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Michigan Radio wins Advancement of Justice Award for MSU sexual assault series

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Michigan Radio has been selected as a winner of the 2016 Wade H. McCree Award for the Advancement of Justice. The Michigan Radio team of Joe Linstroth and Kate Wells were recognized for the series, “Sexual Assault Investigations at MSU: A Broken System and the Efforts to Fix it.”  Linstroth and Wells investigated allegations of problems with Michigan State University’s handling of sexual assault cases. Although universities are supposed to complete sexual assault investigations within 60 days, they discovered that MSU’s investigations could last for months, and that alleged repeat offenders could stay in the MSU community for years due to cases being reopened or appealed. They also found that MSU’s Title IX investigators were severely understaffed to handle the nearly 100 sexual misconduct cases a year.

The McCree Awards recognize Michigan journalists who foster greater public understanding of our legal and judicial system, and “…disclose practices in need of improvement and encourage legal and legislative efforts to update and modernize our laws, courts, and law enforcement agencies.” The award is named after distinguished Michigan attorney Wade H. McCree, who served as judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals and Solicitor General of the United States. The Advancement of Justice awards were established in 1974 in a collaborative effort between the State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan Press Association.

Other news organizations winning a McCree Award were Bridge Magazine for a series about sexual assaults of juvenile offenders, and WDIV-TV for an investigative series about police brutality. The awards will be presented in April in conjunction with the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in East Lansing.