers being exposed to lethal doses of asbestos, hazardous materials and dangerous working conditions.

The series prompted the Defense Department to conduct hearings in Washington and the Navy to scrap plans to consign (( more ships to unscrupulous contractors.

Englund has been with The Sun since 1977. He has been a copy editor and has covered City Hall and education.

He is on his second tour as a Moscow correspondent.

Cohn, a Sun reporter since 1993, has won several national awards and has worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky.

Thorsvik enlisted in the Navy after high school and was named Military Photographer of the Year twice before he left the service in 1986.

He spent that summer photographing the Titanic expedition for National Geographic and joined The Sun in 1987.

Pub Date: 3/13/98

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